Argentina beat Mexico, 6-5, and gained sole possession of third place in group A of the WBSC Junior Men’s Softball Championship. Argentina now needs to beat India in the last game of group play to maintain the third spot. India could still have a chance to make it amongst the top four with a win.
Starting pitchers struggled as both team showed a lot of power. After Mexico’s right fielder Omar Angel closed Argentina’s first at bat on a spectacular diving catch, robbing third baseman Alejo Munoz of an extra base hit, all runs were scored on extras. Argentina took the lead on a solo homer by second baseman Augustin Gomez off Salvador Lopez and Mexico gained it back on a two RBI double by left fielder Gilberto Sanchez.
Argentina went back on top with a three run homer by designated player Ignacio Sangoy and Mexico tied it against Gaston Martinez with solo homers by designated player Ruben Minjares and Angel.
After four, the game had produced a 4-4 tie.
Argentina took another two run lead, making it 6-4, in the top of the fifth. Argentina made the most of a bases loaded situation as center fielder Lautaro Machuca got to reliever Adrian Villalobos with a two RBI single.
Argentina didn’t need to look back. Actually, all they had to do was give the ball to reliever Juan Pepe. The hard throwing right hander struck out the side, allowing only 5 runners over 4.1 innings: 2 walks, 2 base hits and a runner who reached on a wild pitch after striking out. Mexico’s line up couldn’t figure out how to handle Pepe’s rise ball even with the potential tying run at third in the bottom of the seventh. Pepe didn’t seem to feel the pressure and closed the game with back to back strike outs.