On Wednesday, the United States won its first World Baseball Classic with an 8-0 rout of team Puerto Rico. Marcus Stroman pitched six innings of hitless ball to lead the U.S. to the victory.
The U.S. team placed it eagle statue mascot on the pitcher’s mound during their celebration, a blue cap hanging from one of its wings.
Eric Hosmer said that the feeling was different when you have USA on your chest. The first baseman, who plays for the Kansas City Royals, wanted to help take the U.S. back to the top of baseball worldwide and is ecstatic the team accomplished that.
For a sport that is considered America’s pastime, the United States has struggled since the WBC first started back in 2006. Twice, the U.S. lost during the second round and they were knocked out during the semifinals in 2009.
This year was different. Joe Torre the general manager of Team USA said the players came to do their best and it showed.
Jim Leyland, the Team USA manager accepted the winning trophy from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and said that the win was for all the men and women serving the country.
Following the final out, Team USA grouped together on the pitcher’s mound and was high-fiving while there was an explosion of fireworks high above center field. Some of the players then grabbed a U.S. flag and began circling the warning track waving the flag in celebration with their fans standing and cheering.
In the final, Team USA had 13 hits. During the tournament, the team finished 6-2 and won the championship at Dodger Stadium before a crowd of 51,565.
Fans from Puerto Rico saluted their players by giving them a standing ovation and the players clapped back thanking their fans for their support.
The loss by Puerto Rico was its first in eight games after previously outscoring 7 opponents by a combined 55-26. The U.S. territory has now finished second on two occasions having lost the final in 2013 to the Dominican Republic.
Stroman was awarded the MVP trophy for the tournament after his six strong innings in the final, which avenged his poor performance in the 6-5 loss the U.S. suffered during pool play to Puerto Rico.
The Toronto Blue Jays’ right-hander allowed one hit in his six-plus innings while striking out three and walking just one.