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United States, Venezuela, Netherlands and Puerto Rico Advance to Round Two of World Baseball Classic

Tickets On Sale Now to Round Two Games at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, FL

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The stage is set for second round games of the 2009 World Baseball Classic to be played at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida, March 14-18, as the United States and Venezuela advance from Pool C in Toronto to face the Netherlands and Puerto Rico, the top two finishers from Pool D played in San Juan. The world's premier international baseball tournament, which began with the best players from 16 countries and territories, now has been pared down to eight teams competing for the chance to capture the 2009 World Baseball Classic championship.

Venezuela, who advanced to Round Two in 2006, will face the Netherlands, a team moving on to the second round for the first time in World Baseball Classic history. Puerto Rico, who has never played a World Baseball Classic game outside of Puerto Rico and has an all-time 6 - 0 record in Round One, will take on the United States. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Venezuela defeated Puerto Rico in Round Two, but neither country advanced to the Semi-Finals.

Tickets for Round Two games at Dolphin Stadium are on sale now and can be purchased online at and or by phone at 1-877-Marlins. Tickets are available individually and in strips consisting of one ticket to each of the six games played in Miami.

Two teams will emerge from Miami and head to historic Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, where the single-elimination Semi-Finals and Final will be played from March 21-23. Round Two winners from Miami will be matched up against the two teams advancing from second round games played at PETCO Park in San Diego, CA, which features the four teams advancing from Pool A (Tokyo) and Pool B (Mexico City).

The six double-elimination Round Two games in Miami will begin on Saturday, March 14, with Game 1 featuring Venezuela taking on the Netherlands at 1 PM (ET) followed by Puerto Rico vs. the United States at 8 PM (ET). Both games will be shown on the MLB Network in the United States.

The United States and Venezuela advanced from Pool C played at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada, which also included Canada and Italy. The competition in Toronto began with a crowd of 42,314 witnessing the United States' 6-5 victory over Canada and set a single-day merchandise sales record at the Rogers Centre for a non-World Series baseball event. The Netherlands and Puerto Rico advanced from Pool D held at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico and also included the Dominican Republic and Panama. Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan drew a sell-out crowd of 19,483 on March 9 for the game between Puerto Rico and the Netherlands, and duplicated the feat with 19,501 fans in attendance for a rematch between the teams in the Pool D championship game on March 11.

About World Baseball Classic, Inc.
World Baseball Classic, Inc. is a company created at the direction of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to operate the World Baseball Classic tournament. The tournament, which is sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), is supported by MLB, the MLBPA, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), their respective players associations and other leagues and players from around the world.

About the World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament, sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation, and features the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. In March 2006, 486 players (235 of them from MLB organizations) representing 16 teams from across the globe competed in the inaugural event. More than 740,000 fans from 48 states and 15 countries attended games (16 of which sold out) and millions more watched on TV as Team Japan was crowned the first-ever World Baseball Classic Champion. The inaugural tournament was broadcast by 48 media outlets in 10 languages to 205 countries and territories around the world. Media members representing 25 different nations attended the 39 games in seven host venues across three countries/territories. The upcoming World Baseball Classic will be played from March 5 - 23 and will again feature 16 of the greatest baseball-playing nations in the world. The tournament will be held every four years thereafter, with plans in place to expand the participant field beginning in 2013.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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