Despite loss, Australia keeps it close
Offense absent again, but pitching makes statement
By Alyson Footer / MLB.com
• Box score
Australia's pitching was good in the sense that it allowed only two runs to cross the plate. But control was an issue. The staff combined to walk 13 batters, including a free pass to Omar Vizquel that forced in Venezuela's second run.
Knuckleballer Phil Brassington walked the first batter of the game, and the sellout crowd at Disney's Wide World of Sports likely had thoughts of the run mercy rule going into effect. But Brassington held Venezuela at bay, allowing just two hits and a run over four frames.
The loss effectively ends Australia's run in the World Baseball Classic. Australia will play the Dominican Republic on Friday night, but the game will bear no meaning in the Classic standings. The Dominicans advance to Round 2 no matter the outcome, but Australia, with two losses and no wins, will not.