Canada eliminated after pool play at World Baseball Classic with 10-3 loss to Mexico

PHOENIX — Randy Arozarena had two doubles and drove in five runs, Rowdy Tellez added a two-run single and solo homer, and Mexico beat Canada 10-3 Wednesday to earn a spot in the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic.

Canada had a chance to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time with a win. Instead, the Canadians were eliminated after pool play for the fifth straight tournament.

"I think we have some really good young players that are coming. I think inexperience showed a little bit today," Canada manager Ernie Whitt said.

"But I'm proud of every guy in that room. They played the game the way it was supposed to be played. They played with pride and passion. What more can you ask for?

"I mean, we hit the ball hard today. Every time we hit the ball hard, it seemed like it was at somebody. We have days like that, it just didn't pan out for us this time."

The United States defeated Colombia 3-2 later Wednesday, leading to Canada's elimination. If Colombia managed an upset, the U.S., Canada and Colombia would have been tied at 2-2.

The winner of that tiebreak would be the team with the fewest runs allowed divided by the number of defensive outs in the games against the other tied teams. Following a 12-1 loss to the U.S. on Monday, however, Canada would have been a long shot to make it in.

Mexico started the tournament with a surprising loss to Colombia in Group C at Chase Field but rallied with three straight wins, beating the U.S., Britain and Canada.

José Urquidy gave up two runs over four innings, striking out five to earn the win. Arozarena — the 2021 AL Rookie of the Year for the Tampa Bay Rays — hit a bases-clearing double in the sixth that broke the game open, giving Mexico a 6-2 lead.

Canada leadoff hitter Edouard Julien had two hits, including a solo homer in the seventh inning, and catcher Bo Naylor hit a solo homer.

"I think he's very capable of being an all-star in the big leagues," Whitt said of second baseman Julien, a prospect in the Minnesota Twins' system. "Like I said, he continues to improve his defence. You go back and you look at his track record at college, he's tied some records for the best hitter. I mean, it shows.

"And plus he's what I call a gamer. He plays hard every play. He doesn't take a play off. I think he's got a real good career ahead of him."

Rob Zastryzny took the loss after giving up three runs over two innings.

Canada played without Los Angeles Dodgers star first baseman Freddie Freeman, who left Tuesday's game because of a hamstring injury.

The Canadians finished pool play at 2-2 with wins over Britain and Colombia and losses to the U.S. and Mexico.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 15, 2023.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Canada was eliminated from the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic. In fact, Canada still has a very unlikely but possible chance of advancing.