SAN DIEGO – Giancarlo Stanton hit a go-ahead two-run homer to help the United States beat the Dominican Republic 6-3 in the last second-round game in Pool F and advance to the World Baseball Classic semifinals.
“We beat a really good team. Our hats go off to them. They competed, they were a great team, and tonight we were the better team,” Team USA manager Jim Leyland said after Saturday night’s game at Petco Park in San Diego, California.
Team USA (2-1), which advanced to the four-team championship round for only the second time, finished in second place in Pool F.
“We did everything that we (could) to try to win the game, but they played better than us. We got a lot of opportunities to score runs and we didn’t get the job done, and they took every opportunity that they had to score runs and they did it,” Dominican starter Ervin Santana said.
The Dominican Republic was the defending World Baseball Classic champion.
Puerto Rico, which was the leader in Pool F with a 3-0 record, will take on the Netherlands on Monday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
Team USA will play Japan on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Japan and the Netherlands both advanced to the semifinals out of Pool E.
The winners of the semifinals will meet in the championship game on Wednesday night.