Dominguez slugs three-run homer for second night in a row, pitchers twirl six-hitter in 8-2 win over Mexico
With the victory, Team USA (5-2) advances to the event's gold-medal game at 8 p.m. (Eastern time) Sept. 27. The Americans, riding a five-game winning streak after dropping their first two games, will meet the winner of the Canada-Korea contest for the gold. Canada (5-1) and Korea (4-2) will play Sept. 26 in the other medal round semifinal contest. The JNT, which handed Canada its only tournament loss (a 2-1 Team USA win on Sept. 20), will be appearing in a World Championship title game for the first time since the Americans finished second to Korea in the 2000 event in Edmonton, Canada. The JNT will be seeking its sixth world title. Its last crown came in 1999 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
"That's what we had planned and now here we are," JNT Head Coach Jason Hisey said about his team's goal to be in the event's gold-medal affair. "It wasn't the road (to the title game) that we thought it would be. It turned out to be a little more difficult than we anticipated. But sometimes that is a better for you."
Dominguez (INF; Lake Balboa, CA) and Alderson (RHP; Phoenix, AZ) each played big roles in Team USA's semifinal victory against Mexico (4-3), a team which had defeated the JNT, 3-0, in a pool-play contest that was called after 5.2 innings because of rain on Sept. 19. Dominguez, who broke open a scoreless game just one night earlier with a three-run homer in the Americans' 4-0 victory against two-time defending world champ Cuba, repeated his feat in the JNT's first at bat. After Mexico starter Carlos Garcia retired the first two hitters of the game, Tommy Medica (C; San Jose, CA) garnered an infield single and Mike Moustakas (OF-INF; Northridge, CA) drew a walk. That brought up Dominguez who worked the count to 3-2-just as he did on his big homer against Cuba. After fouling off a pitch, Dominguez deposited a Garcia fast ball over the left centerfield fence for a quick 3-0 lead. The JNT would never trail from there. The homer was the squad's fourth in the event.
"We were going to score a lot of runs so I just started things … it was just a matter of time," Dominguez said. "After starting the tournament 0-2, we got a little anxious about making the gold-medal game. But we defeated two pretty good teams in the pat two days to get here. I am looking forward to the game. I think it will be exciting."
Mexico scored a single run in each of the second and third innings against Team USA starter Neil Ramirez (RHP; Virginia Beach, VA) to close within 3-2. But, in the fourth inning, a two-out RBI double by designated hitter Daniel Elloriaga Matra (C; Coral Springs, FL) drove in Matt Newman (OF; Glendale, AZ) who had singled and moved to second base when Freddie Freeman (IF; Villa Park, CA) was hit by a pitch. That put the JNT back on top 4-2.
Ramirez, who struck out three and issued three walks while hitting a batter, preserved that lead in the bottom of the frame as he started an inning-ending 1-5-3 double play with two runners on board.
Team USA then added three unearned runs in the fifth to take a 7-2 lead. With two runners on board, a throwing error by Mexico first baseman Pablo Mercado allowed one JNT run to score. After Garcia was replaced on the mound by fellow lefthander Juan Oramas with runners second and third bases, Freeman delivered a key two-out, two run double off the base of the right centerfield fence.
With a five-run cushion, Hisey brought in Alderson to start the fifth inning. Alderson (1-0) retired the first seven hitters he faced before Mexico touched him for back-to-back singles with one out in the seventh. But the big righthander finished the inning by getting two of the eight strikeouts he recorded on the evening. He allowed just three hits and did not walk a batter.
"Alderson just had an incredible night," Hisey said. "We were hoping that he would finish the game. He's in the strike zone. He doesn't walk people."
After working a 1-2-3 eighth inning, Mexico put two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth. But Alderson's final strikeout and an infield grounder ended the contest.
Team USA had taken an 8-2 advantage with a run in the top half of the ninth. Greg Peavey's (RHP-OF; Vancouver, WA) slapped a two-out single to right field plate Newman who had singled and then stole second base.
The Americans finished with 10 hits. Dominguez, Medica, Newman and Elorriaga Matra notched two hits apiece.
USA 300 130 001 - 8 10 2
Mexico 011 000 000 - 2 6 1
Ramirez, Alderson (5) and Medica. Garcia, Oramas (5), Osuna (9) and Navarro.
HR: Dominguez (2). W: Alderson (1-0). L: Garcia (1-1).
Time: 2:56. Attendance: 300.
Opening Round of Medal Play Results
Mexico (4-2) def. Netherlands (3-3), 5-3 (game called in 8th inning because of rain)
Korea (4-2) def. Chinese Taipei (3-3), 1-0
Canada (5-1) def. Panama (2-4), 5-3
USA (4-2) def. Cuba (5-1), 4-0
Opening Round of Consolation Play Results
Italy (3-3) def. South Africa (0-6), 8-0
Australia (3-3) def. Spain (0-6), 3-1
Sept. 25 - Medal Round Semifinal Game
USA (5-2) def. Mexico (4-3), 8-2
Sept. 25 - Consolation Round Semifinal Result
Cuba (6-1) def. Netherlands (3-4), 8-0
Sept. 26 - Medal Round Semifinal Game
Korea (4-2) vs. Canada (5-1), 2 p.m.
Sept. 26 - Consolation Round Finals and Semifinals Schedule
Panama (2-4) vs. Chinese Taipei (3-3)
9th Place: Italy (3-3) vs. Australia (3-3)
11th Place: South Africa (0-6) vs. Spain (0-6)
Sept. 27 - Consolation Round Finals Schedule
5th Place: Cuba (6-1) vs. Panama-Chinese Taipei winner
7th Place: Netherlands (3-4) vs. Panama-Chinese Taipei loser
Sept. 27 - Medal Games (All times Eastern)
Gold: USA (5-2) vs. Korea-Canada winner, 8 p.m.
Bronze: Mexico (4-3) vs. Korea-Canada loser, 2 p.m.