BROOKLYN, New York – Once a Cinderella story themselves, Brazil put to rest any notion of a successful debut for Pakistan, newcomers to the World Baseball Classic—and, indeed, any major international tournament—with a 10-0 victory in seven innings.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third, when Brazil put three runs on the scoreboard, with the big blow from Dante Bichette, Jr. After a bases loaded grounder, the Yankees’ farmhand ripped a triple for the game’s second run, and came round on a Reinaldo Sato RBI-single.
After increasing the lead to 4-0 in the fourth, Brazil broke the game wide open a frame later. Bichette notched a one-out safety and, after a pitching change, Juan Carlos Muniz laced a ball into the gap in right centre, racing all the way around the bases for an inside-the-park homer.
Brazil’s experience was on display in the seventh inning as a series of free passes, a hit batter, and defensive miscues allowed the Green-and-Gold to end the game via the 10-run mercy rule.
Pakistan kept the game much closer than expected against the No. 16-ranked Brazilian side thanks to solid pitching from Inayat Ullah Khan. The righthander held Brazil scoreless until the third inning, and his pitching line of 4 1/3 innings and four runs was not indicative of his performance.
Meanwhile, Jean Tome (1-0) was lights out for manager Barry Larkin, needing only 44 pitches to get through 5 1/3 frames. The righty scattered three hits and struck out four to earn his first Classic victory. He was followed by Eric Pardinho, all of 15 years of age, who got two outs in the sixth, and Edilson Bautista in the shutout.
Pakistan collected four hits, with two coming from the bat of Saddam Hussain. The second baseman had a noteworthy debut as both hits were doubles and he fielded seven chances flawlessly at second. Umair Imdad Bhatti also had a two-bagger.
Four players had a brace of hits for Brazil, which banged out 13 on the day. Leonardo Reginatto, hero of the 2012 Qualifier, was 2-for-4, and Bichette was 2-for-3. Each scored two runs, while Gabriel Maciel and Muniz joined them with a pair of safeties.
The victory for Brazil will see them play Israel, also winners on day one, at 5 p.m. GMT at MCU Park, while Great Britain will fact Pakistan at midnight. Games can be viewed at http://www.worldbaseballclassic.com, and Mister-Baseball.com will have all the news at the end of play.
This post first appeared on www.mister-baseball.com.