Puerto Rico defeated the Dominican Republic and succeeded in advancing to the quarterfinals. ‘Championship candidate’ Dominican Republic was eliminated.
Puerto Rico won 5-2 in a confrontation with the Dominican안전놀이터 Republic in Group D in the first round of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) held at Londipo Park in Miami, Florida, on the 16th (Korean time).
Dominican Republic Juan Soto (left field) – Julio Rodriguez (center field) – Manny Machado (3 baseman) – Rafael Devers (designated hitter) – Elroy Jimenez (right field field) – Wander Franco (shortstop) – Ketel Marte (2nd baseman) – Jay The batting line was organized in the order of Merc Candelario (first baseman) and Francisco Mejia (catcher). The starting pitcher was Johnny Cueto.
Puerto Rico: Francisco Lindor (shortstop) – Enrique Hernandez (center fielder) – MJ Melendez (right fielder) – Emmanuel Rivera (third baseman) – Javier Baez (second baseman) – Eddie Rosario (left fielder) – Cristian Vasquez (designated hitter) – Bimael Machin (1st baseman) and Martin Maldonado (catcher) scrambled. The starting pitcher was Fernando Cruz.
In Puerto Rico’s batting line, Lindor went 4 at-bats, 2 hits, 1 RBI, 2 runs, Hernandez went 4 at-bats, 2 hits, 1 RBI, and Vasquez went 4 at-bats, 1 hit (1 home run), 1 RBI, 1 run. The pitching staff was all out. Cruz (1⅔ innings) – Giovanni Moran (⅔ innings, 1 run) – Yaxel Rios (1⅔ innings) – Alexis Dias (1 innings, 1 run) – Nicolas Padilla (1 innings) – Jorge Lopez (1 innings) – Duane Underwood Jr. ( 1 inning)-Edwin Diaz (1 inning) blocked the Dominican Republic batting line.
Puerto Rico took the lead. In the top of the third inning, Vazquez hit Cueto’s 90.2 mile (approximately 145 km/h) four-seam fastball and crossed the left fence. Puerto Rico, ahead of them, continued to attack Cueto. Finished, Maldonado’s consecutive hits came out, and Lindor’s timely hit added one point. Then, Hernandez’s RBI hit hit the right time, and when Melendez hit the second baseman grounder, third base runner Lindor scored and took a 4-0 lead.
The Dominican Republic immediately followed suit. Soto, who started as the lead batter in the top of the 4th inning, hit Giovanni Moran’s 92 mph (approximately 148 km/h) four-seam fastball and crossed the wall in mid-month.
Puerto Rico added 1 point in the top of the 5th inning. Lindor hits in front of center fielder. Center fielder Rodriguez misjudged the position of the batted ball. He failed to catch the ball that one bounced in front of him and the ball fell backwards. Lindor started sprinting. The urgent Dominican Republic also made a mistake in the relay play, and Lindor dug into the home and scored.
The Dominican Republic had a chance to secure the bases in the bottom of the 5th inning with Mejia and Soto’s walk and Rodriguez’s hit. Machado entered the plate. However, Machado hit a double hit that led to shortstop, second baseman, and first baseman. In the meantime, Mejia came into the home.
The Dominican Republic needed to score points to advance to the second round, but were stopped by the Puerto Rican pitching staff. Puerto Rico’s Diaz, who took the mound in the bottom of the ninth inning, struck out all three batters and led the team to the quarterfinals.
The Dominican Republic was the favorite to win the tournament. However, the start was hampered by a 1-5 loss to Venezuela in the first match. They defeated Nicaragua and Israel, but lost to Puerto Rico and were eliminated in the first round.