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Team USA ready to jump in against Colombia

Archer to battle Quintana as Americans seek first World Baseball Classic title
MLB.com

The United States' long-awaited and hopeful march to glory begins Friday, when Team USA gets its fourth crack at the World Baseball Classic.

Team USA plays Colombia in its opener at Marlins Park at 6 p.m. ET on MLB.TV and MLB Network, the squad's first of three Pool C round-robin contests. The Americans have never finished higher than fourth in the Classic, yet they believe they have the talent to go the distance in '17.

The United States' long-awaited and hopeful march to glory begins Friday, when Team USA gets its fourth crack at the World Baseball Classic.

Team USA plays Colombia in its opener at Marlins Park at 6 p.m. ET on MLB.TV and MLB Network, the squad's first of three Pool C round-robin contests. The Americans have never finished higher than fourth in the Classic, yet they believe they have the talent to go the distance in '17.

:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

"Baseball is our national pastime, and the U.S. has never won this tournament. That's got to change," Team USA third baseman Nolan Arenado wrote in a recent piece for The Players' Tribune.

3 things to know about the game

• The pitching matchup features a pair of All-Stars -- USA's Chris Archer (9-19, 4.02 ERA in 2016) against Colombia's Jose Quintana (13-12, 3.20). Per WBC '17 regulations, neither can throw more than 65 pitches in the first round.

"It's an honor," Archer said of starting the Americans' opener. "I threw a couple live BPs and in a couple live games, and I'm ready."

• Team USA is 10-10 over the first three World Baseball Classics. This is Colombia's first appearance in baseball's premier international tournament, and it reached the final stage after going 3-0 in the Classic qualifier last March in Panama City, Panama.

• Jim Leyland, who ranks 15th on the all-time managerial wins list (1,769), will manage Team USA, succeeding Buck Martinez (2006), Davey Johnson ('09) and Joe Torre ('13).

The World Baseball Classic runs through March 22. In the U.S., games air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament is being distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

United States, Colombia