Nicaragua won, 3-2, a thriller against Australia. In the bottom of the eighth, Nicaragua escaped a bases-loaded jam. In the top of the ninth, after blowing a squeeze play attempt, a base hit by Leyton Castillo won the game.
The game developed like the epitome of the old-fashioned pitching duel. Australia’s starter William Sherriff handed the ball to the bullpen after eight brilliant innings. Lesther Medrano went four innings for Nicaragua, before leaving the mound to Christopher Osorio.
The game entered the eighth as a 1-1 tie.
In the bottom half of the frame, Australia loaded the bases. Nicaragua called lefty Jovany Canales to face left-handed batter Conor Myles and he struck him out after a nine-pitch duel. Samuel Mendoza took care of the third out.
Reliever Blake Cavill walked catcher Jorge Lopez to start the top of the ninth. Lopez reached third with no one out, but second baseman Gustavo Arena missed the ball on a squeeze play attempt and Lopez was the first out at home.
Nicaragua didn’t give up. Left fielder Leyton Castillo singled and a defensive error put another runner on board. Right fielder Yeffry Montiel singled and gave Nicaragua a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth Aussie catcher Christopher Burke doubled and then scored on a wild pitch and a ground out. Mendoza took care of the next two batters and earned the win.