AFP – Jose Reyes smacked the go-ahead RBI single as the Dominican Republic rallied for a four-run fifth inning to beat the Netherlands 4-1 and advance to their first World Baseball Classic final.
The favoured Dominicans were looking for redemption in Monday’s semi-final against the Netherlands who beat them twice in the 2009 event, knocking them out of the tournament.
The Dominicans will play Puerto Rico in the championship game on Tuesday. Puerto Rico shocked two-time defending champion Japan 3-1 in the first semi-final on Sunday.
Dominican starter Edinson Volquez threw five innings, allowing just two hits, one run and striking out five batters in front of a crowd of 27,527 at AT&T Park. Volquez got help from four relievers who allowed just two hits over four innings.
Netherlands starter Diegomar Markwell allowed six hits, four runs and walked one in 4 2/3 innings.
Righthander Fernando Rodney got the final out of the game with a strikeout of Netherlands batter Jonathan Schoop, who got caught looking on an 81 mph changeup.
That touched off a celebration in the dugout and on the field as the Dominicans charged out to the mound to mob Rodney.
Some two hours before the game, the stands at AT&T Park were filled with Dominican supporters dressed in blue and white, waving the national flag and swaying back and forth to Merengue music.