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Puerto Rico Is Moving On

Team Puerto Rico defeats Dominican Republic and advances to WBC Quarterfinals - Image Credit: World Baseball Classic/FOX Sports

NEW YORK– There were fans banging on drums, blowing horns, and even raising chairs inside of loanDepot Park on Wednesday night as Team Puerto Rico defeated the Dominican Republic by a final score of 5-2 in a win-or-go-home scenario.

To simply describe the atmosphere, imagine a baseball haven: 36,025 fans on their feet stomping, and screaming in hopes of their country coming out victorious. 

And to have the rivalry of Puerto Rico against the Dominican Republic under these circumstances in Miami, Florida… There was, and will be, no better scene in this year’s World Baseball Classic. 

Every half-inning between Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic included at least one moment worthy to include on the highlight reels – Provided below are a select few. 

Puerto Rico’s Christian Vázquez started off a four-run third inning with a solo blast. 

Dominican Republic’s superstar Juan Soto clobbered a deep shot to center field to minimize the deficit from 4-0 to 4-1.

The captain of Team Puerto Rico, Francisco Lindor followed up the action with an inside the park home run.

Dominican Republic’s ascending superstar Julio Rodríguez redeemed himself on the costly error by making a sensational diving play to rob an extra-base hit away from Javier Báez.  

Closer and flamethrower Edwin Díaz silenced Dominican Republic’s hopes on a comeback by retiring the side on strikeouts and completing the save for Puerto Rico to advance to the WBC Quarterfinals. 

Unfortunately, following the end of the game, as Puerto Rico began their celebration, Díaz suffered a right-knee injury in the scrum. 

“We were with high energy,” Puerto Rico’s Kiké Hernández said about the celebration. “I didn’t know what was going on, I was in the outfield. I celebrated with Eddie (Rosario) and when we got to the infield, we realized what was going on and I don’t know exactly what happened.”

He then mentioned how much of an impact Díaz has made to the team, Puerto Rico and all of baseball. 

“Obviously aside from being the best closer in the game right now, and being a huge part of this team, you know, Sugar is one of the glue guys in that clubhouse. He’s one of the really special human beings we got in that clubhouse. I mean, it sucks that — it doesn’t matter who it would have been, it would have sucked either way. But the fact that it was him, it’s a big blow in more ways than one.”

Edwin Díaz suffers right-knee injury during Puerto Rico’s celebration following their win over Dominican Republic – Image Credit: World Baseball Classic/FOX Sports

Yadier Molina, manager of Puerto Rico, said about Díaz’s injury: “If anything is going to happen, it will happen. Celebrations exist ever since I was born. It’s God’s will. I just hope that Edwin is going to be okay, that his family is okay and we are praying for him, for his family. But that’s God’s will.”


Puerto Rico (3-1) will face Mexico (3-1) in the WBC Quarterfinals on Friday March 17th at loanDepot Park with first pitch at 7:00pm ET and the broadcast on FOX.

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Robert Rizzo is a journalist and co-editor of Latino Sports


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