World Baseball Classic

WBC 2017: Dutch will face Puerto Rico in semis

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Puerto Rico kept its unbeaten status as the team won the game vs the United States 6-5. With this win, the team has clinched the nr. one spot in group F in San Diego, thus securing a spot in the semis with a still perfect ride.

In the game vs the US, the Puerto Ricans took an early lead in the first inning. Six basehits in a row drove in four runs to give them, what appeared to be a commanding lead.

In the next innings, the US inched closer as they scored runs in the second, the fifth and the sixth inning. But in the bottom of the sixth inning, Puerto Rico scored, what appeared to be two insurance runs. After Javier Baez was hit by a pitch, Andrew Miller replaced Mychal Givens. Miller started with giving up a walk to Eddie Rosario before he retired the next two batters. But a throwing error by third baseman Nolan Arenado allowed Angel Pagan to reach first base safely and Javier Baez and Eddie Rosario to score two runs.

The United States rallied in the top of the ninth and scored two runs on Brandon Crawford’s (questionable) triple to left field, but eventually, the rally fell short and Puerto Rico stepped off the field as a victor.

The United States will face the defending champion, the Dominican Republic tonight and need a win to advance to the semis.

Thanks to this win, Puerto Rico has clinched first place as the WBC rules say if two teams finish at the same spot, the result of the game between the two is deciding.Now the team has beaten both the United States and the Dominican Republic, first place is secured. Finishing in first place, the Dominicans will face the runner-up of group E, the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

For the second time, the Dutch will face an unbeaten team in the semi-finals. In 2013, the Dutch faced an unbeaten team that turned out to become the champion, the Dominican Republic and lost 4-1.

Nevertheless, the Dutch are very confident. The team is hitting very well with a batting average of .324. Only Puerto Rico is hitting better as a team with an average of .326. The pitching, though not stellar with a few exceptions, has kept the team in the games that they have played so far.

In preparation for the game vs Puerto Rico on Monday night (Tuesday morning 2.00 AM Dutch time), the Dutch will play the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday. Apparently, the D-Backs take this game rather serious as manager Torey Lovullo is sending Zack Greinke to the mound. Manager of team Kingdom of the Netherlands will send Rob Cordemans to the mound.

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