Two Pensacola Blue Wahoos players from this past season participated in the Qualifying Round of the World Baseball Classic between September 20-24, with outfielder Donald Lutz playing for Team Germany, while catcher Chris Berset was a member of Team Great Britain. Both played in the double elimination Qualifier 2 pool, which was hosted in Regensburg, Germany and also featured teams representing Canada and the Czech Republic.
Lutz and his squad advanced to the championship game of the Qualifying Round thanks to victories over the Czech Republic and Great Britain, but ultimately fell in the final contest to Canada. In his four games during the tournament, Lutz hit for a .308 average (4-13) with four runs, a double and two RBI.
In 40 games this past season for the Blue Wahoos, the left-handed slugger compiled a .242 mark, adding five homers and 15 RBI. Combined between High-A Bakersfield and Pensacola, Lutz led all Reds Minor Leaguers with 22 longballs.
Berset in his three games for Great Britain scored two runs, while also recording a double and an RBI. His club was eliminated by Germany 16-1, with Germany advancing to the final game of the tournament with the victory.
The catcher played in seven contests for the Blue Wahoos in their inaugural season, hitting at a .227 clip (5-22) with three runs scored. Berset also caught all nine innings of the first no-hitter in franchise history on June 16 against the Mobile BayBears at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.
Eight more teams will vie for their chance to qualify for the World Baseball Classic, with the first round beginning on March 2 in various locations around the world, including Japan, Taiwan and Puerto Rico along with the United States. The championship round will take place at AT&T Park in San Francisco, with Team Japan looking to defend their 2009 and 2006 titles.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.