The final slot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic semifinals will be decided Saturday when Team USA faces the defending 2013 champs Dominican Republic in a game that will stream live from San Diego — with the winner moving on to the final four in Los Angeles, while players from the losing team will head back to their regular spring training camps with various Major and Minor League clubs.
Pool E play in Tokyo, Japan, wrapped up earlier in the week, with Japan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands taking the top two slots and advancing to the WBC semifinals, while Cuba and this year’s “Cinderella” team of the tournament, Israel, going home.
In San Diego’s Pool F, Venezuela lost their first two games, meaning that they are eliminated, while Puerto Rico remained undefeated in the tournament heading into their Saturday afternoon contest against the Venezuelans, meaning that regardless of who won that game, Puerto Rico clinched the third semifinal place and will face Netherlands at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Monday.
That leaves the final spot reserved for the winner of the USA vs. Dominican Republic showdown — a rematch of their memorable Pool A matchup in Miami on March 11, when the Dominicans stormed back from a 5-0 deficit in the sixth inning to win 7-5 as both Nelson Cruz and Starling Marte homered in the bottom of the eighth off Cleveland Indians bullpen ace Andrew Miller.
The winner on Saturday finishes Pool F at 2-1, which will be enough to advance to the semifinals.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the USA vs. Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic Pool F finale, with the winner advancing and the loser going home, see the streaming information at the bottom of this page. Game time is set for 7 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time at Petco Park in San Diego, California, 10 p.m. Eastern Time, on Saturday, March 18.
Danny Duffy of the Kansas City Royals makes his second start for Team USA, after a sparkling outing against Canada on March 12. In that game, Duffy hurled four shutout innings allowing just two hits while striking out seven and walking none.
Ervin Santana, a 12-year Major League veteran, makes his WBC debut, getting the start for the Dominican Republic. Santana is coming off a solid season with the Minnesota Twins in 2016 in which, despite a 7-11 won-lost record, he posted a respectable 3.38 ERA and a 1.219 Walks plus Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP) average, striking out 149 against 53 walks in 181 1/3 innings.
Watch a preview of the USA v.s Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic elimination game from ESPN in the video below.
To watch the USA vs. Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic Round Two do-or-die finale for both teams live stream from 42,000-seat Petco Park in San Diego, go to the MLB Network site at this link. The free live stream requires login credentials from a cable or satellite TV provider. But there are two ways to watch the game even without cable login credentials — including a free, legal option.
To watch the World Baseball Classic game live stream for free, sign up for a seven-day free trial of the DirecTV Now online TV package, which can be found by clicking on this link. While providing credit card information will be required, cancelling the package before the seven-day free trial expires will prevent any charges, allowing fans to watch the Venezuela vs. USA World Baseball Classic Round Two opening game stream live without charges.
Fans who purchase a subscription to MLB.TV will also be able to watch USA vs. Dominican Republic and all remaining World Baseball Classic games stream live online. Go to this link to explore the MLB.TV option.
A Spanish-language live stream of the USA vs. Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic elimination matchup is available via WatchESPN at this link, or by downloading the WatchESPN app for mobile devices.
[Featured Image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]