Trailing by a run after six innings, South Africa struggled late, allowing 11 runs over the final three innings in a 14-3 loss to Mexico on Monday that ended its stay in the World Baseball Classic.
Mexico and South Africa face off in an elimination game for Pool B on Monday. South Africa lost, 8-1, to Cuba, while Team Mexico was upset, 17-7, by Australia on Sunday.
South Africa collected its lone run in the top ninth inning, far too late to put a dent in Cuba's showing on Sunday. The 8-1 loss puts South Africa in need of a win Monday night in order to remain alive in the Classic.
Anthony Phillips drove in Justin Lazarus in the eighth inning to get South Africa its only run in a 6-1 loss to the Oakland A's on Thursday.
Third baseman Johnathan Phillips stroked a two-run double to left against three-time All-Star closer Brian Fuentes and also singled home a run in South Africa's 13-6 exhibition loss to the Angels.
South Africa left the 2006 World Baseball Classic after being scorched in the frying pan by the United States. In the 2009 Classic, they will jump right into the fire -- against Cuba.
Eight international umpires from five countries are honing their skills at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in preparation for the World Baseball Classic.
World Baseball Classic schedule by venue
Most were not sure what to expect at the outset of the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006, but at the end of the tournament, even the most hardcore skeptics had to admit its overwhelming success.