SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Venezuela has been crowned the two-time Pan American Men’s Softball champions beating Argentina in the final by 9-2 in six innings. Venezuela had to play and win three consecutive games Sunday to claim the title. The runner up was Argentina, while USA finished in third place. Further, Cuba defeated Canada by 3-2 and clinched the last ticket to Lima 2019 Pan American Games.
Venezuela and Argentina met again the Pan American Championship finals, after that final played in Parana in 2014. And Venezuela defeated Argentina one more time to retain the continental title.
Venezuela started the game with a furious offensive, scoring five runs in the first inning. They loaded the bases quickly, with two consecutive hits by Herwims Querales and Yeider Chirinos, and a defensive error. Later, Rafael Flores hit a single to center field to plate the first two runs of the game before Argentina retired the first out of the game. One out later, Carlos Carreño brought home two more with a double to center field, and advanced with another error, to score later on a grounder to second by Edwin Linares.
In the top of the second, Argentina scored once. Gustavo Godoy walked and Leonardo Latasa was hit by a pitch before Ladislao Malarczuk singled to left to produce the first run for his team.
Argentina added one more in the fifth with an RBI single by Juan Zara. After that, Erick Urbaneja left the game after 4.2 innings of work, allowing 2 runs, 6 hits, 3 walks and 3 Ks. In relief came in Carlos Ucero, with runners on first and second and two outs, to face Manuel Godoy representing the tying run for Argentina. But the righthand pitcher fanned the leftie to end the inning.
Closing out the same inning, Venezuela took back their difference with a solo homer by Luiger Pinto to left field to give his team four runs of difference again.
One inning later, Venezuela ended the game in the same way they started it — scoring runs. John Zambrano was hit by pitch and Chirinos walked allowing Jorge Lima to plate them with a double, putting the winning run (via rule-ahead rule) on second base. Then a single by Pinto ended the game and the tournament, scoring the ninth run of his team to clinch the victory.
In the semifinal game, Venezuela defeated USA by 5-4, to reach another Pan American final.
Venezuela took the lead in the second inning with a two run homer by Carlos Carreño to left field for the 2-0 lead. But USA scored quickly after that with an RBI single by Jonathan Lynch to plate Yusuf Davis.
However, in the top of the third, the South American team scored again twice with a double by Jorge Lima to left field and an RBI single by Rafael Flores through the center of the diamond.
But the North Americans answered again in the top of the fourth with a single by Davis to score Kevin Castillo. Two innings later, USA tied the game with a two-RBI single by Cameron Schiller to score Chase Turner and Jenner Christiansen.
But Venezuela took a one-run lead in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI double by Arturo Acacio to plate Edwin Linares.
Venezuela vs Mexico
Previously the Pan American Champions beat Mexico by 4-2 in the first game of the day to advance in the playoffs.
Mexico opened the score in the second inning with a solo shot by Antonio Gonzalez, but Venezuela tied the game in the third with an RBI single by Flores.
Mexico took the lead again in the fourth inning. With runners on first and second, Cesar Rodriguez hit a grounder to first, John Zambrano stepped on the base and assisted to second to complete the double play. But the throw went too high and flew over the second base, landing in the left field, allowing Albino Sanchez to score from second.
However, in the bottom of the fourth, Edwin Linares hit a solo shot to center field to tie the game again.
In the sixth, Jorge Lime broke the tie with a two-RBI double to the left field line to plate Herwims Querales and Yeider Chirinos and took the lead on the scoreboard.
Argentina vs USA
Argentina defeated USA by 7-2 to reach the final of the Pan American Championship in a game that started Saturday night, was rained out and finished Sunday in the morning. A very good offensive effort by Argentina and superb work by Maximiliano Montero from the circle gave the South Americans a fair victory.
The Argentinean team started the game with a great offense, sending eight batters to the plate. Mariano Montero and Teo Migliavacca singled consecutively to put runners on the corners, and with two outs Zara singled through the middle to plate the first two runs of the game. However, Argentina didn’t stop there, as Manuel Godoy walked and Gustavo Godoy produced two more with a double to center field, giving Argentina a big lead before Maximiliano Montero threw a single pitch.
However, Montero started imprecise, walking Nick Mullins and Erick Ochoa. And a defensive error allowed USA to score one run.
In the top of the fifth, Argentina stretched their lead. Mariano Montero singled to right field and Migliavacca followed with a walk with nobody out. However, Joey Cooley retired the next two hitters, but Manuel Godoy hit a three run homer to put the game at 7-1.
In the fifth inning, Cameron Schilling hit a single to right field to produce the second USA run. But that was the last run of the game as Montero retired the last seven batters he faced.
The Argentine hurler threw the complete game, allowing 2 runs (only one earned), 2 hits and 2 walks, with 8 Ks. The loss was charged to Tony Mancha in one inning, with 4 runs, 4 hits and 1 walk, with a K.
Cuba, the last guest to Lima
In the game for the fifth place and the last team for Lima 2019 Pan American Games, Cuba defeated Canada by 3-2 and clinched their ticket to the next continental Games. Canada (winner of every Gold Medal in the Men’s Softball Pan Am Games) won’t be present in the Games for the first time in history.
Cuba scored their three runs in the second inning. Yasmani Rios singled, advanced with a double by Reinier Vera and scored later with a pass ball. After that, Yuri Rodriguez produced the second run for his team with a single, and later scored on a wild pitch, making it 3-0 for Cuba.
Canada answered in the bottom of the same inning. Bryan Redhead singled and Kyle Cowick hit a two-run shot to center field, to make it a one run game at 3-2.
Two innings later, Canada loaded the bases with no outs — a superb opportunity to tie the game or even take the lead — but they couldn’t take advantage of it. Alain Lopez came in relief for Gluber Plutin, and the right hander made Redhead hit a fly to short stop, then fanned Jeremy O’Reilly and Ty Sebastian to escape the jam.
In the last inning, Jason Hill singled with two outs, putting the tying run on base. But Bryan Abrey hit a line drive to first base that was caught by Rios for the out number 2 of the game.
Lopez was the winner of the match in 4 innings of relief, allowing only 1 hit and 2 walks, with 6 strikeouts. The loser was Scott Lieph in 1.2 innings or work, receiving 3 runs and 4 hits, with 2 walks and 2 Ks.