Brazil pounds New Zealand in Classic qualifier

The Panama City qualifier in Panama at Estadio Nacional Rod Carew is underway. The top two teams in this bracket will join Czech Republic and Great Britain as qualifiers in next year’s World Baseball Classic.

Every second of the Qualifiers will be available to stream live and for free no matter where you’re located on WorldBaseballClassic.com. In addition, you’ll be able to watch on MLB.TV, MLB.com, the new World Baseball Classic YouTube channel, and the World Baseball Classic Facebook page.

Game 1: Brazil 12, New Zealand 7

Seeking its first World Baseball Classic appearance since 2013, Brazil started the opening game of the Panama qualifier in style, jumping out to a 4-0 lead over New Zealand in the bottom of the first inning.

Max Brown got New Zealand back in it with a three-run double in the top of the second, but he was thrown out at third to end the inning, and that’s as close as New Zealand would get.

Tim Lopes, who played for the Mariners in 2019-20 and the Brewers in 2021 before spending 2022 in the Rockies system, hit a two-run homer for Brazil in the bottom of the fourth. Lopes scored three runs on the day, including one on an RBI single by his brother, Christian, during Brazil’s six-run seventh inning.

Brazil will take on Nicaragua at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, while New Zealand will play an elimination game (opponent TBD) on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.

The full schedule is here and below (times are subject to change):

Friday
Game 1: Brazil 12, New Zealand 7
Game 2: Pakistan vs. Argentina, 8 p.m. Panama Local / 9 p.m. ET

Saturday
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Nicaragua, 12 p.m. Panama Local / 1 p.m. ET
Game 4: Winner Game 2 vs. Panama, 8 p.m. Panama Local / 9 p.m. ET

Sunday
Game 5: Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 3, 12 p.m. Panama Local / 1 p.m. ET
Game 6: New Zealand vs. Loser Game 4, 7 p.m. Panama Local / 8 p.m. ET

Tuesday
Game 7: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, 12 p.m. Panama Local / 1 p.m. ET
Game 8: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 7 p.m. Panama Local / 8 p.m. ET

Wednesday
Game 9: Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8, 7 p.m. Panama Local / 8 p.m. ET