During the first semifinal of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Puerto Rico upset Japan by a score of 3-1. In the second semifinal, the Dominican Republic came back to defeat the Kingdom of the Netherlands by 4-1.
In turn, Puerto Rico will play the Dominican Republic in the perfect ending to the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
This will mark the third time that these two teams have played at the 2013 WBC. After starting out together in Pool C, they met in Pool 2 to determine which teams would play in the semifinals.
It appears as if the third time will be the charm as both sides attempt to secure bragging rights in the ultimate manner.
On March 10 Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic met for the first time. The Dominican Republic got on the board early, taking a 1-0 lead after Edward Encarnacion took an Orlando Roman pitch into left field for a one-out RBI.
During the bottom of the fourth, however, Puerto Rico struck.
After Alex Rios singled to start the inning, Cleveland Indians infielder Mike Aviles stepped up to the plate. Aviles took the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a two-run home run.
On the second pitch of the top of the fifth inning, however, Robinson Cano hit a 401-foot home run to tie it up at 2-2.
During the top of the sixth inning, Alejandro De Aza extended the lead to 3-2 with an RBI double. One inning later, Nelson Cruz made it 4-2 with an RBI groundout.
Fernando Rodney came on to close, threw a perfect ninth and the D.R. took the first battle between they and Puerto Rico.
On Mar. 16, these two teams met again. Orlando Roman and Wandy Rodriguez took the mound again and both threw marvelous games.
Unfortunately, Roman had a blemish on his evening by allowing a 401-foot home run to D.R. catcher Carlos Santana. Rodriguez, meanwhile, threw six scoreless innings for the Dominican Republic.
That was the theme of the evening.
Through seven full innings, the game remained at 1-0. Neither pitching staff was ready to give an inch, and neither batting order could break through outside of Santana's earlier home run.
During the bottom of the eighth inning, however, Francisco Pena drove in Erick Aybar to make it 2-0. That was the last run we'd see.
In a case of deja vu, Fernando Rodney came in to close out yet another victory for the D.R.
With all of this in mind, the stage has been set for a potentially classic battle. Both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have bragging rights on the line, as neither team wants to give up ground to their arch rival with the WBC title on the line.
The question is, how will this perfect ending be told?