Legends On Deck

WBC: Puerto Rico Walks-Off Netherlands, Advance to Finals

The run has been one for the ages, as Puerto Rico needs one more win to finish off the World Baseball Classic with a perfect 8-0 record, matching the 2013 Dominican Republic championship team.

On Monday night at Dodgers Stadium and in front of hundreds of adoring Puerto Rican fans, they battled it out with Team Netherlands for 11 innings, before pulling out an amazing 4-3 walk-off victory and advancing to the finals on Wednesday against either Japan or USA.

Japan and the United States will face off on Tuesday night in their semi-final match.

The game started with a bang when Wladimir Balentien put the Dutch up early 2-0, with a monster blast to left field. But Puerto Rico, as they have done throughout the whole classic came back and tied the game at 2-2, when Carlos Correa hit a two-run home run of his own.

In the next frame, T.J. Rivera, took a 1-0 fastball and parked it over the left field wall giving Puerto Rico a 3-2 lead.

After the teams remained scoreless for two innings, the Netherlands added a run on a double from Shawn Zarraga, scoring Balentien who also doubled earlier in the inning.

The game remained tied as both teams couldn’t push a run across, sending the game into extra innings.

In the top of the 11th, with Netherlands runners placed on first and second, Puerto Rico worked themselves out of a bases loaded and one-out jam, when they turned their fourth double play of the night ending the inning.

In the bottom of the 11th, and PR given their chance as runners were placed on first and second. Yadier Molina placed a perfect sacrifice bunt down the third base line moving the runners to second and third. Then after an intentional walk to Javier Baez, Eddie Rosario hit a sacrifice fly to center fielder Jurickson Profar, who then fired towards home trying to nab Correa at the plate, but the throw was off to the right and Correa scored the winning run sending Team Puerto Rico to the finals.

An amazing run by Team Puerto Rico and still one more exciting game to be played.

World Baseball Classic Final just one day away.

David Conde
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