US, Mexico Score Premier 12 Victories

(ATR) Home runs from the U.S. seal the deal in Guadalajara, one step on the way to the baseball tournament at the Tokyo Olympics

(ATR) The U.S. achieves an important victory in the first game of the WSBC Premier 12 in Guadalajara.

It was memorable for manager Scott Brosius who premiered as skipper in the 9-0 win over the Netherlands at the Charros de Jalisco stadium Saturday in Guadalajara.

Brosius, the Most Valuable Player in the 1998 World Series won by the Yankees, was satisfied with the result. He called it his "first step" in qualifying for the final round in Tokyo in two weeks..

"There are still two good teams ahead, like Mexico and the Dominican Republic," Brosius said.

These two squads would seem to be headed to the closing match in Guadalajara after their opening day victories.

Mexico beat Dominican Republic 6-1 in an evening game that was halted for rain in the sixth inning.

The other eight teams in the Premier 12 begin play in two groups, Tuesday one in Taiwan, Wednesday the other in Korea.

About 60 scouts from almost all MLB franchises were gathered behind home plate to observe the prospects for big league stardom.

"We will alsobe represented by other colleagues in the Taiwan and Seoul groups and of course in Tokyo," one of the Detroit Tigers' scouts told Around the Rings.

"I think that the Premier 12 will have a phenomenal success," says the WBSC president Riccardo Fraccari.

This is the second edition of the World Baseball Softball Confederation tournament. The 12 team tournament is the peak international tournament for the WBSC with more than $5 million in prize money for the teams of pro players. Two slots in the Tokyo Olympics are also on the line.

There will also be records with the contracts with the largest number of broadcasters and with the expansion in digital platforms such as Facebook and YouTube which carries live streams of the games.

For Fraccari this 2019 has been an unforgettable year for various reasons, a season in which he recalls that just 40 years ago he was the first foreign referee to act in a Cuban National Series.

"It was in a game of Industriales (the most emblematic club of Cuban baseball) ... I'm going to send you the newspaper clipping," says Fraccari to ATR's special envoy to Guadalajara.

Reported by Miguel Hernandez in Guadalajara.