The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 20, 2013

Dominicans rule diamond

SAN FRANCISCO — Cheers of “Dominicana! Dominicana!” rang out through the rain at AT&T Park all the way to the lively streets of Santo Domingo.

The Dominican Republic has its World Baseball Classic crown, at last.

Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run double in the first inning that held up, and the Dominicans capped a dominant, unbeaten run through the WBC with a 3-0 win against Puerto Rico for the championship Tuesday night.

“Tomorrow will be a national holiday,” said Moises Alou, the proud Dominican general manager. “It was a tremendous win.”

Robinson Cano earned MVP honors, Erick Aybar added an RBI double to back winner Samuel Deduno, and the demonstrative Dominican righty threw his arms into the air in delight after watching a run-saving defensive gem by center fielder Alejandro De Aza in a tough fifth.

The Dominican fans — fanaticos, indeed — didn’t let the Bay Area’s wet weather keep them from dancing in the stands, waving flags and tooting horns. Flags became makeshift ponchos.

It was fitting, too, perhaps, considering the World Series champion Giants clinched the NL pennant against the Cardinals in a downpour on this very field last fall.

Some 50,000 more supporters gathered to watch on televisions inside and outside of Estadio Quisqueya in the Dominican capital city.

“There will not be anybody watching any other channel — soap opera, news, nothing,” manager Tony Pena said before the game.

Now, the Dominicans get their long-awaited fiesta. A party they figured to have in 2009, when the Netherlands spoiled the plan by beating them twice for a stunning first-round exit.

After Fernando Rodney struck out Luis Figueroa to end it, the Dominicans rushed the mound — each player waving his own flag. Well, Rodney held up his lucky plantain that served him well for the second straight day. He won’t eat this platano, which he said “is going to be my second trophy.”

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