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Pan Am Games: Panama Knocks Off Dominican Republic 4-1 In Opener

 Matt Tallarini  |    Oct 19th, 2023 11:29am EDT

Dominican Republic starter Porfirio Lopez delivers a pitch in the D.R.’s Pan American Games opener against Panama. (Photo courtesy WBSC Americas)

World No. 12 Panama beat No. 9 Dominican Republic 4-1 on the second day of the 2023 Pan American Games in Group A in Cerrillos, Chile. 

Panama has not won a game at the Pan American Games since the 2007 tournament, when they beat Venezuela in the pool round 9-5 in Rio de Janeiro. The last time Panama made an appearance in the Pan American Games was the 2011 baseball tournament where they did not win a single game and finished in last place at the event. 

Panama’s pitching staff allowed five hits, one earned run, and five strikeouts during Thursday’s win. 

The Dominican Republic pitching staff allowed eight hits, three earned runs, five walks, and three strikeouts in their first game of the 2023 Pan American Games. 

Dominican Republic starting pitcher Porfirio Lopez threw five innings, allowing five hits, no earned runs, two walks, and three strikeouts.

In the top of the second inning, Panama center fielder Jhonny Santos doubled to left center field to send Jose Mordock in to score for the first run of the game. Santos was eventually thrown out at third base trying to stretch a double to a triple when Dominican Republic left fielder Elier Hernandez threw to shortstop Adrian Valerio as the cutoff man, and Valerio relayed the ball to third baseman Devi Munoz to apply the tag for the second out of the inning. 

During the bottom of the third, the Dominican Republic tied the game up at one when first baseman Darlin German singled to left center field and Munoz came in to score. 

Panama starting pitcher Steven Fuentes threw 48 pitches over four innings, allowing four hits, one earned run, and striking out four. 

Lopez was taken out in the beginning of the top of the sixth after walking first baseman Jhadiel Santamaria to lead off the inning, as Dominican Republic manager Jose Cano called Emmanuel Acosta in from the pen. Panama took the lead shortly after when once again as Jhonny Santos drew a bases-loaded walk, scoring Santamaria to go up 2-1, and Cano went to his bullpen once again, bringing in relief pitcher Rafael Garcia. The next batter, Carlos Sanchez also drew a bases-loaded walk, sending Jason Patterson home to extend the lead to 3-1. 

Panama reliever Severino Gonzalez earned the save, getting Eric Gonzalez to ground out to third base for the final out game to beat the Dominican Republic 4-1. 

Panama will go up against host nation Chile at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park at 2 p.m. EDT on October 21. The Dominican Republic will play No. 3 World ranked Mexico at 8:30 a.m. EDT at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park on October 21.  All Pan American Games will be live streamed for free on https://www.panamsportschannel.org/main.