By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network
Mexico improved to 2-1 in Pool C of the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday night with a 2-1 win over Great Britain. With the win, Great Britain now has the same winning percentage as the USA and Canada in Pool C.
Coming into the World Baseball Classic, almost no one had Great Britain winning a single game. After stunning Colombia 7-5 on Monday, they came awfully close to pulling off another upset.
Pitching and defense told the story at Chase Field on Tuesday night in a low-scoring affair. Mexico jumped on the board first in the bottom of the second inning on a RBI single from Alexis Wilson. Great Britain third baseman BJ Murray had to make a tough play to his left, and did not have enough on his throw to beat Wilson to the base. Mexico led 1-0 until the top of the sixth.
In the top of the sixth, Great Britain tied the game up and quieted the Mexico crowd. After Chavez Young laced a double over the head of the right fielder, Trayce Thompson struck out, and Nick Ward fouled out. With two outs and Young on second, he stole third base easily to move up 90 feet. The risk paid off, as BJ Murray Jr. singled on a ground ball to shortstop Alan Trejo. Trejo attempted a Derek Jeter jump throw to nail Murray at the bag, but he beat it by three steps and the game was tied 1-1.
The Mexico fans erupted in the bottom of the seventh inning when Alexis Wilson hit a RBI single to give Mexico a 2-1 lead. Wilson shouted in excitement at first base after driving in what was the game-winning run.
Philadelphia Phillies newly acquired starter Taijuan Walker was the starting pitcher for Mexico. Walker allowed just one hit and struck out eight in four innings of work. Joseph King, Great Britain’s 22-year-old starting pitcher, went 1.2 innings, gave up one earned run on three hits, and struck out two.
Mexico closer Giovanny Gallegos came into the game in the ninth inning and shut the door on Great Britain, securing a 2-1 win.
Mexico will play Canada today, March 15, at 3 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 2. Jose Urquidy will be the starting pitcher for Mexico. Great Britain finished pool play 1-3, and will root for a Colombia loss to USA, which maintains the possibility that they will not have to re-qualify for the 2026 World Baseball Classic.