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P.R. commanding Pool D, but Italy can turn tables

If Italians manage upset, Mexico-Venezuela game holds key
MLB.com

Sunday could be a wild finish in Pool D of the World Baseball Classic if Italy can pull off an upset of Puerto Rico at Estadio Charros de Jalisco.

Undefeated Puerto Rico begins Pool D action by facing Italy (1-1) at 3:30 p.m. ET. If the Puerto Ricans win, they'll advance to the second round with an undefeated record.

Sunday could be a wild finish in Pool D of the World Baseball Classic if Italy can pull off an upset of Puerto Rico at Estadio Charros de Jalisco.

Undefeated Puerto Rico begins Pool D action by facing Italy (1-1) at 3:30 p.m. ET. If the Puerto Ricans win, they'll advance to the second round with an undefeated record.

:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

But if Italy defeats P.R., all eyes will be glued to to the nightcap between Mexico (0-2) and Venezuela (1-1) at 10 p.m. If Mexico follows an Italian win with one of its own, Italy and Puerto Rico advance to the second round. But a Venezuelan victory would create a three-way tie with Italy, Venezuela and Puerto Rico all 2-1.

Here are the tiebreaker rules:

• The first tiebreaker considers each team's runs allowed per inning of defense played (including partial innings), only in games against the other two teams that are tied.

• If necessary, the second tiebreaker is the same as the first, except only earned runs are counted.

• If there is still a tie, the relevant teams then would be ranked in order of highest batting average -- again considering only contests played against each other.

• Finally, the last resort would be a drawing of lots, conducted by World Baseball Classic, Inc.

If Puerto Rico and Mexico both win, however, Puerto Rico and Venezuela will advance.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com.

Mexico, Puerto Rico