23/09/2021 - 02/10/2021


Hosted by:   MEX

III U-23 Baseball World Cup 2020 - Official Payoff

Panama beats Venezuela, they both head to U-23 Baseball World Cup super round with 1-1 record

Panama beats Venezuela, they both head to U-23 Baseball World Cup super round with 1-1 record
Panama got to Venezuela's bullpen in the bottom half of the game. Julio Avendano earned the win pitching five solid innings.

Venezuela cruised into the final day of the Opening Round unbeaten. Panama ensured they wouldn’t leave that way.

World No. 13 Panama finished off its Opening Round schedule with a tight win over No. 10 Venezuela, 3-2, on Monday at Estadio Sonora in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

Venezuela’s potent offense seized the lead on Monday afternoon in the bottom of the first inning when Robert Pérez doubled to center field with two outs and came home one batter later on Romer Cuadrado’s single through the left side to make it a 1-0 game.

Behind terrific pitching, that score held through the fourth inning. Venezuela starter Nelson Hernández allowed just one hit in four shutout innings, striking out two without a walk and throwing 46 pitches, 28 for strikes.

When Panama got into Venezuela’s bullpen, however, the complexion of the game changed. With two outs in the top of the fifth, Luis Tello worked a walk-off Carlos Valero to spark a rally, advancing to third when Julio Gonzalez singled to left-center behind him. Rhandall Sanchez then delivered a double to right-center to score both and give Panama its first lead of the day.

In the seventh, Panama added an insurance run from the same part of the order. Tello walked with one out and went to second on a Gonzalez single. After Sanchez was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Enoc Watts hit an RBI groundout to third to provide some breathing room.

That run proved crucial when Venezuela scored in the bottom of the seventh. Cuadrado doubled down the left-field line leading off the inning and scored on a single by Juan Fernández one out later. But with José Álvarez at the plate, Venezuela’s rally collapsed when he struck out and Fernández was caught stealing to end the game.

With the result, all three teams advancing to the Super Round from Group B of the U-23 Baseball World Cup -- Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela -- will do so with 1-1 records from their head-to-head matchups.

"It was a key game for us," commented Panama's manager Cristobal Giron. "We wanted to finish well and take our chances to get to the super round with the same record as Venezuela. We want to comply with the commitment we have with our country."

The Super Round opens play on Wednesday in Hermosillo with the top three finishers from Group B facing those from Group A.