It may have been the biggest hit of his career.
Mets Minor Leaguer Francisco Pena, son of Dominican Republic manager Tony Pena, came through with a huge single Saturday to aid his nation's cause. Pena came up in the bottom of the eighth inning and drove a two-out single to right field to give his team an insurance run in a 2-0 win over Puerto Rico.
Pena, a career .233 hitter in the Minor Leagues, batted .198 for Double-A Binghamton last year and .254 in a 41-game stint with Class A St. Lucie. But he validated his father's confidence by singling off Randy Fontanez, another Mets farmhand, to drive home Erick Aybar from third with the game's second run.
The Dominican Republic held Puerto Rico to just three hits, and it will advance to face the Kingdom of the Netherlands at AT&T Park on Monday on MLB Network and ESPN Deportes at 9 p.m. ET. Puerto Rico will be the second seed from Pool 2 and will have to face Japan without rest on Sunday night at 9 ET at AT&T Park.
Carlos Santana put the Dominican Republic ahead with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning, and Pena gave his countrymen some insurance with his single in the eighth. The 23-year-old backstop stayed in the game to catch and was there when the Dominicans closed it out.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.