After yesterday was rained out, a new day of the Men’s Pan American Championship is in the books with a lot of games played.
The first game of the day was the most exciting of the tournament so far. Venezuela defeated USA by 8-4 in extra innings. The Venezuelan National Team clinched the game in the eighth with an RBI double by Luiger Pinto, and back-to-back homers by Carlos Carreño and Jhon Zambrano (the first one a two-run shot).
Venezuela took the lead in the second inning, with a two-run bomb by Pinto to open the score. However, USA came from behind in the fourth inning, also with only one swing. Jeff Nowaczyk found Erik Ochoa and Tyler Dudley on the bases, and hit a three-run homer to take the lead by 3-2.
In the top of the seventh, Yeider Chirinos gave Venezuela the lead again with a two-run shot, but USA tied the game again in their last at-bat chance with a run by Kevin Castillo, sending the game to extra innings.
But in the eighth, Venezuela’s offense exploded. Pinto hit an RBI double to plate the go-ahead run, Carreño hit a two-run homer, and Zambrano followed with a solo shot to give their team a healthy lead.
The winner was Jhon Garcia, who came in relief for 1.2 innings, with 1 strikeout and 1 walk. The starter was Erik Urbaneja, who worked 6.1 innings allowing 4 runs, 4 hits and 1 walk, with 4 Ks. For USA, the loser was Tony Mancha, who pitched 7+ innings, allowing 7 runs and 8 hits, 4 walks and 4 Ks.
In an interesting pitching duel, Guatemala defeated Bahamas by 2-1. Both runs from the winning team came in the first inning, and Cesar Sajche threw a great game to clinch the victory.
Guatemala’s Nery Del Cid led off the game with a walk and Jonathan Donadio followed with a single to left field. Both runners advanced with a wild pitch, and Del Cid scored with a sac fly by Gerardo Dacaret. After that, Donadio scored on a wild pitch.
On the defensive side, Sajche threw four scoreless innings, without any hits. But in the fifth, Bahamanian Desmond Russell hit a solo homer to left field, putting the score at 2-1. In this inning, Bahamas put runners on first and second with one out, but Sajche closed the door with two strikeouts, and from there retired the last eight batters faced to clinch the victory.
The Guatemalan hurler threw the complete game, allowing 1 run and 2 hits, with 1 walk and 13 strikeouts. The loss was charged to Alcott Forbes, with 2 runs, 1 hit, 6 walks and 6 Ks.
In the afternoon, Argentina won their two games of the day, defeating Guatemala and Mexico in a double header.
Argentina defeated Guatemala by 11-0 in six innings. The South American team had two big innings in the game to claim the knockout victory.
Argentina had a good offensive production and excellent performances by their pitchers, Maximiliano Montero and Huemul Mata, who combined for the shutout.
Nicolas Carril scored the first run of the game from third with an RBI single by Mariano Montero. Carril reached first with a walk, and advanced to third off two passed balls. Finally, Montero plated him with a single to left field to give Argentina the lead.
An inning later, Argentina enjoyed their first big inning, scoring five runs on four hits and two walks, including a two-run single by pinch hitter Bruno Motroni. In the sixth, Argentina sent nine hitters to the plate and scored five times.
In their second game of the day, Argentina defeated Mexico by 12-6. Mexico scored in the first inning, thanks to a pair of walks and a single by Ruben Delgadillo to right field.
In the bottom of the second, Argentina took the lead. Juan Zara was hit by pitch, advanced to third with a double by Nicolas Carril to left field and finally scored from a passed ball. Carril scored the go-ahead run with an RBI single by Montero; Leonardo Latasa was hit by a pitch, and both scored off a long double by Teo Migliavacca to center field for the 4-1 lead.
In the fourth inning, Maximiliano Montero came in relief replacing Roman Godoy, but in the fifth got in trouble with two walks, and Alan Salgado hit a long three-run bomb, to close the gap to 6-4.
One inning later, Mexico tied the game with another shot. This time it was Ismael Peña who hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 6-6.
However, Argentina reacted in the bottom of the sixth. Huemul Mata hit a single for the go-ahead run, Zara plated two more with a single, and Santiago Carril hit a three-run homer to make it 12-6.
Early in the day, Costa Rica clinched a historic victory against Belize by 14-2, for the first win in the history of the Men’s Pan American Championships. The game ended in four innings, and the winning pitcher was Gian Carlos Espinoza.
Costa Rica sent 12 batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring nine times, including a three-run triple by Minor Moncada. The only two runs of Belize came in the fourth inning.
Espinoza ended the game with 4 innings pitched, 2 runs, 3 hits and 5 strikeouts.
In the last game of the day, Cuba beat Dominican Republic in an excellent match. Roberto Echarte made the big swing of the night, with a three-run homer to break the tie and give Cuba the 5-2 win.