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WBC 2017 Roundup 3/20: Puerto Rico advances, Xander heads back home

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Puerto Rico wins a thrilling semifinal matchup, partially thanks to dumb rules.

World Baseball Classic - Championship Round - Game 1 - Netherlands v Puerto Rico Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Puerto Rico 4, Netherlands 3

Puerto Rico

Mike Aviles: 0-1, 1 K

Carlos Correa: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB

Francisco Lindor: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 R

T.J. Rivera: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI

Edwin Diaz (W): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

Netherlands

Xander Bogaerts: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB

Wladimir Balentein: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

Andrelton Simmons: 2-5, 1 K, 1 CS

Loek Van Mil (L): 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

This was the matchup I was most hoping for throughout this whole tournament, as these two infields are just stupid. Carlos Correa, Javy Baez, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, Andrelton Simmons, Jonathan Schoop and Jurickson Profar being on the same field is just absurd. The game lived up to the hype, too, reaching extra innings after the two teams stayed neck-and-neck all night. Unfortunately, it was helped to the end by the dumb extra inning rules in which both teams start with runners on first and second to start each frame after the 10th. I understand why they do it in a preseason tournament, but it sucks all the fun out. Either way, Puerto Rico is a great team that absolutely deserves their finals berth. We’ll see who they play as the U.S. team takes on Japan on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Xander Bogaerts is out of the WBC and should be reporting to Sox camp shortly. Huzzah!