After losing to the US in the first game of the second round, Team Puerto Rico had to take the hard road to get to the championship round, facing Italy then the US again in two elimination matches. After two hard fought wins, they are headed to San Francisco and the championship round.
The Puerto Ricans took the lead early last night and never relinquished it. A string of singles gave them a one run lead in the first and that was the difference through the first five innings. Nelson Figueroa threw six innings of two-hit baseball, striking out two and walking one in an inspired WBC performance. His team gave him some breathing room in the top of the sixth adding three two-out runs to put the score at 4-0.
The US team battle back, however, getting a run in the seventh as Giancarlo Stanton's line drive brought in Joe Mauer. In the eighth, Ryan Bruan added a run with an RBI double. Joe Mauer then drew a walk to load the bases and after a Stanton pop up, Ben Zobrist drove in a run with a walk of his own to bring team USA to within a run. J.C. Romero entered the game to get Puerto Rico the third out of the inning, however, and the lefty stuck around to put away the US in the ninth, with two strikeouts.
Puerto Rico now plays the Dominican Republic to determine seeding in the Championship round.
All World Baseball Classic Scores:
Puerto Rico 4, USA 3
Chinese Taipei 0-2
Dominican Republic 2-0
Puerto Rico 2-1
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