Dominican Republic Clinches Final Spot in Summer Olympics
The Dominican Republic is going back to the Olympics for the first time in 19 years.
Melky Cabrera hit a two-run homer and the Dominican Republic beat Venezuela, 8-5, in the championship game of the WBSC Final Qualifier on Saturday in Puebla, Mexico. The D.R. clinched its first berth to the Summer Olympics since 1992 and will join the United States, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Israel in this summer's Tokyo Games. Venezuela is eliminated.
The Dominicans fell behind, 3-0, after Giants prospect Diego Rincones hit a three-run homer for Venezuela in the second inning, but they quickly erased the deficit.
Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning and the Dominican Republic exploded for six runs in the fourth inning to take the lead for good. Diego Goris tied it with an RBI double, Ramon Torres followed with an RBI infield single to put the D.R in front and they piled on with an RBI single by Charlie Valerio and a two-run single by Gustavo Nuñez to make it 8-3.
Venezuela tried to rally and managed to push a run across in the seventh and the ninth, but ultimately came up short.
The Dominican Republic went undefeated in the Final Qualifier after finishing second to the United States in the Americas Qualifier. It beat Venezuela twice and the Netherlands once, scoring 22 runs in the three games.
The Dominican Republic finished 2-5 and in sixth place in the eight-team field the last time it made the Olympics in 1992, the first year baseball was an official medal spot.
This year's Olympics field will be comprised of only six teams. Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Israel, the United States and the Dominican Republic will now wait to find out their schedule and pool assignments for the upcoming Summer Games.