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Meneses madness: Mexico stuns US 11-5 in World Baseball Classic

Mexico's Joey Meneses blasted two home runs to propel his team past the defending tournament champions during pool play.
Mexico's Joey Meneses celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run against the United States.
Posted at 11:30 AM, Mar 13, 2023

In a stunning upset, Mexico defeated the United States 11-5 in the World Baseball Classic at Chase Field in Phoenix Sunday night.

Mexico got the jolt it needed off of two home runs from Joey Meneses, including a three-run bomb in the fourth inning that brought the crowd of more than 47,000 mostly-Mexico fans to their feet. Meneses finished the game with five runs batted in.

The 30-year-old first basemen had a fairly quiet baseball career up until last season. 

Meneses spent 10 years in the minor leagues and overseas before emerging as an MLB slugger in 2022, blasting 13 homers for the Washington Nationals in just 222 plate appearances.

Mexico entered the match Sunday as a huge underdog against the U.S.

The Americans are second to only the Dominican Republic as having the best odds to take the international tournament title.

Baseball fans hold national flags of Cuba, Taiwan and Netherlands at a World Baseball Classic game.

World Baseball Classic returns after 6-year hiatus

The international tournament will feature 20 teams, up from 16 in previous years, and be played over a longer period of time to allow for more games.

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Here are the standings as of Monday morning:

Pool A - Taichung, Taiwan

*Cuba 2-2

*Italy 2-2

Netherlands 2-2

Panama 2-2

Chinese Taipei 2-2

Pool B - Tokyo

*Japan 4-0

*Australia 3-1

Korea 2-2

Czech Republic 1-3

China 0-4

Pool C - Phoenix

Canada 1-0

Colombia 1-0

Mexico 1-1

USA 1-1

Great Britain 0-2

Pool D - Miami

Venezuela 2-0

Israel 1-0

Puerto Rico 1-1

Dominican Republic 0-1

Nicaragua 0-2

* - Team has advanced to the quarterfinals

There are still some decisive games to be played this week before pool play wraps up.

The U.S. will likely have to win both of their two remaining games against Canada and Colombia in order to advance. 

Only the top two teams from each pool advance to the quarterfinals stage later this week.