Dominican Republic 1, Mexico 0
At Yokohama Stadium: Catcher Charlie Valerio continued to be the Dominicans’ offensive sparkplug. He doubled and scored the game’s only run on a fifth-inning Melky Cabrera single. The Dominicans improved to 1-1.
Yomiuri’s Angel Sanchez allowed two hits and a walk while striking out one over five innings, and left fielder Jose Bautista prevented the tying run from scoring in the sixth off reliever Ramon Rosso when he gunned down a runner at the plate.
Teddy Stankiewwicz, who went 6-0 last season for Taiwan’s Uni-President Lions, allowed a run on six hits and a walk while striking out five over 4-2/3 innings.
Mexico will play Japan on Saturday, when Japan can clinch Group A and advance to the second quarterfinal on Monday. Teams finishing second and third in their groups go into a four-way playoff to select two teams for Monday’s first quarterfinal.
Mexico will need to beat Japan to avoid an elimination game against Israel on Sunday. A Mexican win over the tournament host will leave all three Group A games tied and bring the WBSC’s “TQB” tie-breaking formula into play, which I honestly don’t understand.
United States 8, Israel 1
At Yokohama Stadium: Tyler Austin slipped seamlessly into a Team USA uniform at his regular home park, the DeNA BayStars slugger capping a three-run third with a two-run homer and doubling in a run in the seventh as the United States set up a battle with South Korea on Saturday for a spot in Monday’s second quarterfinal.
The Americans opened the scoring in the third on a Nick Allen single, a wild pitch, an Eddy Alvarez RBI double and Austin’s home run.
Israel’s Danny Valencia homered to make it a 3-1 game in the fourth against U.S. starter Joe Ryan, who gave up five hits but walked none while striking out five over six innings.
Todd Frazier reached on an error and scored on a Bubba Starling single in the sixth, before an error and doubles by Alvarez and Austin made it 5-1 in the seventh.
Brandon Dickson, who spent eight seasons with the Orix Buffaloes before deciding to remain in the States this year with his family prevented from joining him in Japan, pitched the seventh for the U.S.
Ben Wanger, whose Olympic athletes village reality show “Breaking Bed” was widely panned, allowed a run in the ninth.
The loss put Israel in the tournament’s first elimination game on Sunday, when they’ll play the third-place team from Group A.