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World Baseball Classic: Greatest games of all-time

With the World Baseball Classic underway, here is a look at some of the Greatest WBC games that have taken place since the inception of the international tournament in 2006. 

The international tournament brings together the best in the world and has seen some memorable encounters down the years. 

WhatWorld Baseball Classic
WhereVenues in Japan, Taiwan and United States 
When8th March - 21st March, 2023 
How to watchBT Sport

1. Japan defeating South Korea in 2009 Final

At Dodger Stadium, a crowd of 54,846 witnessed a classic game between Japan and South Korea in the 2009 WBC Final. Japan had eliminated South Korea from the 2006 WBC, while Korea had beaten the Japanese in the semi-finals of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. 

With Japan one out away from victory in the bottom of the ninth inning, Korean batter Bum-Ho Lee singled home the tying run against Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish sending the game to extra innings. 

However, Ichiro Suzuki was the hero for Japan as he hit a two-out, two-strike single to centre-field in the 10th inning that gave the Japanese their second straight WBC Classic tournament win. 

2. United States beating Dominican Republic in the second round of WBC 2017

The United States knocked out the reigning World Baseball Classic champions, the Dominican Republic in the second round to avenge a pool game loss earlier in the tournament. 

The USA fell behind 2-0 in the first inning, but drew level in the third, followed by a two-run homer from Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth inning to gain the lead. The DR’s Manny Machado led of the bottom of the seventh with a deep-fly ball that looked like it was going for a home run, before Adam Jones robbed the Dominican of vital runs. 

Robinson Cano followed up with a solo home run to add to USA’s lead with some more insurance in the eighth inning with the United States’ holding on for victory and advancing through to the semi-finals, en-route to their first ever World Baseball Classic tournament win. 

USA are 2/9 to win Pool C in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Dominican Republic are 2/5 to win Pool D in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. 

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World Baseball Classic Pool C preview: USA the ones to beat

World Baseball Classic Pool D preview: Dominican Republic the team to beat

3. Netherlands defeating Dominican Republic 2-1 in 11 innings (2009 first round)

The Dominican Republic had a stacked roster full of Major League Baseball stars, such as Robinson Cano, David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez and they were expected to win the World Baseball Classic in 2009. 

The Netherlands though had other ideas and made sure this superstar Dominican Republic team, never made it out of the first round. Having already beaten the Dominicans in an earlier pool game, the Netherlands faced them again in an eliminator to qualify for the second round. 

Neither side scored for the first 10 innings and with the tension unbearable, the DR’s Jose Bautista broke open the scoring in the the top of the 11th inning. The Netherlands then drew level on Eugene Kingsale’s RBI single in the bottom of the 11th, and they won thanks to DR’s first baseman Willy Aybar misplaying a grounder at first base. 

4. Israel beating South Korea 2-1 in 10 innings in the first round of WBC 2017

With Israel making their World Baseball Classic debut, they pulled off the biggest shock in WBC history to date with a dramatic win over South Korea in Seoul to open the 2017 tournament. 

Scott Burcham hit the go-ahead knock for Israel with two outs in the top of the 10th inning and with Josh Zeid throwing three scoreless frames to earn the win. 

Israel had an exceptional tournament following this massive win, backing up this result by beating Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands to advance from Pool A and winning it’s first game of the second round beating Cuba 4-1, before losses to Netherlands and Japan saw Israel miss out on a semi-final place. 

5. Italy beats Mexico 10-9 in the WBC 2017 first round

Mexico had already been warned of Italy’s shockability with a loss to the Italians in the first round of the 2013 WBC. Mexico saw history repeating itself, this time they were at home. 

They played Italy at the Estadio de Beisbol Charros de Jalisco and took a 9-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, but were unable to win from that stage as Italy rallied for five runs with a walk-off, two-run single from John Andreoli to stun Mexico again. 

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