MIAMI (AP) — Horns honked, percussion pulsed and school kids squealed. Miami can make quite a din when the Dominicans win.
The visiting team on the scoreboard, the Dominican Republic made itself at home by beating the United States 3-1 to earn a berth in the final round of the World Baseball Classic.
Pinch-hitter Erick Aybar singled home Nelson Cruz with the go-ahead run in the ninth for the Dominicans, who improved to 5-0. The Dominican Republic is assured of a spot in the semifinals beginning Sunday in San Francisco, where two-time defending champion Japan and the Netherlands have already advanced.
The United States must now play Puerto Rico on Friday night, with the winner earning a trip to San Francisco and the loser being eliminated.