“Expectations are still there”: Dominican Republic focuses on Olympic baseball bronze

“We will focus 100% on achieving the victory to win the bronze,” warned Dominican Republic manager Héctor Borg, after the 3×1 loss suffered by his team against the United States on Wednesday in the Tokyo-2020 baseball tournament, which put the Americans in the semifinals.

Japan and South Korea, owner of the last baseball gold medal awarded at the Olympic Games before the return of this sport to the program in Tokyo-2020 (Beijing-2008), will play this Wednesday the first semifinal starting at 19H00 (10H00 GMT).

The winner will play for the gold on Saturday and the loser will go on Thursday to the second semifinal against the United States.

The loser of the second semifinal will, also on Saturday, be the Dominican Republic’s opponent for bronze.

“The expectations are still there to win the bronze medal. Tomorrow we will be resting, we will take a day off, and the next day we will do a soft practice and we will focus 100% on achieving the victory to win the bronze and take that medal that our beautiful island, Dominican Republic, yearns for so much,” commented the helmsman of the Quisqueyana team in a press conference.

“We don’t need more motivation than to bring that medal to our country,” Borg added.

Home runs by Triston Casas and Austin Tyler and an excellent job by left-handed starter Scott Kazmir and the bullpen resulted in the victory of the United States over the Dominican Republic. Kazmir threw five episodes, accepting two hits and handing out five strikeouts and one walk and Brandon Dickson, Scott McGoucgh, Anthony Gose and David Robertson preserved the victory.

“They did a great job pitching (…). We have good hitters, power hitters, and they kept the ball in the field and prevented big hits,” said outfielder José Bautista.

Bautista and teammate Denyi Reyes, starter for the Dominicans against the United States, hope that the break will serve to take on the fight for the podium with a “fresh mind.”

“It’s about resting mentally. Put aside this defeat and come back with a fresh mind (…). There’s not going to be tomorrow and we’ll be playing for the bronze,” said the former major leaguer.

“There are two days of rest and we will be ready to give 100% that day and bring that bronze medal to the Dominican Republic,” added Reyes.

The Caribbean country has three medals so far in Tokyo-2020: two silver and one bronze.

Angel Sanchez could be the Dominican Republic’s starting pitcher on Saturday, with a good performance in the 1×0 victory over Mexico in the first round. He covered five innings that day, in which he allowed just a couple of hits, struck out one and gave up one pass.

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