23/09/2021 - 02/10/2021


Hosted by:   MEX

III U-23 Baseball World Cup 2020 - Official Payoff

Venezuela comes from behind to beat Mexico, tops Super Round of U-23 Baseball World Cup

Venezuela comes from behind to beat Mexico, tops Super Round of U-23 Baseball World Cup
Venezuela took a 1-0 lead into the sixth. Venezuela scored two in the sixth, five in the seventh and now leads the super round, tied with Colombia at 3-1.

For much of Thursday, it looked like the nightcap Super Round matchup at Estadio Sonora would be a game Venezuela rued for its missed opportunities. In a flash, they turned that narrative around.

World No. 10 Venezuela rallied for seven runs between the sixth and seventh innings, taking advantage of a host of defensive miscues on the other side, to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 7-1 win over No. 5 Mexico in Hermosillo.

In search of a win after being shut out by Panama on Wednesday, Mexico scored first a night later. After seeing their first five hitters retired by Venezuela starter Luis Ojeda, the home team strung together three straight two-out hits in the second, culminating in an RBI single by Alfredo Hurtado to take a 1-0 lead.

That advantage held through five innings thanks to stellar work largely from starter Alejandro Chavez. Over 4 1/3 innings, Chavez allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out two. Venezuela couldn’t nab a breakthrough hit against Chavez, leaving seven runners on base in the game’s first five innings

Down to their final six outs, Venezuela against mounted a rally in the sixth. With one out, Justin Lopez doubled to left-center and went to third on Jose Sibrian’s infield single. After Kelvin Melean grounded out to third, the runners were both in scoring position with two gone.

Venezuela’s nine-hole hitter Antonio Pinero, hitless on the night, hit a high chopper to second base, and Mexico’s Alfredo Hurtado charged in to field it. Hurtado hurried a flip to first and threw wildly by first baseman Eric Meza, enabling both runs to score and give Venezuela the lead.

In the seventh inning, Venezuela roared away, sending 10 hitters to the plate and scoring five. Mexico pitchers walked one batter, hit another and surrendered four hits while third baseman Keven Lamas committed a throwing error that brought two runs across.

With a 7-1 lead, Venezuela reliever Edwuin Bencomo had no trouble in the bottom of the seventh, pitching around a one-out double by Meza to close the victory.

"We never thought it could be over 1-0 for Mexico," commented after the game Justin Lopez, who hit doubles both in the sixth and seventh inning. "We knew we would get ourselves the chance for a comeback."

With the win, Venezuela is now tied with Colombia atop the Super Round standings heading into the final day before World Championship Saturday. Venezuela will square off with Chinese Taipei on Friday afternoon from 15:00 local time while Mexico’s hopes to defend its 2018 U-23 World Cup championship hang in the balance when they battle Colombia from 19:30