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Around The World: March 18, 2017 - USA takes down the Dominican Republic, advance to final round of World Baseball Classic

Team USA avenged their first round loss to the Dominican Republic with a victory that was even sweeter on Saturday night because their win eliminated the Dominican Republic from the tournament. The IBI's Arthur Kinney takes us Around the World to finalize the Final 4 of the tournament which kicks off on Tuesday...

Puerto Rico 13, Venezuela 2

Puerto Rico managed to beat Venezuela by a double-digit margin even without most of their starters in the lineup (PR did not win by Mercy rule because their lead did not reach ten runs until the ninth inning.  To win a game by such a large margin with many regulars resting up for their semifinal Monday against the Netherlands shows just how deep the Puerto Rican roster is.  While Venezuela was eliminated after a winless Second Round, the result is still far more respectable than failing to advance from a group which included Mexico and Italy.  The other big difference is that they qualify automatically for the 2021 WBC, which would not have happened if they came in last in Pool D.

Roberto Perez (Puerto Rico, C) - 1-5, 1 R - With the starters not playing for Puerto Rico in Saturday's meaningless game, Perez was the only Indian to play in Yesterday's matinee.  Perez had a decent day at the plate but was overshadowed by the rest of the lineup as Roberto was the only batter in the Puerto Rican lineup to not reach base twice yesterday.

United States 6, Dominican Republic 3

The United States eliminated the defending champions and advanced to the final four of the WBC in Los Angeles with last night's win.  While there were several notable performances from the American squad, Adam Jones' home run robbing catch in the seventh inning was the highlight of the evening. The Americans now move on to a semifinal on Tuesday against Japan, who won the first two Classics in 2006 and 2009.  The Dominicans bow out after a respectable showing in a Second Round group that would've made a pretty good final four.  One note that may not be a welcome one for those who dislike the WBC:  Like the First Round matchup between these two teams, Saturday's contest in San Diego was played in front of a packed ballpark (43,002 fans, to be precise).  There is clearly a demand for an international tournament featuring major leaguers, and not just outside the United States, as many claim.

Carlos Santana (Dominican Republic,1B) - 1-4, 1 RBI - Santana finishes his WBC with another one-hit effort.  He also drove in a run and grounded into a double play.  He finishes with a .364 average (8-for-22) with two extra-base hits (both doubles) and 3 RBI in this year's classic (played in all six of the Dominican Republic's games - all at first base).

STANDINGS

Pool F (Final)

Puerto Rico - 3-0 (CHAMPIONS)
United States - 2-1 (ADVANCES)
Dominican Republic - 1-2 (ELIMINATED)
Venezuela - 0-3 (ELIMINATED)

EXHIBITION SCORES

Chicago Cubs 6, Japan 4
Arizona Diamondbacks 12, Netherlands 5

Day 13, as well as the Second Round, of the WBC are now complete.  There will be no column tomorrow as the only game is an exhibition between Japan and the Dodgers. Come back Tuesday for a recap of the first semifinal between the Netherlands and Puerto Rico.


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