The Dominican Republic is your new World Baseball Classic champion.
The island nation just defeated Puerto Rico 3-0, in what was a Caribbean showdown for the WBC championship at San Francisco's AT&T Park.
The Dominican Republic drew first blood right away in the bottom of the first inning. Jose Reyes led off with a double, high off the right field wall. Then, Erick Aybar laid a sacrifice bunt advancing Reyes to third base.
Puerto Rico walked WBC hits leader, Robinson Cano, with the intention of looking for a double play against cleanup hitter Edwin Encarnacion.
But Encarnacion made the Puerto Rican team strategy backfire. He hit a double to deep center field, scoring Reyes and Cano for the Dominican Republic's lead 2-0.
Puerto Rican starter Giancarlo Alvarado looked shaky and young Milwaukee Brewers prospect Hiram Burgos was sent to loosen up in the bullpen. Alvarado was able to retire the next two outs, but his night was done as Puerto Rico's manager didn't waste any time and Burgos came in for relief in the second inning.
The Dominican Republic scored its third run on the bottom of the fifth. Alejandro De Aza reached base after he laid down a bunt towards the third base line and beat out the throw to first. Then, Reyes hit a slow roller to second base and Irving Falu had a moment of indecision and decided to throw out Reyes at first, instead of the lead runner De Aza.
With De Aza in scoring position, Aybar hit a double down the line to right field, scoring De Aza easily, giving a 3-0 lead to the Dominicans.
Puerto Rico had its fair chances to score. The team went hitless in 11 at bats with runners in scoring position, leaving six runners in scoring position stranded.
It was another dominating performance for the Dominican Republic, who didn't allowed Puerto Rico to score another giant kill, after Puerto Rico had eliminated Venezuela, USA and Japan in the previous two rounds.
Dominican starting pitcher Samuel Deduno got the win after he struck out five in five scoreless innings, allowing two hits and walking three to finish with a 0.69 ERA for the tournament. The dominating Dominican bullpen took over where he left off in the sixth.
He was followed by Octavio Dotel (sixth), Pedro Strop (seventh), Santiago Casillas (eight) and "Mr. Untouchable", Fernando Rodney, closed out the ninth for his tournament-high seventh save.
New York Yankess star second basemen, Robinson Cano, earned tournament MVP honors. He finished his amazing Classic run batting .469 (15 for 32) with two home runs, six RBIs, six runs scored and two doubles. He had earned MVP honors in each of the first two rounds.
With this win, and the fact that they have 100 players in the major leagues, the Dominican Republic cements its position as the top baseball power in Latin America, and now probably the world.
The Dominican Republic went 8-0 in the tournament and became the first team to win the WBC unbeaten, beating Puerto Rico once in each round of the tournament.
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