By Julian Guilarte
World Baseball Network
The Dominican Republic faced a do-or-die situation: to advance to the semi-finals of the Caribbean Series, they had to win against Curacao.
In a game that was tied at one apiece until the seventh inning, the Dominican Republic won 6-2 after a hard-fought game, pouring on the offense late.
The first run for the Dominican Republic came off an error from Curacao second baseman Jonathan Schoop in the first inning. Curacao’s first run came in the fourth when outfielder Sharon Schoop delivered an RBI single. Sharlon picked up his brother Jonathan’s error and the game was tied.
The Dominican Republic starting pitcher Domingo Robles went five innings, allowing one run and striking out two. The lefty Robles is a 24-year-old pitcher who is currently with the Texas Rangers double-a affiliate Frisco Rough Riders.
Curacao’s starting pitcher Nestor Molina was cruising until the seventh inning. He gave up an RBI double to second baseman Robinson Cano to give the Dominican Republic a 2-1 lead. He allowed a few more batters to reach and was pulled for relief pitcher Ryan Huntington.
The Dominican Republic pinch hit for designated hitter Henry Urritta with Rámon Hernández, and Hernández delivered a three-run home run that put the Dominican Republic up 5-1. Hernandez iced the game and Curacao was defeated after that moment.
Hernandez, 26, was signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014. He never made the majors, but reached their Double-A affiliate, the Jackson Generals. He hit four home runs in the winter leagues this season. Dominican Republic reliever Jerez Williams picked up the win pitching two scoreless innings.
Curacao is eliminated from the tournament with a 2-5 record. The Dominican Republic went to 4-3 and will move on to face Mexico in the semi-finals tomorrow. Mexico will be the home team and the top seed in the tournament. Venezuela will be the home team against Colombia in the other semi-final matchup. The Finals will take place on Friday along with the constellation game.
Colombia’s Vaqueros De Monteria will play Leones De Caracas at 6:30 p.m. EST Estadio De La Rinconada. Dominican Republic’s Tigres Del Licey, who yesterday beat Curacao 6-2 to punch their ticket as the fourth seed will meet Mexico at 2:30 p.m. EST at at Estadio Forum La Guaira. Every game of the 2023 Caribbean Series is available via ESPN Deportes and streamed online on ESPN+.
Friday, February 10
Caribbean Series Third Place Game & Championship Schedule
All games on ESPN Deportes.
Third Place Game – 2:30 p.m EST – Estadio De La Rinconada
Championship Game – 6:30 p.m EST – Estadio de la Rinconada