Two former Aggies to play in World Baseball Classic

Feb. 9, 2017

DAVIS, Calif. -- Former UC Davis baseball standouts Ty Kelly and Daniel Descalso will compete in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, as the final rosters for the 16 competing countries were announced on Wednesday.

Kelly, a two-year letter winner for the Aggies from 2008-09, will represent Team Israel, while Descalso, who played three seasons at UC Davis from 2005-07, will compete on Team Italy. Pool play begins on March 6 in Seoul, South Korea (Pool A), Tokyo, Japan (Pool B), Miami, Florida (Pool C), and Jalisco, Mexico (Pool D).

The top two teams from Pool A and B will meet in a round-robin format in Tokyo, while the teams that emerge from Pool C and D will face one another at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif., from March 11-19. The four teams that emerge from the second round then head to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for the semifinals on March 20-21 and the championship game on March 22.

Every game of the tournament will be televised on the MLB Network with more information, including schedules, tickets, and team information, available online at

Kelly and Team Israel are grouped in Pool A and will open against host South Korea on March 6 in Seoul. Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands join them as the other two representatives in the group. This year's event will mark Israel's first appearance in the main tournament after competing in the qualifying round in 2013, but not advancing.

The fourth Aggie to appear in the Major Leagues -- and one of three to make their MLB debuts in 2016 -- Kelly made his debut with the New York Mets on May 24 against the Washington Nationals, making a start at third base. In 39 games overall, Kelly hit .241 with nine runs scored and seven runs driven in, collecting his first career high against the Chicago White Sox on May 30 and slugging his first career home run -- a two-run shot -- at Pittsburgh on June 8 as part of a 2-for-4 day against the Pirates.

Meanwhile, Descalso and Team Italy will compete in Pool D, and open against host Mexico on March 9 in Jalisco, Mexico, with Venezuela and Puerto Rico rounding out the group. The back-to-back European Champions and winners of 10 European titles overall, Italy advanced to the second round of the tournament in 2013 with wins over Mexico and Canada, while winning single games in both 2006 and 2009.

After spending the last two seasons with the Colorado Rockies, Descalso recently signed a one-year free agent deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Feb. 7. The owner of a World Series ring from his days as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011, the versatile seven-year Major League veteran hit .264 with a career-best eight home runs and 38 RBI in 99 games for the Rockies in 2016, while also posting a career bests in slugging (.424) and on-base (.349) percentage.

March 6-22, 2017

Pool Play
POOL A (Seoul, South Korea) -- Israel, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Netherlands
POOL B (Tokyo, Japan) -- Cuba, Japan, China, Australia
POOL C (Miami, Florida) -- Canada, Dominican Republic, Columbia, United States
POOL D (Jalisco, Mexico) -- Mexico, Italy, Venezuela, Puerto Rico

Second Round (Round Robin Format)
POOL E -- March 11-16: Winners & Runners-up from Pool A & B (Tokyo, Japan)
POOL F -- March 14-19: Winners & Runners-up from Pool C & D (San Diego, Calif.)

March 20 -- Pool F Winner vs. Pool E Runner-up (Los Angeles, Calif.)
March 21 -- Pool E Winner vs. Pool F Runner-up (Los Angeles, Calif.)

March 22 -- Semifinal #1 Winner vs. Semifinal #2 Winner (Los Angeles, Calif.)