Curacao Defeats Venezuela 4-3 At Central American and Caribbean Games

By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network

Curacao, the No. 32 ranked country in the World Baseball Rankings, upset No. 6 Venezuela 4-3 in seven innings on Tuesday to improve to 2-1. Venezuela fell to 2-1. 

All seven runs scored in the game came in the sixth inning. Dudley Leonara drove home Curacao’s first run in the top of the sixth on an RBI single, and a wild pitch made it 2-0 in favor of Curacao. Ericson Leonora made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to center field, and Roderick Bernadina extended the lead to four with an RBI single to left field. 

Venezuela scored three runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI groundout from Anderson Melendez, a bases loaded balk, and a sacrifice fly from Junnel Ledezma, but it was not enough to complete the comeback. 

Curacao starting pitcher Ruderly Manuel pitched four scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and struck out two. 

Venezuela’ starting pitcher Ivan Andueza pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and struck out two. 

Curacao (2-1) will play their next game on June 28 against Puerto Rico (1-2 ) at 1 p.m.  ET and Venezuela (2-1) will play their next game on June 28 against Nicaragua (1-2) at 5:30 p.m. ET. 

Mexico Defeats Nicaragua 7-0

Mexico, the No. 3 ranked country in the World Baseball Rankings, defeated No. 17 Nicaragua 7-0 in seven innings on Tuesday to improve to 3-0. Nicaragua fell to 1-2. 

Mexico struck first with three runs in the bottom of the second on a three-run home run from Jesus Avila. Fernando Villegas added a two-run home run the following inning to extend Mexicos’ lead to 5-0. 

The home run party continued in the bottom of the fourth. Rainel Rosario sent a two-run dinger over the left field wall to give Mexico a commanding 7-0 lead. 

Nicaragua was never able to get their offense going, mustering just two hits on the day.

Mexico’ starting pitcher and the winning pitcher in the game Luis Miranda threw six strong innings. He allowed no earned runs on two hits and struck out four. 

Nicaragua was forced to use four different pitchers out of the bullpen after starter Osman Gutierrez lasted just 1.1 innings. Gutierrez was given the quick hook in the bottom of the second after allowing the three-run home run to Jesus Avila. 

Mexico (3-0) will play their next game on June 28 against Dominican Republic (1-1) at 8 p.m. ET. Nicaragua (1-2) will play their next game on June 28 against Venezuela (2-1) at 5:30 p.m. ET. 

Puerto Rico Defeats Cuba 5-4

Puerto Rico, the No. 11 ranked country in the World Baseball Rankings, defeated No. 7 Cuba 5-4 in eight innings on Tuesday to improve to 1-2. Cuba fell to 1-2. 

Cuba jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second on a two-run single from Raico Santos, who came in to score Cuba’s third run later in the inning on an RBI groundout from Dayan Garcia. 

Jusmuel Valentin hit a long three-run home to deep left field in the bottom of the second for Puerto Rico to tie the game at three. 

Kevin Luciano was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth to put Puerto Rico ahead 4-3. 

Cuba tied the game at four in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Andrys Perez. The score would remain tied at the end of the seventh inning. 

Cuba was held scoreless in the top of the eighth, and Puerto Ricos’ Yadiel Rivera was walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning to secure the win. 

Puerto Rico (1-2) will play their next game on June 28 against Curacao at 1 p.m. ET. Cuba (1-2) will play their next game on June 28 against El Salvador (0-2) at 10:30 p.m. ET, or forty minutes after the previous game concludes.

The Central American and Caribbean Games baseball tournament at Saturnino Bengoa National Baseball Stadium in San Salvador, El Salvador, resumed play on Tuesday after rainy weather suspended all four scheduled games on Monday. 

The eight countries competing in the baseball portion of the Central American and Caribbean Games are Cuba; ranked No. 7 in the World Baseball Rankings, No. 32 Curacao, No. 10 Dominican Republic, No. 3 Mexico, No. 17 Nicaragua, No. 11 Puerto Rico, No. 6 Venezuela, and the host nation, No. 59 El Salvador. 

The baseball portion of the Central American and Caribbean Games will be played from June 24 to July 1, with the top three countries securing an automatic berth to the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. 

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