United States players celebrate en route to their routine 6-1 victory over Mexico ©Getty Images

United States dominated the second semi-final at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 here today, beating a lacklustre Mexico 6-1 in a game which struggled to match either the atmosphere or excitement levels of last night's opening last-four clash.

It was always going to be a tough ask to match the sellout crowd of 40,258 which attended the game involving hosts Japan yesterday, as well as the thrilling nature of a finale which saw arch-rivals South Korea score four unanswered runs in the top of the ninth inning to overcome a 3-0 deficit.

Even so, it was disappointing to see a sparse attendance which was officially around 5,105 but never appeared even that high at any one time.

Mexico, the tournament's shock team who beat Pan American Games champions Canada 4-3 in a thrilling quarter-final, appeared to have played one game too many as they struggled for rhythm and consistency, with the only saving grace being their avoidance of as heavy a defeat as their 10-0 humiliation at the hands of tonight's opponents in the group stage.

They did produce one of the game's opening highlights, however, when Humberto Sosa hit the first home run of the semi-final stage, a huge solo effort which gave his team a 1-0 lead.

The US swiftly made amends as Adam Frazier hit a fourth inning single to allow Dan Black to scamper home, before two more were scored after a hit by Dan Rohlfing.

Further singles were then scored in the same inning by Jacob May and Elliot Soto, and, with other runners queuing up on bases, Mexico were losing their discipline and the game was swiftly spiraling out of control.

They managed to avoid conceding further runs, but with a deficit of four the damage was done.

United States catcher Dan Rohlfing slides safely home for a vital two-run score in the fourth inning ©Getty Images
United States catcher Dan Rohlfing slides safely home for a vital two-run score in the fourth inning ©Getty Images

Tyler Pastornicky made it five with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning and, although Mexico did have the bases loaded at one stage, a South Korea-like comeback never seemed on the cards.

Considering no Major League Baseball players are here, and various other top stars are unavailable, the performance was a great advert of the sport's depth in the US.

The Mexicans have still enjoyed a strong tournament, but will have their work cut-out to achieve a podium finish as they will now take on a Japanese team determined to return to winning form in tomorrow's bronze medal match.

That match will take place at 2pm local time, and will be followed here by a final at 7pm between two teams who appear very evenly matched in the battle to secure a winners prize-pot of $1 million (£652,000/€905,000).

South Korea lost to the United States 3-2 in the extra innings in Group B action last week, fighting back from 2-0 down before the Americans scored a winning run at the top of the 10th.

But considering their last-ditch effort against Japan, they can certainly not be written off and the Beijing 2008 Olympic champions will enter the final with confidence sky-high. 

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