USA defeats Colombia, advances to face Venezuela in quarterfinals
Mike Trout had three hits and three RBIs to lead the United States past Colombia 3-2 in the final game of pool play at the World Baseball Classic.
With the win, Team USA clinched second place in Pool C and a spot in the quarterfinals, where the reigning champions will face Pool D winner Venezuela at LoanDepot Park in Miami on Saturday.
Trout's fifth-inning single put the Americans ahead for good.
"I just think he's one of the best players of all time at the end of the day," USA manager Mark DeRosa said of Trout, according to MLB.com's Jesse Borek.
"He was coming off 16, 17 at-bats in spring training, and no one is in midseason form like that, but I think some of these games that we played - Mexico woke us up. He had some great ABs in the Canada game. That bullet he hit to right to start it off was pretty special. He looks really good at the dish. He's just super confident in what he's able to do."
From there, relievers David Bednar, Jason Adam, Devin Williams, and Ryan Pressly shut down the plucky Colombian squad. DeRosa called his relievers a "conveyor belt of nasty stuff," according to Jenny Cavnar of AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.
The U.S. has now reached the quarterfinals in all five editions of the WBC.
The loss was extra painful for Colombia, as it relegated the nation to the qualifying tournaments in 2025. Colombia needed to win by three or four runs in order to automatically qualify for the 2026 WBC. The South American nation finished its tournament fifth in Pool C by virtue of losing the head-to-head tiebreaker with Great Britain.
The Brits, meanwhile, secured an automatic berth in 2026 thanks to the U.S. victory. Great Britain finished its first WBC with a 1-3 record.
The result also officially eliminated Canada, which lost to Mexico earlier in the day. Canada's odds of advancing to the quarterfinals were incredibly long, as it would have needed Colombia to beat the U.S. by a score of at least 12-10.