The United States is part of the final four for the World Classic thanks to Trea Turner’s late-game exploits. The Phillies shortstop hit a game-winning grand slam to lift the American team over Venezuela in the eighth inning for a 9-7 win.
In the semifinals, Cuba awaits the Americans in Miami, while Japan and Mexico will meet in the other leg.
The Americans led a 7-5 deficit early with six outs and then blew a three-run lead in the fifth. Venezuelan reliever José Quijada closed a rally for the United States.
Venezuela had been on their way to what would already have been a huge win as they scored four runs in the fifth inning after Daniel Bard lost control and opened the door for Venezuela to take the lead.
However, they lost star second baseman José Altuve to a pitch hit to the hand in the process.
“We were the visiting team. We knew it would be crazy,” said United States coach Mark DeRosa.
“I think that’s what the WBC is all about. I spent 1999 in Caracas playing for the Leones and I enjoyed every second of it. Not only did it make me a better player and prepare me for the Major Leagues, but it gave me a better understanding of the passion of the Latin American baseball player,” he added.