In a night where runs were at a premium, Team USA's power bats came up big when it counted. With the Venezuelans leading 2-1 to start the eighth inning, Adam Jones hit a bomb that would tie the game and spark the dugout into enormous cheers. Later in the eighth inning, Eric Hosmer would hit a two run jack to give the Americans a 4-2 lead and they wouldn't look back.
In what was a pitcher's duel for the first half of the game, the Americans finally broke through. Felix Hernandez and Drew Smyly, who are teammates in Seattle took the mound as opponents Wednesday night. They did not disappoint. With both pitchers combining for 11 strikeouts, six hits and no earned runs in 9 and 2/3 innings, runs just weren't being scored. This meant the bullpen would be pivotal for both teams.
The matchup of the power bats of the USA against the bullpen of the Venezuelans proved to be the difference. The Americans sealed the comeback victory with two home runs off reliever Hector Rendon.
Not to be forgotten is the origins of one of the USA's heroes, Adam Jones. Jones is a native of San Diego and hadn't played here in March since 2003. Hosmer also has positive experiences in his San Diego visits. Last year, Hosmer was MVP of the All-Star Game.
What next for both teams?
Both teams remain in contention for a medal as single elimination has not yet begun. However, one can imagine that the Venezuelans are highly disappointed with the loss to the Americans as their history in of performing below expectations at the World Baseball Classic continue. There will be little time to recover though, as the Venezuelans have to get right back to work tonight against a powerhouse in the Dominican Republic.
This may not be the best timing for the Venezuelans either as the Dominican Republic is coming off their first loss since the 2009 WBC edition. This could be a troubling matchup as the Dominicans are surely motivated to get their game back on the right track.
The US will have a day off to enjoy their victory. Then the US will play Puerto Rico on Friday night. This will be another tough matchup particularly for the Americans as Puerto Rico seems to have that Olympic magic this year. Coming off a victory over the defending World Baseball Classic Champion Dominican Republic, one can only expect a riveting game between these two clubs.