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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