LINCOLN — Three former Saltdogs made their imprint on the 2013 World Baseball Classic, with one helping their country to a world championship and another leading their club to the semi-finals.
RHP Angel Castro (2010) played for the record-setting champion Dominican Republic team; INF Curt Smith (2011) hit .321 to lead his Netherlands club to the semi-finals; and RHP Alex Maestri (2011) earned a victory and posted a 1.23 ERA as a starting pitcher to guide the Italians to the second round.
Smith, 26, hit .321 with a home run, four runs scored, four RBI and five walks in eight games played as the starting first baseman for the Dutch squad. The Netherlands were eliminated by the Dominican Republic in the semi-final round Monday night at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Maestri, 27, made two starts for Team Italy, going 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA. The right-hander from Cesena allowed just six hits in 7 1/3 inning while striking out six and walking three.
Castro, 30, appeared in one game for the Dominicans, allowing two runs on one hit in 1 1/3 inning of relief. The Dominican Republic became the first team to navigate the WBC unbeaten at 8-0.
Smith, a native of Curacao, hit .335 with nine home runs and 48 RBI in 78 games for the 'Dogs in 2011. The former America East player of the year and St. Louis Cardinals farmhand signed with the Miami Marlins organization following his campaign in Lincoln. He hit .261 with nine home runs and 48 RBI in 96 games for Double-A Jacksonville of the Southern League in 2012.
Maestri went 8-6 with a 5.72 ERA in 20 starts for Lincoln in 2011. He went 4-4 with a 3.25 ERA to earn All-Star recognition for the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League. Maestri pitched for Orix Buffaloes of the Japan Pacific League in 2012, going 4-3 with a 2.17 ERA in eight starts.
Castro posted a record of 3-3 with a 3.16 ERA in six starts for the Saltdogs during the 2010 campaign. He spent the 2012 season pitching for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japan Pacific League.