Canada edged Panama 6-5 in eight innings at the 2023 Pan American Qualifier in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo Courtesy of Central Caribe Sports)
By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network
The Pan American Games Qualifying tournament kicked off on Friday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with matchups between Canada and Panama and Peru and Argentina. The other two participating countries are Aruba and Honduras. 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.
Canada 6, Panama 5 – 8 Innings
Canada, the No. 13 ranked country in the World Baseball rankings, defeated No. 14 Panama on Friday 6-5 in eight innings.
Matt Lloyd got the scoring started for Canada in the top of the first with a two-run home run to deep center field to give his team an early 2-0 lead. Jake Sanford, who drew a two out walk one batter prior, came around to score on the Lloyd homer.
Panama was on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third on a pair of RBI singles from Jhadiel Santamaria and Caballero Ruiz to tie the game at 2. They would take a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth on back-to-back RBI singles from Pinto Sanchez and Patterson Vasquez.
Jordan Procyshen tied the game at 4 in the top of the sixth inning with a clutch two-run home run down the right field line for Canada. Proscyshen’s teammate Matt Lloyd singled to lead off the inning.
The contest would remain tied until extras in the top of the eighth. After Matt Lloyd moved Canadas’ ghost runner Tristan Pompey to third on a ground ball, Panama pitcher Romero Rodriguez balked to give Canada a 5-4 lead. David Glaude extended the Canada lead to 6-4 with a RBI single.
Panama would score one run in the bottom of the eighth to pull within one run, but would fall short of a comeback and lose the game 6-5.
Canada will play their next game on Saturday, June 17 at 10 a.m. ET against Argentina. Panamas’ next game will be on Sunday, June 18 at 10 a.m. ET against Peru.
Argentina Defeats Peru 11-4
Argentina, the No. 29 ranked country in the World Baseball Rankings, defeated No. 40 Peru on Friday in seven innings.
Both offenses scored one run each in the first inning. Peru took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a wild pitch from Argentina starting pitcher Martin Robles. Argentina third baseman Nicolas Alvarado tied the game at one in the bottom of the first with a RBI single.
Peru took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third on another wild pitch, but Argentina would take the lead and then some in the bottom of the fifth, scoring seven runs in the inning to take a 8-2 advantage. The Peru pitching staff allowed four walks, hit two batters, and threw two wild pitches in the inning. The biggest swing of the inning came from Argentina center fielder Sebastian Garcia, who hit a two-run single up the middle to put his team ahead by six runs.
Peru scored two runs in the top of the sixth to cut the Argentina lead to 8-4, but the Argentina offense responded with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the sixth to extend their lead to 11-4. Relief pitcher Carlos Gimenez recorded the last three outs in the seventh inning for Argentina.
Argentina will play their next game of the tournament on Saturday, June 17 at 2 p.m. ET against Canada. Peru will play their next game of the tournament on Saturday, June 17 at 10 a.m. ET against Honduras.