Infielder Daniel Descalso ripped an RBI single to score Italian teammate John Andreoli for a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but his Team Italy couldn’t pull out a win-or-die tiebreaker game Monday, falling to Venezuela 4-3 in the first round of the World Baseball Classic.
Descalso, the Diamondbacks infielder, finished the day hitting 2-of-3 with a strikeout and a walk in the loss as Italy was eliminated after Venezuela rallied from a 2-1 deficit courtesy a three-run ninth inning.
Venezuela, with its roster including former D-backs Ender Inciarte and Martin Prado, advanced to face Team USA and Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt in the second round of pool play.
Those two teams and Puerto Rico join the Dominican Republic and D-backs closer Fernando Rodney in the San Diego pool of the tournament.
In the other second-round pool which began play on Monday — Japan, Netherlands, Israel and Cuba are in Tokyo — D-backs minor-leaguer Zach Borenstein went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Israel’s 12-2 loss to the Netherlands. Former Arizona infielder Didi Gregorius recorded five RBI for the Dutch.