x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dominican Republic sets up all-Caribbean World Baseball Classic final

Tony Pena's side beat the Netherlands 4-1 to set up tonight's showdown with Puerto Rico.

Fernando Rodney leads the Dominican Republic's celebrations after defeating Netherland in the semi-finals of the World Baseball Classic.
Fernando Rodney leads the Dominican Republic's celebrations after defeating Netherland in the semi-finals of the World Baseball Classic.

A salsa party was booked at the AT&T Park after the Dominican Republic beat the Netherlands 4-1 to set up an all-Caribbean clash against Puerto Rico in the final of the World Baseball Classic.

The favoured Dominicans were looking for redemption against Holland, who beat The Caribbean side twice in the 2009 event to knock them out of the tournament.

The Dominicans will now face Puerto Rico in the championship game tonight, following their shock win over two-time defending champion Japan on Sunday.

"It could be Puerto Rico, it could be the Dominicans but the Classic championship will belong to the Caribbean," said Tony Pena, the Dominican Republic manager, afterwards.

Dominican starter Edinson Volquez threw five innings, allowing just two hits, one run and striking out five batters in front of a crowd of 27,527 at AT&T Park. Volquez got help from four relievers who allowed just two hits over four innings.

Netherlands starter Diegomar Markwell allowed six hits, four runs and walked one in 4 2/3 innings.

Right-hander Fernando Rodney got the final out of the game with a strikeout of Netherlands batter Jonathan Schoop, who got caught looking on an 81mph change-up.

That touched off a celebration in the dugout and on the field as the Dominicans charged out to the mound to mob Rodney.

"When you're representing your country, and you're making your country proud of you, that's amazing," said Volquez.

"That's awesome. It's not something that you can do every day."

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