In a shortened day due to rain, Mexico and Venezuela clinched their spots in the next Pan American Games, to be held in Lima. First, Mexico defeated Canada by 7-6 and assured their ticket; and second Venezuela beat Cuba by 4-1 and will also be present in the Peruvian capital. In the other hand, the game between Argentina and USA must be rained out in the fourth inning.
In a very exciting game, Mexico defeated Canada by 7-6 today and qualified for Lima 2019 Pan American Games. The game had an electrifying ending, since Canada scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh and stranded the tying run in third base. But a sensational play by Ismael Peña in second base gave his country the win and the qualification
Mexico started the game strong, scoring six runs in the top of the first. Edgar Lopez opened the score with a two run homer, and Alan Salgado plated one more with a double to left. After that, a defensive error allowed Mexico score to more runs, and finally Carlos Menchaca bring home one more with a single.
Canada answered in the bottom of that inning, with two consecutive doubles by Kyle Ezekiel and Jason Hill, to make it 6-1. Bryan Abrey produced the second run of his team with a single to left, and advanced to second with the throw, but couldn’t score.
Mexico scored again in the top of the seventh with an RBI double by Alan Salgado, scoring the run that gave his team the victory.
With the game 7-2, two outs and no one on base, Canada started to score. First was a double by Ty Sebastian, after that a single by Kris Walushka and an RBI single by Kyle Ezekiel, to palte the third run of his team. Jason Hil doubled to center field to produce two more, and Bryan Abrey hit an RBI single to center field, and advanced to second.
With the tying run in scoring position, was the turn of Bryan Redhead. And he connected a soft line over second base; the ball flew over the grey sky of Santo Domingo and looked like it would land on the green with the tying run for Canada. However, Ismael Peña run hard, dove to the outfield head first and the ball landed easily in his glove, to seal the win and the ticket to Lima.
The entire Mexican team ran to the right field to hug Peña in right field, and celebrate the classification to Lima 2019 Pan American Games.
The winner was Samuel Villalvazo in seven innings of work, with 6 runs, 11 hits 2 walks and 4 Ks. The loser was Ryan French, who only lasted 0.1 inning with 4 runs, 3 hits and 1 walk.
Venezuela defeated Cuba by 4-1, in a game that suffered a long interruption due to rain and ended in the Dominican night. This way the South American team is the fourth team to make the Pan American Games.
Herwims Querales led off the game with a double for Venezuela, and a few batters later scored with a pass ball. Rafael Flores and Luiger Pinto walked consecutively, and Carlos Carreño plated them with a two RBI hit to center field for the 3-0.
Cuba scored their only run in the top of the third, with the bases loaded and two outs. Juan Rodriguez, Alexis Navarro and Edward Laverdeza reached with hits, and the first scored thanks to a walk by Andres Reyna. However, Venezuelan pitcher Carlos Ucero escaped the jam fanning Yasmany Rios.
In the top of the fifth innings the rain started to fall and the game was stopped, when Cuba had runners on first and second and two outs. When the game was launched again, reliever Erick Urbaneja made Rios to hit a grounder to avoid any damage.
In the bottom of the fifth Querales scored the last run of the match, with a pass ball, to put the definitive 4-1 in the scoreboard.
The winner of the game was Carlos Ucero in 4.2 innings of work, allowing 1 hit and 6 hits, with 4 walks and 5 fanned. The loss went to Alain Roman who only retired two outs and allowed 3 runs, 1 hit, 2 walks and 1 K.
With this victory, the last Pan American champions and Silver medalist in Toronto 2015 Pan American Games will be present in Lima 2019 and continues alive in this tournament.
In the other hand, Cuba will play against Canada tomorrow at 8:30 to decide, face to face, who is the last guest to the next Pan American Games.
Finally, the last game of the day was rained out in the fourth inning. Argentina was ahead USA by 4-1 when the rain started again, and the game was suspended.
The Argentine team started the game with a great offensive, sending eight hitters to the plate. Mariano Montero and Teo Migliavacca singled consecutively putting runners on the corners. With two outs, Juan Zara plated them with a single to center field to bring the first two runs of the game. However Argentina didn’t stop, since Manuel Godoy walked and Gustavo Godoy doubled to center field to produce two more runs for his team.
However, Argentine pitcher Maximiliano Montero didn’t start very accurate in their throws, walking consecutively Nick Mullins and Erick Ochoa. And after that a defensive error allowed USA to score their only run of the night.
Tomorrow at 8:30 both teams will come back to the field to finish this game and know who will be the first finalist of the event.