Carlos Alcaraz reaches first grand slam semifinal after marathon, late-night finish against Jannik Sinner
In a marathon, late-night final against Jannik Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz came out of the blocks flying. In his first at-bat after seven hours and 23 minutes of near darkness, Alcaraz hit a grand slam that gave Venezuela four seeds that were in the top eight, including number one-ranked Sinner.
Carlos Alcaraz vs. Jannik Sinner: Round 3
Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner play Friday at the AT&T Center.
In the fifth inning, Alcaraz broke the sixth-inning tie with a grand slam off Sinner. Later, Alcaraz hit a two-run, opposite-field homer, his first since the day he pitched for the U.S. team in the Olympics. He followed that with the game-winning grand slam, his 34th of the 2017 season, to take Venezuela to a 1-0 series lead.
In the seventh, Venezuela left-hander Luis Castillo, having thrown 71 pitches, retired the first 11 batters to earn the victory in his first Major League start. He gave up eight hits in the game, with three of them coming in the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, Venezuela’s Luis Castillo gets the win against Carlos Alcaraz.
Venezuela will meet in the semifinal round of the World Baseball Classic. The WBC is in its second year and was last held in the United States in 2017 when Team USA defeated Team Dominican.
Venezuela defeated the Dominican Republic 5-0 in their opening game, with most of the run coming in the third when Dominican closer Sergio Romo struck out 13 of Venezuela’s 17 without recording an out. His team had a runner on third and one out and had the batter trying to score.
In the fourth, Venezuela’s Carlos Alcaraz blasted a single to right-center. In the ninth, Venezuela loaded the bases with one out. Sinner struck out on