WBC 2017 Semis

LOS ANGELES — The World Baseball Classic 2017 — the top-tier WBSC National Team World Championship — began with 16 nations with games played in four different countries, and now the field has been narrowed to the final four at Dodger Stadium.

Three continents will be represented in semi-finals, namely, the Americas, Asia and Europe, with No. 1 Japan, No. 2 United States, No. 9 Netherlands and No. 12 Puerto Rico all advancing to Los Angeles.

A new baseball world champion will be crowned, as defending champions Dominican Republic fell in the quarterfinals.

The blockbuster World Baseball Classic is the biggest opportunity on the 2017 international calendar to earn WBSC Baseball World Ranking points, as the winning nation will be awarded 1,150 points.

Netherlands (4-2) vs. Puerto Rico (6-0)

The first semi-final features the Netherlands taking on undefeated Puerto Rico.

Highest Finish in WBC:

  • NED: 4th (2013)
  • PUR: 2nd (2013)

Starting pitchers:

  • NED: Rick Van den Hurk
  • PUR: Jorge Lopez

In the two meetings between these countries in the WBC, Puerto Rico has won both times, in 2006 and 2009.

However, the two countries’ Men’s National Teams last met at the inaugural PREMIER12 in November 2015, with the Netherlands winning, 11-7.

Japan (6-0) vs. United States (4-2)

A classic clash between the top two nations in the world will take place when Japan and the U.S. take the field together at Dodger Stadium, in what is sure to be an electric atmosphere. The U.S. and Japan have met twice in the Classic, in 2006, with the U.S. winning, 4-3, and 2009, with Japan winning, 9-4.

Highest Finish in WBC:

  • JPN: 1st (2006 and 2009)
  • USA: 4th (2009)

Starting pitchers:

  • JPN: TBA
  • USA: Tanner Roark

At the PREMIER12 2015, NPB stars Yoshimoto Tsutsugoh, Sho Nakata and Nobuhiro Matsuda accounted for all 10 RBI in Japan’s 10-2 victory over the U.S.  Current Japan ace Tomoyuki Sugano was the starting pitcher in that game.

The last meeting between the National Teams of these baseball powerhouses was in the Super Round of the U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016, with the U.S. winning, 5-2.

The U.S. defeated Japan, 2-1, in the world championship game to win the U-18 Baseball World Cup 2015, avenging a 3-0 opening round loss to Japan.