Puerto Rico edged the Netherlands 4-3 in an intense 11-inning World Baseball Classic semifinal showdown Monday night. An enthralling contest started with a bang, as Yadier Molina taught Jurickson Profar the value of minding his surroundings.
During the opening inning at Dodger Stadium, the infielder laced a single for the Netherlands. With the outfield throw directed home to keep Xander Bogaerts on third, Profar waved his arms toward his teammates.
As he celebrated, Molina fired a throw to first baseman T.J. Rivera, who tagged a stunned Profar for the inning's second out.
Wladimir Balentien promptly belted a two-run home run, but he wouldn't let Profar's mental lapse spoil the tournament's refreshing enthusiasm:
Yet the out proved pivotal for Puerto Rico, who saved a run because of the veteran catcher's savvy. As a result, the team took the bout into extras, where it won via an 11th-inning sacrifice fly from Eddie Rosario:
Puerto Rico will now face the winner of Tuesday night's semifinal between the United States and Japan in Wednesday's championship game.