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March 15, 2023 – Florida State League (FSL)Clearwater Threshers News Release

CLEARWATER, Fla. – When most fans talk about Phillies in the World Baseball Classic, the first players that come to mind will probably be guys like Trea Turner and Kyle Schwarber launching home runs for team USA, or Taijuan Walker striking out over half of the batters he faced in Mexico’s Tuesday night win over Great Britain. But aside from the big names on the major league roster, the Phillies sent six minor leaguers to the World Baseball Classic, including two former Threshers.

Perhaps the most notable performance from a Phillies prospect came from Rixon Wingrove of Australia. A Thresher in 2021 and 2022, Wingrove started every game for the Aussies in their best World Baseball Classic run to date, finishing second behind favorite Japan in Pool B before ultimately losing to Cuba 4-3 in their first Quarterfinal appearance in the nation’s history. Wingrove provided all the offense in the elimination contest, driving in all three runs for the Green and Gold, including a two-run blast in the sixth inning that put Australia within one.

Before pool play began on Wednesday, March 15th, Wingrove was tied for the fourth-most RBIs in the entire WBC with seven, trailing three major league bats including Shohei Ohtani. Wingrove’s 2021 teammate in Clearwater, Erubiel Armenta, made his debut in the classic on Tuesday night, following up one of the newest Phillies’ starters Taijuan Walker with a scoreless 0.2 innings in Mexico’s crucial victory over Great Britain in game three of Pool C play.

Two other Phillies minor league arms proved crucial for their countries in Pool C play on Tuesday night. In Mexico’s must-win game, Armenta’s teammate Jesus Cruz pitched a scoreless inning in the eighth in Mexico’s 2-1 victory over Great Britain. Signed by the Phillies from the rival Braves in the off-season, Cruz struck out two of the three batters he faced to earn a crucial hold for Mexico, who retook the lead in the seventh inning. Mexico earned their second victory of the Classic, setting up a win-and-in game against Canada on Wednesday afternoon.

Canada earned their second win of the Classic on the back of another Phillies prospect in Noah Skirrow. The 24-year-old right-hander led Canada’s shutout of Colombia in his World Baseball Classic debut, tossing 5.0 shutout frames with a walk, two hits and five strikeouts to earn the victory. A win against Mexico on Wednesday afternoon would advance…

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