YOKOHAMA (Japan) -- On Friday, the United States and Dominican Republic won wins thanks to Japanese players and other generations of Major League Baseball talent.
The U.S. defeated Olympic newcomers Israel 8-1 in their Tokyo debut game. Joe Ryan, 25, was a prospect who was traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Minnesota Twins. He struck out five batters in six innings and allowed only one home run.
Eddy Alvarez was a minor leaguer for the Miami Marlins. He was a silver medalist at speedskating during 2014 Games.
Tyler Austin, 29 years old, played at the same ballpark he calls home for the Japan League's Yokohama BayStars. He also scored a two-run homer as well as an RBI double.
The U.S. faces South Korea next, with the winner of Saturday’s match moving on to the quarterfinals.
An earlier victory was won by the Dominican Republic by former MLB players Melky Cabrera, Jose Bautista and Angel Sanchez, a Japanese league pitcher.
Cabrera (36), pushed a liner into the left-field wall to score the run in the fifth inning.
"It wasn’t just me. Cabrera stated that it was all of us. "All 24 are heroes."
Bautista, a 40-year-old left-fielder, stopped Mexico from tied the score in the sixth by throwing out a runner at his home.
Sanchez, who plays for Japan’s Yomiuri Giants combined with four relievers to make a four-hitter.
Adrian Gonzalez made four plate appearances in Mexico, including a single and walk.
Gonzalez stated, "Unfortunately we hit a lot more balls at them." "But, the way this whole format works is that we have control over our destiny."
Mexico can win 1-0 against Japan on Saturday and the hosts will be able to rest until Monday's quarterfinals. Mexico could win the title with a victory of two runs over Japan.
On Sunday, Israel will take on the bottom team of Japan, Mexico, and Dominican Republic.