MIAMI—The World Baseball Classic has finished up at Marlins Park this weekend. The tournament brought together the United States, Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Canada. The Dominican Republic was the defending champions from the 2013 World Baseball Classic. The platano power had Marlins Park erupting this weekend and brought out some of the largest crowds the park has ever seen.
The real excitement for Dominican fans did not come until Saturday night against the United States. The Dominican were down by five-runs when Manny Machado started things off with a 435-foot, solo-shot to left center in the sixth inning. Nelson Cruz took Andrew Miller deep in the eighth inning with a three-run shot, followed by another homerun from Starling Marte. The Dominican Republic was able to collect 7 runs and 10 hits compared to the USA’s 5 runs and 8 hits.
The excitement from Saturday night’s game rolled right into Sunday’s day game. The Dominican Republic needed extra innings but was able to collect the win. The victory against Colombia helped seal their spot in Pool F.
Their dominating offense got the best of all three countries. The Dominican Republic was able to collect a total of 26 runs and 39 hits this weekend. The close to flawless defense and stellar pitching helped the Dominican prevent falling behind on any massive leads.
For manager Tony Pena, his 11-0 managing streak has been key but with that comes difficulties.
“Sometimes it is not that easy to lead a group of stars, such as the ones that I have in my hands. But as I tell all my guys, let’s enjoy this, I’ll try to get you to play,” Pena explained.
The United States was able to advance to the second round after claiming the victory against Canada Sunday night. Team USA claimed victory against Colombia after a walk-off RBI from outfielder Adam Jones. During the Saturday night game against the Dominican, the USA gave up a 5-0 lead. Sunday night for the States was a blowout, 8-0.
The Dominican Republic and United States will be heading to Petco Park in San Diego to battle it out in the second round. Pool F will begin on Tuesday. Both teams will be competing against Pool D winners and the runner-up.