Stunned twice by a pesky Netherlands team, the Dominican Republic is done at the World Baseball Classic.
Eugene Kingsale singled in the tying run and scored the game-winner in the 11th inning Tuesday night as the Netherlands rallied for a 2-1 victory over the heavily favored Dominicans in San Juan, Puerto Rico, earning a surprise spot in the second round.
After an error by first baseman Willy Aybar allowed the winning run to score, Netherlands players rushed out of the dugout and piled all over each other in a raucous celebration that resembled a World Series finale.
“This is a miracle. The Dominican Republic is one of the best teams in the world,” Netherlands manager Rod Delmonico said with tears in his eyes. “It is difficult to describe what took place. These kids have fought for three days. I have never had a team with this much passion.”
Jose Reyes, Robinson Cano and other Dominican stars slumped quietly in the dugout.
“With so many years in this game and in so many different leagues, when someone thinks they have seen it all, they end up being wrong,” Dominican Republic manager Felipe Alou said. “We have seen something happen that we never imagined. Not only did the Netherlands defeat us two times, they also played three great games.”
It was the second time in four days that a Netherlands squad made up of little-known players upset the Dominican Republic, considered one of the favorites coming into the 16-team tournament thanks to a roster filled with major league All-Stars.
Venezuela 10, Italy 1: Bobby Abreu and Miguel Cabrera hit consecutive long balls to start a four-homer outburst in the fifth inning that powered Venezuela to a victory over Italy in Toronto and a spot in the second round of the World Baseball Classic.
Jose Lopez added a two-run shot, Ramon Hernandez followed with a mammoth drive and Venezuela (2-1) eliminated Italy (1-2) from the tournament with its second win over the Italians in four days.
Venezuela will play the U.S. tonight to decide the winner of Group C. The U.S. won their previous matchup 15-6 on Sunday. Both teams begin second-round play Saturday in Miami.
Cuba 5, Australia 4: Yosbany Peraza belted a pinch-hit two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning to rally the Cubans (2-0) to a victory over the Aussies (1-1).