Pan Am Qualifier: Argentina Beats Canada 8-3 in Huge Upset

Argentina upset Canada 8-3 at the Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina on June 17, 2023. (Photo: Central Caribe Sports)

By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network

Day two of the 2023 Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina, featured matchups between Peru and Honduras and Argentina and Canada. Saturday was the first game of the tournament for Honduras, ranked No. 43 in the World Baseball Rankings. Each game of the tournament will be seven innings, barring extra innings if necessary. 

The six nations are seeking to earn a ticket to the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. All games at the Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament will be held at Ezeiza National Baseball Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

The Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament will run from June 16 to June 21, with the winner of the finals advancing to the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.

Peru Defeats Honduras 4-0 

Peru, the No. 40 ranked country in the World Baseball rankings, defeated No. 43 Honduras on Saturday 4-0 in seven innings to improve to 1-1. Honduras fell to 0-1. 

The story of the game was Peru’s starting pitcher, Ken Ishihara. Although he only recorded one strikeout, he was able to keep the Honduras offense in the ballpark and off the scoreboard. Ishihara threw a seven-inning complete game, allowing four hits and walked one. He needed just 83 pitches to finish the game, and threw 52 of those for strikes. 

Honduras starting pitcher Archila Rodriguez held Peru scoreless through four innings, but was taken out of the game due to a high pitch count. Rodriguez allowed no earned runs on five hits, struck out seven and walked four.  

Peru broke the game open in the top of the sixth, scoring four runs on two hits in the inning. After drawing back-to-back walks to open the frame, Fuentes Zevallos hit a single up the middle to give Peru a 1-0 lead. Maco Velez singled to left field one batter later and drove home two runs including Zevallos, who had stolen second base. Peru added another run later that inning on an RBI groundout, and led 4-0 the rest of the way. 

Peru will play their next game on Sunday, June 18 at 10 a.m. ET against Panama. Panama lost their first game of the tournament 6-5 against Canada on Friday, June 16. Honduras will play their next game on Sunday, June 18 at 2 p.m. ET against Argentina. 

Argentina Defeats Canada 8-3 

Argentina, No. 29 in the World Baseball Rankings, defeated No. 13 Canada on Saturday in seven innings to improve to 2-0. Canada fell to 1-1. 

Argentina jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on RBI doubles from Exequiel Talevi and Jacinto Cipriota. Talevi struck again in the top of the third with a sacrifice fly down the right field line, and Tissera Graffeuille extended Argentinas’ lead to 4-0 with an RBI single in between third base and shortstop. 

Jacob Robson hit a sacrifice fly for Canada in the bottom of the third to get his team on the board, and Connor Panas drew a bases loaded walk to cut the Argentina lead to 4-2. 

Argentina added one run in the top of the sixth, and three in the top of the seventh to give their pitching staff some breathing room. They took a 5-2 lead in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly from Nicolas Alvarado, and an RBI double from Martin Robles and a two-run single from Sebastian Garcia extended the lead to 8-2. 

Canada cut the lead to 8-3 with an RBI groundout from Matt Lloyd in the bottom of the seventh, but Tristan Pompey flew out to right field to end the contest. 

Argentina will play their next game on Sunday, June 18 at 2 p.m. ET against Honduras. Canada will have an off-day on Sunday, and play their next game on Monday, June 19 at 10 a.m. ET against Peru. 

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