The Brazilian National Baseball team will practice at SJC Long Island Sept. 16-18, as they prepare for this month’s World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Brooklyn.
Led by its manager, Hall of Fame Major Leaguer Barry Larkin, the team will work out at the Outdoor Field Complex (OFC) 9-11 a.m. and 2-6 p.m. on each of the three days. They will be accommodated with on-campus dining in the McGann Conference Room for lunch and dinner.
The Outdoor Field Complex, located a mile east of SJC Long Island’s Patchogue Campus, opened in 2012. A 24.8-acre, state-of-the-art facility, the OFC contains a number of outstanding venues. The Brazilian team will practice on Gregg Alfano Field, the home field of SJC Long Island’s baseball team. It features an advanced synthetic turf infield, a clay pitcher’s mound, a natural grass outfield, dugouts, a press box, bleachers for up to 300 people and specialized Musco Sports Lighting for night play.
The World Baseball Classic, founded in 2005, is the premier international baseball tournament featuring the most talented nations and players around the globe. The competition is one of two active tournaments run by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and is held every four years. Only 16 countries qualify for the tournament.
Brazil, Great Britain, Israel and Pakistan are the four teams competing to secure the 16th and final spot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic in March. The teams will face-off Sept. 22-25 in the Brooklyn Qualifier — playing six games in a modified double-elimination format — at MCU Park in Coney Island, the home of the New York Mets minor league affiliate Brooklyn Cyclones. The Qualifier opens Sept. 22 with a doubleheader showcasing Pakistan vs. Brazil and Great Britain vs. Israel.
Barry Larkin resumes his role as the Brazilian team manager for a second time. He is assisted by two-time MLB All-Star Steve Finley as Brazil’s hitting coach and 21-year MLB veteran LaTroy Hawkins as the team’s pitching coach. Larkin led Brazil to the nation’s first WBC appearance in 2013 after winning the Qualifier in Panama in November 2012. Nine members on the team’s 28-man roster played this year for minor league clubs associated with Major League teams.
The 2017 WBC in March will be comprised of two series of round robin games, and a single elimination semi-final and final round. The semifinals and final will be held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, March 20-22. The 15 countries already placed in the WBC tournament are Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela.