March 21, 2017 / 8:46 AM / 2 years ago

Baseball: Puerto Rico reach Classic final with win over Netherlands

(Reuters) - Puerto Rico made it to their second straight World Baseball Classic final on Monday with a 4-3 extra-innings win over the Netherlands at Dodger Stadium.

March 20, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Puerto Rico right fielder Eddie Rosario (17), first baseman T.J. Rivera (5) and third baseman Carlos Correa (1) celebrate the 4-3 victory against Netherlands during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Dodger Stadium. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Eddie Rosario’s sacrifice fly drove in Carlos Correa in the bottom of the 11th inning to seal the semi-final triumph and set up a decider against the United States or Japan, who square off in the other semi on Tuesday.

“We want to win it all, that’s our goal,” Correa said after scoring the winning run. “This is one of the best moments of my baseball career so far.

“Doing it for my country means everything to me.”

Correa opened the inning at second base and Enrique Hernandez was placed at first in a game played under international tiebreaker rules.

Yadier Molina’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners before Javier Baez was intentionally walked by Loek Van Mil (0-1).

Rosario hit the first pitch to send Puerto Rico to the title game for the second consecutive tournament after they fell to the Dominican Republic in 2013.

“Unfortunately, (the last time) didn’t go our way. (But), the fact that we were able to get this win today, I know Puerto Rico is celebrating and we’re excited for them,” said Carlos Beltran.

“The future is so bright for Puerto Rico.”

Netherlands outfielder Wladimir Balentien gave his team a 2-0 lead in the opening inning with a two-run homer off right-hander Jorge Lopez.

Correa responded for Puerto Rico in the bottom of the first with his third homer of the tournament to tie the score at 2-2.

T.J. Rivera gave Puerto Rico a 3-2 lead with a solo homer in the second inning, but the Netherlands tied it in the fifth on an RBI double from Shawn Zarraga.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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