The World Baseball Classic began last night and Pittsburgh Pirates minor league third baseman Stefan Welch provided Australia's only run with a seventh inning solo homer. Australia was shut down for the first six innings by free agent Chein-Ming Wang. Welch finished the day 1-for-3, as Australia dropped their opener 4-1 to Chinese Taipei.
Welch homered in the WBC opener
Since the initial rosters were announced, both Ivan De Jesus Jr and Russell Martin have dropped out of the tournament, leaving the Pirates with six players still in the Classic. De Jesus withdrew because he wanted to concentrate on trying to make the Pirates Opening Day roster, while Martin initially pulled out due to the fact he wanted to play shortstop, citing that he wasn't ready to catch all nine innings of the ga...
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John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.