Team USA defeated the Dominican Republic by a 3-1 score as part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics baseball tournament on Tuesday night. As a result, the Americans will now advance to play South Korea on Thursday with a spot in the gold medal game vs. Japan on the line.
Team USA jumped ahead early, staking out a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a two-run home run by Boston Red Sox first base prospect Triston Casas. Neither team scored again until the bottom of the fifth, when the Americans' advantage swelled to 3-0 thanks to a solo home run by Tyler Austin. (Austin had also scored as part of Casas' homer.)
On the pitching side of things, Team USA was paced by veteran southpaw Scott Kazmir. He delivered five shutout innings for the Americans, holding the Dominican Republican to just two hits and a walk. Kazmir struck out five of the 18 batters he faced and threw 80 pitches overall. The Americans then received four shutout innings from a combination of four relievers: Brandon Dickson, Scott McGough, Anthony Gose and David Robertson.
Robertson allowed the only run of the night, yielding a solo home run to Charlie Valerio with two outs in the ninth inning.
South Korea and Japan's game is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. EDT. As previously noted, the Americans will play the loser of that contest. Whichever team wins out of South Korea and Japan will advance to the gold medal game. Likewise, if the Americans can defeat the loser of that game, they'll have a chance to play for gold.
Were the Americans to lose against either South Korea or Japan, however, they'll have to once again play the Dominican Republic. That game would be for the right to claim the bronze medal.