- Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers MLB for ESPN.com.
PHOENIX — Team USA advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic with a 3-2 win over Colombia on Wednesday, tying Mexico for top honors in Pool C.
The U.S. will play Venezuela in Miami on Saturday after the latter won its bracket with a 4-0 record.
Team USA was led by stars Mookie Betts and Mike Trout in the clinching win. They combined to go 5-for-8 with Betts scoring twice and Trout driving in all three runs.
Trout is the first U.S. player to have a 3-hit, 3-RBIs game since his WBC manager, Mark DeRosa, did it against Venezuela in 2009, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The U.S. needed to win or essentially lose to Colombia by three or fewer runs to advance. The Americans were down 2-1 after three innings but erased that deficit when Trout singled home two runs in the fifth.
Six relievers followed U.S. starter Merrill Kelly, who pitched three innings, giving up four hits and the two runs. Team USA’s bullpen gave up just two hits over the final six innings as Ryan Pressly earned the save.
Both Mexico and the U.S. went 3-1 in pool play but Mexico emerged as the higher seed by virtue of beating Team USA on Sunday. Mexico will play Puerto Rico in another quarterfinal matchup on Friday.
The U.S. beat Great Britain, Canada and Colombia in Round 1.
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