Creole team 2006 had 3 future Cooperstown

A team that featured three Cooperstown Hall of Famers along with several Major League stars was not enough for the Dominican Republic to advance beyond a semifinal in the first version of the World Baseball Classic in 2006. .

But still, fourth place placed the Dominicans ahead of baseball powerhouses like the United States, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Canada.

The Dominican Republic was located in Group D, which they won undefeated, beating Venezuela (11-5), Italy (8-3) and Australia (6-4).

First round
The first match was on March 7 at the Disney’s Wide World Of Sports complex stadium in Orlando, Florida. David Ortiz (HOF) and Adrian Beltré (Futuro HOF) hit two home runs each and Bartolo Colón pitched three scoreless innings to score the win against the boys.

The next day the victims were the Italians who suffered homers from Beltré, Albert Pujols (Futuro HOF) and Moisés Alou. Odalís Pérez was the winning pitcher and Jorge Sosa pitched four scoreless innings of one hit and four strikeouts.

On March 10 it was the turn of the Australians who were punished by a two-lap double by Alberto Castillo.

Luis Polonia went 2-for-2 with an RBI. Daniel Cabrera won and Dámaso Marte made the save.

Second round
In the second round, those led by Manny Acta fell in Group 2 along with Cuba, Puerto Rico and Venezuela in San Juan.

The Puerto Ricans won 7-1 on March 12 thanks to five innings of a run by Javier Vásquez and three hits by both José Cruz Jr. (three RBIs) and Javier López (two runs scored). Marte was the defeated pitcher and Moisés went 2-for-4. Beltre hit his fourth home run of the contest.

The next day, the Cubans beat the Cubans 7-3 thanks to 4.2 scoreless innings by Pérez, a home run and two RBIs by Ortiz, a double and two RBIs by Miguel Tejada. Ronny Paulino went 2-for-2 with three walks, a double and scored.

On March 14, the Dominican Republic advanced to the semifinals with a 2-1 win over Venezuela thanks to a passed ball by catcher Ramón Hernández with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning. Daniel Cabrera pitched 4 scoreless innings with 7 strikeouts. Miguel Batista got one out and was the winning pitcher with a save for Duaner Sánchez. Plácido Polanco went 3-for-4 with a run scored and Moisés went 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Petco Park in San Diego was the venue for the semifinal in which the Cubans lost 3-1 to the Cubans, who had a relief of 38-year-old veteran pitcher Pedro Luis Lazo, who in 4.2 innings did not give up laps with 5 hits , a walk and three strikeouts. Colón threw six scoreless innings and Pérez charged with the setback. Polanco and Tejeda had a couple of hits each.

Japan beat South Korea 6-0 in the other semifinal and beat Cuba 10-6 in the final to be crowned champions.

the roster
Receivers: Ronny Paulino, Alberto Castillo and Juan Brito. Infielders: Plácido Polanco, Ronnie Belliard, Adrian Beltré, Miguel Tejada, Albert Pujols, José Reyes, David Ortiz, Alfonso Soriano and Pedro Feliz. Outfielders: Luis Polonia, Wily Mo Peña, Moisés Alou, Juan Encarnación and Willy Taveras. Pitchers: Julián Tavárez, Duaner Sánchez, Fernando Rodney, Eude Brito, Bartolo Colón, Daniel Cabrera, Jorge Sosa, Francisco Liriano, Salomón Torres, Odalís Pérez, Robinson Tejeda, Miguel Batista and Dámaso Marte.

The best
Beltré, Colón and Cabrera were the most outstanding. Third baseman Beltré was selected as an All-Star with a .300 (20-6) batting percentage with four home runs, nine RBIs and four runs scored. Colon finished with a 1-0 mark and a 0.64 earned run percentage. In 3 games he worked 14 innings, gave up an earned run and 13 hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.

Cabrera (1-0, 1.23) started two games and in 7.1 innings, he allowed 3 hits, an earned run with 9 strikeouts and two walks.

Polanco hit .500 with four runs, Alou hit .333 with a home run, four runs and three RBIs, Tejada hit .292 with three doubles, 4 runs and three RBIs and Pujols went 6-for-21 (.286) with a home run , three RBIs and five runs scored.

Sanchez and Fernando Rodney had 0.00 ERA with one save each. Jorge Sosa (1.50) struck out six in six innings and Francisco Liriano (1.69) struck out eight in 5.1 innings.

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