Logan Bowles, USA TODAY Sports

RECAP: Dominican Republic Comes Up Big In Extras, Defeats Colombia

The Dominican Republic and Colombia play a classic before the Dominicans blow the game wide open in the 11th inning, securing top spot in Pool C.

In one inning, the Dominican Republic secured first place in Pool C and have advanced to round 2 in San Diego.

In a classic game through 10 innings, the Dominican Republic and Colombia battled back and forth. The Dominicans erupted for seven runs in the top of the 11th to dash the hopes of the Colombians. Both starters did well, keeping each team relatively at bay. Facing Colombian starter Nabil Crismatt, the Dominicans got things going early when Jose Bautista hit a sacrifice fly, bringing in Jean Segura, giving them a 1-0 lead. Colombia tied it up in the bottom half of the inning, against Wily Peralta when Giovanny Urshela singled in Reynaldo Rodriguez after he tripled. Both teams went down in order in the 2nd inning.

Manny Machado and Bautista both drove in runs in the 3rd inning, off of Crismatt, giving the Dominicans a 3-1 lead. That lead would stick until the 6th inning when Colombia dented the plate off a double from Mauricio Ramos, driving in Adrian Sanchez, cutting the Dominican lead to 3-2. The was turned on its head in the 8th when Colombian slugger Jorge Alfaro hit a homerun off Fernando Rodney, tying the game 3-3. After the Dominican Republic went down in order in the top of the 9th, Colombia had a chance to win Pool C with a walk-off win.

The first two Colombian hitters got on base. Donovan Solano grounded into a fielders choice, moving the game-winning run to third. On a 1-2 count, Reynaldo Rodriguez flew out to Jose Bautista in left field. Pinch runner Oscar Mercado tagged on the play and was thrown out at home. The throw from Bautista brought catcher Welington Castillo up the line and into the path of Mercado, tagging him in the process of the collision. The Colombian players went ballistic on home plate umpire Trip Gibson III. Both Rodriguez and Tito Palo were ejected during the confrontation. The game headed to extras tied at three.

The Dominican Republic threatened in the 10th, after a walk to Robinson Cano and a single by Bautista. With the go ahead run at third, Carlos Santana struck out swinging. Colombia went down in order in the bottom half of the inning. The new rule in the World Baseball Classic states that starting in the 11th inning, runners will be placed at first and second base to begin the inning. The 11th inning was where the action took place. The Dominicans struck for seven runs in that inning.

Mel Rojas Jr. put down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over. Colombia intentionally walked Gregory Polanco, loading the bases and opening up the chance of a double play. Welington Castillo stepped up and smoked a single to left field, driving in two runs, giving the Dominicans a 5-3 lead. Jonathan Villar walked on five pitches to load the bases once again. Jean Segura blew the game wide open with a bases clearing double to centerfield, extending the Dominican lead to 8-3. Another run scored on a fielding error on a Robinson Cano hit. The final run of the inning crossed the plate on a Carlos Santana line drive single. The seven run inning put the game well out of reach. Colombia could get nothing done in the bottom half, going down in order and ending their chances of winning Pool C.

With the victory, the Dominican Republic sealed their place in San Diego as the Pool C winners and giving the United States control of their destiny. A loss to Canada would throw the tiebreaker scenarios into a frenzy between Canada, Colombia and the United States. The Dominican Republic have shown the rest of the world they are determined to keep their WBC crown and have no plans relinquishing it.  

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