USA defeats Dominican Republic, advances to Super Round

USA defeats Dominican Republic, advances to Super Round
USA advanced to Tokyo as the second seed of Group A, with a record of 2-1 in the Opening Round. The Super Round will begin on 11 November.

In a win or go home game no. 2 ranked USA defeated no. 12 ranked Dominican Republic, 10-8, and clinched its ticket to the Super Round of the 2019 WBSC Premier12. USA’s powerful lineup was the key in today’s win, collecting 12 hits and four home runs to prevail against the Dominican team.

USA scored in the first five innings of the game. Mark Payton sent the third pitch of the game over the right field fence for a leadoff homer, giving USA the early lead and setting the tone for the game.

One inning later Jake Cronenworth connected its second hit of the Premier12, a dinger to right-center field to make it 2-0. The US lineup kept hurting Dominican starter Carlos Sano as Alec Bohm hit a line drive double to right field and Erik Kratz plated him with a single. The Dominican starter left the game after an infield hit by Xavier Edwards and was replaced by Bryan Valdez. But the left-handed pitcher walked Payton and gave up an RBI single to Jo Adell for the fourth run of the game.

The Dominican Republic answered in the bottom half of the second. With runners in scoring position, Edwin Espinal hit a 2-out, 2-RBI single to reduce the deficit to 4-2

However, the next inning Bohm crushed a fastball to the opposite field for a 3-run homer, the second of his three hits of the game, to take a five-run lead.

“He threw five straight balls, so I was just waiting for a mistake over the plate… he made a mistake and I didn’t miss it,” said the Bohm during the press conference.

However, in the bottom of the fifth, with the score 9-3, the Dominican Republic came back with four runs, including a three-run dinger by Charlie Valerio.

In the sixth, Brosius gave the ball to Wyatt Mills and the right hander threw two perfect innings to stop the Dominican offence.

Jo Adell hit a run scoring single to make it 10-7.

In the bottom of the ninth Brandon Dickson took the mount to protect a three-run lead in a save situation, and retired quickly the first two batters he faced. However, Otto Lopez singled, stole second base and scored on a single off an Alfredo Marte single. The dangerous Carlos Peguero stepped on the plate, as the potential tying run, but Dickson fanned Peguero to clinch USA's ticket to the Super Round.

“There’s no question we have the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark, we have some power on the team,” said Scott Brosius about his team.

“But for us to go, and do what we expect to do in the next round, we need to keep playing defence, and I like our pitching staff, even when we gave up a few runs here, in an offensive’s ballpark. We need to throw strikes and force the teams to swing the bats to beat us”.

USA finishes the Opening Round as Group A second place, and advance to Tokyo with a 1-0 record. The Dominican Republic (1-2) was eliminated.