After Mexico’s heartbreaking extra-innings loss to Colombia on Saturday (March 11) night, Team Mexico was feeling the pressure. They immediately had to face USA’s vaunted lineup of MVP-calibre hitters on Sunday (March 12) night. And with the USA team largely picked to make it to the finals of the World Baseball Classic with a lineup considered one of the best in WBC history, who wouldn’t feel a little nervous? Basically, Mexico needed a hero. That’s where Joey Meneses comes in.
In the first inning, he immediately put Mexico on the board with a two-run blast to left field. This gave Mexico an early 2-0 lead.
Meneses, the pride of Culiacán, Mexico, was not even close to being done.
In the fourth inning, with Mexico up 4-1, Meneses sent the crowd into a frenzy with his second home run of the night. This three-run home run put Mexico up 7-1.
By that point, Meneses was fired up, giving fans one of the best bat flips of the competition so far. Mexico’s bench also made sure to don Meneses with the home run sombrero.
Needless to say, fans rooting for team Mexico were having a blast, even singing a rousing version of the classic Mexican folk song, “Cielito Lindo.”
Meneses had the game of his life, tallying three total hits, 5 RBI’s, and the two monster home runs. After the game, Meneses said that he tried to enjoy the moment according to USA Today. “It was just super emotional. I just tried to enjoy everything. And I enjoyed the hit, I see the people scream, and stand up from their seats. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
Joey Meneses’ story is one of perseverance.
He was signed as a free agent out of Mexico in 2011 and did not make his MLB debut until 2022. Spending a lot of time in the minor leagues and even playing overseas in Japan, Meneses endured quite the journey to make it to the Major Leagues for the Washington Nationals just a few short months ago. Sunday (March 12), he made history by having the game of his life against the “Dream Team” United States roster and helping Mexico win, 11-5.
Mexico takes on Great Britain on Tuesday (March 14) night on FS1.