WBC Results 3/16

The Domincan Republic became the first team to advance from the Western Pools when they defeated both team Italy and the United States in round two. Carlos Santana will be moving on to the semi-finals with the rest of the team after hitting two singles and moving an important runner to third in the top of the ninth. He has started every single game for the Dominican and played in almost every inning as well with just one at bat going to reserve catcher Francisco Pena. This is far more playing time than he would have gotten had he stayed in Goodyear with the Indians where he had been playing once every three games at most.

Alternate to the DR, team Italy was the first team to be eliminated from round two. In the match-up of the first game losers, Puerto Rico just eked out a win 4-3. Team Italy was winning 3-1 going into the bottom of the eighth when Indians utility man, Mike Aviles continued a rally, knocking in Carlos Beltran with a fielder's choice bringing the score to 3-2. Aviles then scored the tying run on a Luis Figueroa sacrifice fly. Former Indian, Andy Gonzalez knocked in the go ahead run with single immediately after, giving Puerto Rico a lead they would not relinquish. Another former Indian, Fernando Cabrera, picked up the save.

The final deciding game of round two featured the two 1-1 teams with the United States taking on Puerto Rico. Indians featured heavily in this game, although not all the way they would have liked to. Aviles knocked in the first run with a single in the first inning, then scored after another single later in the game. Giovanni Soto was the first Puerto Rican pitcher out of the bullpen and he got two outs, although he did give up a run as well after Joe Mauer hit a one out triple. Even worse for the wear was star reliever Vinnie Pestano, who came in first out of the American pen in relief of Ryan Vogelsong. With two outs already in the sixth, Vinnie allowed a single and two walks to walk in a run. Andy Gonzalez then finished him off with a two run double. With all that, current Indians were responsible for managing the winning team, scoring two of the runs and allowing four in what ended up being a 4-3 win for team Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico will now play the Dominican Republic to discover who will win top seeding going into the semi-finals. There, the two teams will face the Netherlands and Japan in the first clash between the Eastern and Western Pools.

Ryan Vogelsong

Ryan Vogelsong took the loss in team USA's final game.

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since its inception in 2011. He also writes for The Outside Corner and the Comeback and hosts the Tribe Time Now podcast. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians. Follow on twitter @BurningRiverBB