Yadier Molina, who transformed into Puerto Rico coach in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), led his country to the second round. On the other hand, the Dominican Republic, a strong candidate for the championship, faced the shocking result of being eliminated in the first round. 안전놀이터

Puerto Rico won 5-2 in the final match against Dominica in the final group D match of the ‘2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC)’ held at Londipo Park in Miami, Florida, USA on the 16th (Korean time).

Both teams had 2 wins and 1 loss in the group stage. Group D leaders Venezuela confirmed their progress to the second round by winning all four matches, so the losing team on that day could not advance to the second round due to the odds. It was literally a guillotine match.

Puerto Rico: Francisco Lindor (shortstop) – Quique Hernandez (center fielder) – MJ Melendez (right fielder) – Emmanuel Rivera (third baseman) – Javier Baez (second baseman) – Eddie Rosario (left fielder) – Christian Vazquez (designated hitter) – Bimael Machin (1st baseman)-Martin Maldonado (catcher), started as starting pitcher Fernando Cruz.

On the other hand, Dominica has Juan Soto (left fielder) – Julio Rodriguez (center fielder) – Manny Machado (third baseman) – Rafael Devers (designated hitter) – Elroy Jimenez (right fielder) – Wander Franco (shortstop) – Ketel Marte (second baseman) – Jay Mer Candelario (1st baseman)-Francisco Mejia (catcher) faced off with starting pitcher Johnny Cueto.

The first priority was Puerto Rico. In the top of the 3rd inning, he drove his opponent and succeeded in scoring a lot. Leading batter Vazquez hit a solo shot that went over the left wall to take a 1-0 lead. In the 1st and 2nd bases created by consecutive hits, Lindor and Hernandez’s 1 RBI and timely hit widened the score to 3-0. In the 1st, 1st and 3rd bases, Melendez’s grounder hit the home runner and ran away to 4-0.

Puerto Rico was immediately pursued. In the bottom of the third inning, Soto, the lead batter, hit a solo shot that went behind the center fielder, making it 4-1. In the fifth inning, both teams traded one point each. In the top of the 5th inning, with no runners out, center fielder Rodriguez was unable to catch the ball at once when Lindor hit a heavy hit. The ball rolled all the way to the warning track, and in the meantime, Lindor ran all the bases and scored, making it 5-1. On the other hand, in the bottom of the 5th inning, when Machado hit with the bases loaded, the runner on third base scored and the score was 5-2, but the team kept the victory by not allowing any more runs.

In Puerto Rico, starting pitcher Cruz played an active part in 1⅔ innings, 1 hit, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts and no runs. Yovani Moran (⅔ innings, 1 run) – Yaxel Rios (1 ⅔ innings, no run) – Alexis Deedes (1 inning, 1 run) – Nicolas Padilla (1 inning, no run) – Jorge Lopes (1 innings, no run) – Duane Underwood Jr. (1 inning scoreless)-Edwin Diaz (1 inning scoreless) also led the team to victory by tying up the opponent’s batting line.

In the other line, Lindor, Hernandez, and Melendez scored RBIs 1-3, revitalizing the team’s offense.

On the other hand, in Dominica, starter Cueto recorded 4 hits (1 home run), 4 walks, 2 strikeouts and 3 runs in 2 innings. Relief Pitcher Brian Abreu (1 inning, 1 run) – Rafael Montero (1 inning, no run) – Imi Garcia (1 inning, 1 run no run) – Diego Castillo (1⅔ innings, no run) – Camilo Taunt (1⅓ innings, no run) – Hector Neris (1 inning scoreless) also blocked the opponent’s lineup well, but the team’s defeat faded the light.

In the other line, Machado and Devers, who came out as the center hitters 3rd and 4th, were sluggish with no hits in 4 at bats. In particular, Machado lowered his head in the bottom of the 5th inning with a double hit in the direction of shortstop, second baseman, and first baseman with no bases loaded.

Meanwhile, coach Molina competed as a Puerto Rican player in the WBC in 2013 and 2017 and won two runner-ups. After retiring from the St. Louis Cardinals last year, he immediately transformed into a manager and led his country to the second round.

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