Puerto Rico scored four runs in the first inning on the first six batters who hit safely against Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman and immediately jumped to a four-run lead that gave them the base for an eventual 6-5 win to clinch a spot in the Classic semifinals in Los Angeles.
From that first inning to the last strikeout in the bottom of the ninth Puerto Ricans everywhere were celebrating every major defensive and offensive play. This was especially true on the island that has been supporting the team since day one, including many in Puerto Rico coloring their hair blond just like the team has done.
With this win Puerto Rico automatically classifies to go to the finals in Los Angeles. This win against a USA team means much more than a game to many on the island that are presently facing one of the worst financial crisis in recent history.
Besides those in the island, many community of Puerto Ricans in the states and the large number of fans at Petco Park in San Diego went wild with emotions that were felt from coast to coast seeing that Puerto Rico scored so early and was holding back every attempt by the USA to stage a comeback.
Every social media platform from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and others were busy chatting and reporting on every play and inning. The #1 message going viral was on the USA – Puerto Rico game. There were jokes like President Trump saying that “if Puerto Rico wins he would remove Food Stamps from the island,” to nationalistic messages of pride and love for the island and the flag.
The fact is that the game was one of the most exciting games that both these teams had played. Both PR and the USA were tied 2 games apiece in World Baseball Classic history, but this game was the most important of all because a Puerto Rico win now sends them to the finals as a team that is undefeated in this 2017 classic.