Catcher Bruno Motroni hit a 3-run home run in the top of the seventh off Nick Hayes and lifted Argentina past New Zealand, 6-4, to clinch the second spot in Group A. New Zealand ends the opening round in the third position.
Argentina scored in the top of the first, with an RBI single by Bruno Motroni to center field to plate Alan Peker.
However, in the bottom of the second, Argentine pitching staff struggled with their command issuing 6 consecutive walks. Roman Godoy walked the first four batters of the inning, walking the tying run. Huemul Mata replaced him but walked Tyron Bartorillo for the go-ahead run, and then a passed ball made it 3-1. Finally, a sacrifice fly to right field by Ben Enoka plated the fourth run for the defending world champions. The Black Sox scored four times without a single hit.
After that second inning, Mata settled down and was in complete control of the game. He fanned 11, and only allowed 1 hit and 3 walks throughout the game and claimed the win.
In the top of the sixth was New Zealand pitching staff who got into trouble. Daniel Chapman hit Motroni and walked Mariano Montero and Manuel Godoy to load the bases. Hayes came in in relief but hit Gustavo Godoy and Ladislao Malarczuk, to make it 4-3.
One inning later, Alan Peker led off with a single to center field, and Teo Migliavacca was hit by a pitch. Five pitches later, with a 2-2 count, Hayes left a pitch in the middle of the zone and Motroni hit a 3-run, towering game-winning home run to center field.
In the bottom of the seventh, Mata struck our the side to close the game.
Argentina clinched the second place of the group, with a 6-1 record, and tomorrow will face United States at 13:30. New Zealand ended third and will play Australia at 16:30.
Canada tops South Africa, advances undefeated
Canada ended with perfect record the Opening Round, after a 10-4 win over South Africa. The North American team scored in five consecutive innings, from second to sixth to claim the win.
In the bottom of the third, Mogau Thupudi hit a 3-run homer and gave his team the lead, 3-2. However the South African pitching staff couldn’t hold the lead, and Canada used a five-run fourth inning to retake the lead.
Canada advanced to the Championship Round as number 1 in Group B. South Africa will play the Placement Round.