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AVIANO, Italy — The United States entry in the 2009 Baseball World Cup will play Mexico on Saturday night in Vicenza.

The American team, made up of minor-league players, was 3-0 in the second round entering Thursday night’s game against Taiwan in Turin. The U.S. is scheduled to face Australia in Piacenza on Friday before completing second-round play in Vicenza. The best four teams playing in Italy along with the top four playing in the Netherlands will advance to the third and final round.

The U.S. finished second to Venezuela in first-round play held in Regensburg, Germany. The American team hasn’t lost since falling 13-9 in 11 innings to Venezuela to open the international tournament. The U.S. finished off the first round with a 9-1 victory over Germany and an 8-0 win over China. It has continued that success in the second round with wins over Canada (8-0), Netherlands Antilles (11-1) and Japan (4-2).

U.S. pitchers have been dominant since the first game, but there’s been plenty of offense as well. First baseman Justin Smoak of the Texas Rangers organization and outfielder Jon Weber of the Tampa Bay Rays system are both hitting above .400.

Saturday’s game is set for 8 p.m. at Stadio Palladio, Via Bellini 59. Tickets cost 15 euros for adults and 7.50 for children 4 to 12. Hundreds of tickets were still available Thursday.


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