Grand Slam * Stats & News
Updated: March 19, 2013
Scores & Statistics
Baseball Scores & Stats
Softball Women Scores & Stats
Softball Men Scores & Stats
Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Dominican Republic new Classic-champion
SAN FRANCISCO, California (USA) - The Dominican Republic is the new champion of the World Baseball Classic after beating Puerto Rico 3-0 in the final of the event. It was a Caribbean final between two passionate teams, which sometimes showed during the game. Puerto Rico reached the final by upsetting 2-time champion Japan, while the Dominicans advanced after winning against the Netherlands in its semi-final on Monday. With the win, the Dominican Republic won its eighth game and remained unbeaten, which is a first for the Classic.

And so, the Dominican Republic erased the embarassment of four years ago. During the second WBC, the Dominicans were beaten twice by the Netherlands to be eliminated in the First Round.

This year in the First Round, both teams played in Pool C that was played in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There, the Dominicans beat Puerto Rico 4-2 in the final game of the Pool to end in first place. Next, in the Second Round in Miami (USA), the Dominicans came from behind to beat Italy 5-4, while Puerto Rico eliminated the USA (4-3), which lost to the Dominicans the day before (3-1). In the following game, the Dominicans shutout Puerto Rico 2-0 to move into the semi-finals as winner of Pool 2. And so, today, both teams met each other for the third time in this event.

Earlier in the day, the Managers of both teams met with the umpires and officials of Major League Baseball. As (heavy) rain was expected for the evening, the Manager were informed that the game would be played, but could be stopped when it had become official after 4 1/2 or five innings when needed due to the rain or an unplayable field. Therefore, the Managers were instructed not to slow down the game unnecessarily.

The Dominican Republic struck early by scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. José Reyes led off with a double and moved on a sac-bunt by Erick Aybar. Hot-hitting Robinson Cano was then walked intentionally to set-up a force play, but Edwin Encarnacion followed with a double that brought in both runners.

In the third inning, Aybar singled with one out, but then was picked off first base in a close play by Hiram Burgos. In the next at bat, Hanley Ramirez singled with one out, but then two strikeouts followed.

For Puerto Rico, Angel Pagan led off the game with a single in the first inning, but was left behind. The team then was then retired in order in the second inning and left another runner in the third. In the fourth, Carlos Beltrán led off with a walk, but this time a double play followed.

In the meantime, it started to rain sometimes heavily from the third inning on.

Puerto Rico threatened to do something back in the top of the fifth inning. Alex Rios led off with a walk and advanced on a wild pitch. The mound and home plate area then had to be cleaned up due to the rain. After that was done, two flyouts followed, including a nice catch by leftfielder Alejandro De Aza on a line drive by Andy Gonzalez. Next, Jesus Feliciano walked. Hereafter, Angel Pagan, who played in his home stadium, as he plays for the San Francisco Giants, was the next batter, but he struckout. And so, the game was an official one, as the home team was leading after 4 1/2 innings.

Moments later, the Dominicans added its third run in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Alejandro De Aza singled on a bunt, advanced on a groundout and scored on a double by Erick Aybar. In the sixth, two Dominicans reached base with two outs, but no runs were added.

In the top of the seventh inning, Puerto Rico got another chance to score. Mike Aviles led off with a single and Alex Rios walked, which led to a pitching change. Pedro Strop took over and began with a strikeout. Next, he also struckout veteran Pedro Valdés, who had entered as a pinch-hitter. And that was probably the last at bat for the 39-year old veteran, who had announced his retirement. Valdés played professionally for 23 years, for 15 teams and in five countries. The inning ended with a pop-fly.

In the bottom of the 7th, it appeared that the Dominicans would add another run, as José Reyes tripled with one out. But he stranded at third base, as a pop-fly and groundout followed.

In the ninth inning, Fernando Rodney took the mound again for the Dominicans. He saw lead-off hitter Mike Aviles reach on an error, but then a pop-out and strikeout followed. Moments after Aviles advanced on a stolen base, Rodney struckout Luis Figueroa to end the game and earned his record-setting seventh save of the tournament.

The Domincans collected eight basehits, while its pitching held Puerto Rico to only three hits. And that was the strength for the Dominican Republic, its strong bullpen in combination with great hitting.

Shortly after the game, the Gold and Silver Medals were handed out to the players and staff of the two teams. Involved in handing out the medals were Riccardo Fraccari, the President of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and legendary Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who represented Major League Baseball. Next, Manager Tony Pena (who is the Bench Coach of the New York Yankees) was handed the WBC-Championship Trophy.

Robinson Cano, who set several WBC-records, was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament. He earlier already was named MVP of the Pools in which the Dominican Republic played in the First and Second Round.

(March 19)

Thank you for visiting this site.
Mail your suggestions and questions to
Copyright © 1997-2013 Marco Stoovelaar / Grand Slam * Stats & News.