The World Baseball Classic has begun, and two former Beavers are set to represent their country on the world stage. Infielder Joey Wong, who won a College World Series with OSU in 2007, will play shortstop for China and pitcher Sam Gaviglio, who played at OSU from 2009-2011, will represent Italy.
The World Baseball Classic was first played in 2006 as a way to keep international baseball competition alive after the IOC removed it from Olympic competition. The tournament features 16 countries competing over a two week span for world baseball supremacy. 2017 will mark the 4th installment of the competition previously won by Japan(2006, 2009) and the Dominican Republic(2013).
How It Works
The teams are broken up into four pools(A, B, C & D), each pool contains four team that will compete in a small regional Round Robin across the globe (Mexico, Japan, US, and South Korea). The winner and runner-up of each region will move on to one of two round robin semifinal pools(Located in Tokyo and San Diego) in which the winner and runner up will move on to the championship pool (Los Angeles).
The WBC Schedule can be found here
Note: China begins play versus Cuba tonight and Italy will take on Mexico on Thursday
How To Watch
MLB Networks will carry all games played in the US. Unfortunately that means that it will be hard to catch Wong or Gaviglio unless they make it to subsequent rounds.
Do Italy Or China Have A Chance?
Unfortunately for both countries it will be extremely difficult to make it past the first round. China has to battle baseball powers Cuba and Japan, while Italy meets up with Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Countries To Watch
Japan: Champions of 2006 and 2009, 3rd place in 2013
Dominican Republic: Champions of 2013
South Korea: Runner-up in 2009, 3rd place in 2006
Cuba: Runner-up in 2006
Puerto Rico: Runner-up in 2013
Venezuela: 3rd place 2009
USA: 4th place in 2009