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Dominican Republic beats Colombia 10-3 in 11 innings in WBC

Dominican Republic beats Colombia 10-3 in 11 innings in WBC

Posted by PanamericanWorld on March 12, 2017

Catcher Welington Castillo delivered the game’s two biggest plays, a two-RBI single in the 11th  and a sensational tag at the plate two innings earlier, as the Dominican Republic clinched a sweep of Pool C with a hard-fought victory over dogged Colombia.

Jean Segura’s bases-clearing double two batters after Castillo’s hit gave the defending champions extra breathing room in what wound up being a seven-run 11th. They had not enjoyed that luxury for most of the game, as first-time WBC participant Colombia once again went toe-to-toe with one of the game’s heavyweights.

With the game going into an 11th inning, the new rule that automatically puts runners on first and second was applied. Pinch-hitter Mel Rojas Jr. advanced them with a sacrifice bunt off reliever William Cuevas, who then walked Gregory Polanco intentionally before Castillo’s line single to left sent much of the crowd of 36,952 into a frenzy.

t was the 11th consecutive victory in this tournament for the DR (3-0), which earns a high seed in the second round in San Diego. The Dominicans may not have advanced if not for Castillo’s brilliant tag on pinch-runner Oscar Mercado, which preserved a 3-3 tie in the ninth and sent the game into extra innings.

Mercado was at third with one out when Reynaldo Rodriguez hit a liner to medium-deep left field, from where Jose Bautista made a strong throw that short-hopped Castillo. The veteran receiver gathered the ball in his mitt just as Mercado was sliding in head-first and applied the tag, drawing an emphatic out signal from plate umpire Dan Iassogna.

The Colombians protested vehemently – the call appeared to be correct, and replay review is not in effect – and Rodriguez was ejected after making contact with Iassogna.

Had Mercado been safe, the Colombians (1-2) would have won not just the game but the pool. As it is, their fate will depend on the outcome of the night game between the U.S. and Canada.

Jorge Alfaro’s solo homer off Fernando Rodney in the eighth inning tied the game 3-3 and put the Dominicans on their heels. They had led since the third inning and counted on their deep bullpen to preserve the victory. Colombia was able to chip away thanks to shut-down work from their relievers, who held the DR scoreless from the fourth inning until the 11th.

A two-run rally in the third, aided by shortstop Solano’s error, put the Dominicans ahead 3-1. Manny Machado continued to display his all-around brilliance with an RBI double in that inning and a number of outstanding defensive plays throughout the game, once starting a double play by ranging far to his right to snag a Giovanny Urshela hot shot.

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