Team Dominican Republic might have had to play a tiebreaker for the right to advance from Pool C in the World Baseball Classic if not for Jose Bautista‘s game-saving throw home in the bottom of the ninth inning against Team Colombia.
With the game tied 3-3, Colombia threatened by putting its first two runners on base against reliever Hansel Robles, as Jhonatan Solano singled and Tito Polo was hit by a pitch. Donovan Solano hit a ground ball which allowed pinch-runner Oscar Mercado to advance to third base, though Polo was forced out at second. Solano reached safely as well. The next batter, Reynaldo Rodriguez, lined a 1-2 fastball to Bautista in left field. Bautista fired home to catcher Welington Castillo, who scooped up the two-hop throw and applied the tag to Mercado for the final out of the inning.
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Team Colombia was understandably upset about the results, but video shows home plate umpire Tripp Gibson made the right call. He ejected Polo and Rodriguez, who argued the call. Gibson had what many reasonable people would describe as a quick hook, given the weight of the moment.
The D.R. would go on to win 10-3 in 11 innings. The team went undefeated in all three games and now has moved on to Pool F in the next round.