Australia, Mexico to face off in rematch
Winner to advance to Classic's second round in San Diego
By Christopher Ramirez / Special to MLB.com
Adding to the anticipation, the team that wins will lock up a spot in Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic, while the loser will be sent home.
There's also been no shortness of animosity between Australia and Mexico since their opening-night showdown. Australia tallied 22 hits in the game to set a Classic record, and in the process, humiliated Mexico in front of its home crowd.
Mexico ever since has cast aside the loss as a consequence of the team's overconfidence heading into the tournament, which Australia believes is a slight at its ability.
"You don't get 22 hits by accident," Australia manager Jon Deeble said.
Mexico defeated South Africa 14-3 on Monday to set up the rematch that it has not-so-secretly been seeking.
"We'd love to face them again," Mexican shortstop Oscar Robles said. "I think there might be a strong opportunity to beat them this time. We have to be ready."
Mexico jumped out to an early lead against Australia, which Robles suggested was part of his team's downfall.
"I think that when we were beating them in the first inning, we felt we were doing great, and we lost," he said.
Mexico will send Jorge Campillo to the mound to start, while Australia counters with left-hander David Welch.
It's not likely Australia will duplicate its offensive outburst, especially after a grinding 5-4 loss to Cuba on Tuesday. But with clearly no loss of words from the pair of ball clubs, this meeting has the build of an epic battle.
"I thought we did very well [Tuesday]," Deeble said. "But we're very confident that we can beat Mexico [on Wednesday]. We want another shot at the Cubans after that."
Christopher Ramirez is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.