02/11/2019 - 17/11/2019

@wbsc   #Premier12  

Hosted by:   JPN MEX TPE KOR

II Premier12 2019 - Official Payoff

Jones stars, Mexico keeps winning

Jones stars, Mexico keeps winning
The center fielder homered on the first pitch he saw, added an RBI-double and robbed Aussie third baseman George of an extra-base hit

Center fielder Jonathan Jones starred as no. 6 ranked Mexico beat no. 7 ranked Australia, 3-0 and made a huge step towards the medal round of the WBSC Premier12.

Jones homered on the first pitch by Aussie starter Josh Guyer before nailing a fourth inning double to make it 3-0. Jones again took centre stage, robbing Australian infielder Darryl George of extra bases with a diving catch.

Mexico's manager Juan Castro acknowledged his contribution: "Jones was certainly the key to our game. I want also to give credit to our pitching staff. They perfectly executed the game plan."

Mexico pitchers indeed executed. Eduardo Vera earned the win pitching five innings of two-hit baseball. Manuel Barreda, Adam Quintana and Noel Salas came out of the bullpen and combined four perfect innings.

Designated hitter Matthew Clark provided the third Mexican run with a monster solo homer off reliever Steve Kent.

"I was looking for a fastball, so I tried to stay ahead of hit and got to the ball with the right timing," explained the 32-year old slugger.

Clark appeared in a career 143 NPB games for the Chunichi Dragons and the Orix Buffaloes: "The Tokyo Dome is one of my favorite places to play," he admitted. "Tomorrow it's going to be packed, rocking and rolling. It's going to be a fun game.

Mexico will take on no. 1 ranked Japan.

"All the teams are pretty good in this tournament," commented Juan Castro.

"We know we are going to face the best two teams now, but this doesn't change anything."

"We have a plan and we will stick to it. We are making adjustments to the teams we face, but that's it. We have one goal: winning here and trying to come back here for the 2020 Olympics."

"Japan pitchers throw a lot of strikes with a lot of different pitches," added Matt Clark. "They are not going to give you many opportunities. I think we will need to stay aggressive."

Australia came out with a lot of compliments but suffered a loss.

"I will make sure my players understand I still believe in them," said manager David Nilsson.

"I want them to rest well, have a good batting practice tomorrow. If we keep playing this way, results will come."

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