World No. 20 Argentina defeated No. 19 Brazil by 7-1 in the final of the South American Baseball Championship, and crowned champions in a cloudy afternoon in Buenos Aires. Los Gauchos qualified for the Pan American Games Lima 2019.
Argentine Diego Echeverria pitched a gem against long-time rivals Brazil. The right hander threw a 3 hit, 1 run complete game to lead Argentina to the triumph and earn the win.
Jacinto Cipriota plated the first two runs of the game for Argentina, with singles in the 3rd and 5th innings, and scored himself the 3-0 to take the lead in the game.
The only run for Brazil came in the bottom of the 5th inning when Pedro Okuda hit an RBI double to right field.
Argentina scored four security runs in the top of the 9th, including a 2-run homer by Eduardo Zurbriggen to put the game out of reach.
Argentina qualifies for the Pan Am Games for the first time in history. Its only two previous participations were in 1951 and 1995, when Argentina hosted the Games in Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata respectively.
¡¡¡NOS VAMOS A LIMA!!! CAMPEONES SUDAMERICANOS!!! pic.twitter.com/9d9JCJEa0n
— Argentina Béisbol (@Argentinabeis) 22 de abril de 2018
The game for the third place had to be suspended due to rain this morning. According to the standings in the round robin No. 54 Chile finished in 3rd place and No. 59 Bolivia was 4th.
With this triumph Los Gauchos maintain its chances to qualify to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. They need to win Silver or Gold medal in Lima to advance to the Americas qualifier, where eight teams will play for only one spot in Tokyo.