LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville Bats catcher, Chris Berset, will play in his second World Baseball Classic qualifier beginning Thursday, September 22 for Great Britain in Brooklyn, NY. You can watch the qualifier on MLB.com at 7:00 p.m.
He is coming off of his second full season with the Bats and played a career high 85 games, 84 of them dropping the signs for the pitcher. He also has played in a WBC qualifier before, back in 2012, but unfortunately, Great Britain did not qualify for the international tournament with some of the best players in the world.
Berset, who was born in Vienna, Virginia, will play for Great Britain, because of his mom's side of his family. "[Playing for Great Britain] means a great deal to me," said Berset. "I spent a lot of time over there as a kid with my grandparents and I get to represent my mom and my mom's side of the family."
This time around Berset and Great Britain will need to come out of a qualifier round with Israel, who they will play in the opener on Thursday night, Pakistan and Brazil. Brazil is being managed once again by former Cincinnati Reds' shortstop and MLB Hall of Famer, Barry Larkin.
Going into the opener on Thursday, Berset believes they will have a 50-50 shot of making it out of the qualifier. If they do make it to the World Baseball Classic, though, it will be a huge moment for the country of Great Britain and for baseball in the country. Berset, who owns a baseball complex in the U.S. would like to start one in Great Britain to bring the game to more people in his mom's home country.
Berset finished the season strongly for the Bats hitting .276 over his last 24 games driving in 14 runs and hitting one of his two home runs. The switch-hitter also hit .295 as a right-handed batter, compared to .223 as a left-handed batter during the 2016 campaign.