There was only one WBC game on Monday, but man was it a doozy. The Cinderella Dutch squad shocked Cuba for the second time in a week with a walk-off victory to seal a spot in the Championship Round.
Here's a breakdown of the early-morning thriller:
Netherlands 7 Cuba 6
The story of Monday's early morning rematch between the Dutch was a tale of pairs. Every time one side scored two runs, the other would respond with two runs of their own to tie the game back up. The Netherlands started the run of pairs in the bottom of the third with a sac fly from Andruw Jones and an RBI single from Curt Smith. The two sides then traded deuces for the next three half innings, leaving the score knotted at four through five innings.
Cuba then took its turn at starting the pairs game, scoring two in the top-half of the eighth on a single from Yasmany Tomas and a sac fly from Eriel Sanchez. Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons then tied the game one last time in the bottom-half of the eighth, driving a two-run blast into the Tokyo Dome seats in left.
After holding Cuba scoreless in the ninth, the Dutch team loaded the bases with one out and Kalian Sams came to the plate with the chance at being the hero. The outfielder connected on a fly ball to deep center, giving Andruw Jones more than enough time to score the winning run and send the Netherlands into the finals.
The Netherlands will take on Japan early Tuesday morning to determine seeding for the final round.
All World Baseball Classic Scores:
Netherlands 7, Cuba 6
1. Japan 2 - 0 (advances)
2. Netherlands 2 - 1 (advances)
3. Cuba 1 - 2 (eliminated)
4. Chinese Taipei 0 - 2 (eliminated)