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OC Register: Mike Trout propels Team USA into World Baseball Classic quarterfinals


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PHOENIX — Angels star Mike Trout had three hits and three RBIs, and the United States used a stellar night from its deep bullpen to beat Colombia, 3-2, and advance to the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic.

Mexico and the U.S. both finished 3-1 in Group C to advance, but Mexico gets the top seed because it beat the U.S., 11-5, on Sunday. The Americans will face Group D winner Venezuela (4-0) on Saturday in Miami, while Mexico will face Group D runner-up Puerto Rico (3-1).

Trout, who had a first-inning triple among his hits, is the first U.S. player to have a three-hit, three-RBI game since Team USA manager Mark DeRosa did it against Venezuela in 2009, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Trout singled in the third, bringing home Dodgers star Mookie Betts and giving the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Colombia bounced back quickly, taking a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly by the Angels’ Gio Urshela and an RBI double from Reynaldo Rodriguez.

The U.S. needed to win or essentially lose to Colombia by three or fewer runs to advance, and Trout put the Americans ahead again in the fifth with a two-run single that scored Betts and fellow Dodger Will Smith.

Merrill Kelly gave up two runs on four hits in three innings for the Americans. Kelly then gave way to a parade of hard-throwing bullpen arms: Kendall Graveman, Daniel Bard, David Bednar, Jason Adam, Devin Williams and Ryan Pressly each threw a scoreless inning, giving up just two hits over the final six frames, to finish the win.

Colombia started the tournament with an upset victory over Mexico but then lost three straight to Canada, Great Britain and the U.S. The U.S. beat Great Britain, Canada and Colombia.

A crowd of 29,856 at Chase Field watched the game.

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