Argentina celebrates after scoring against Honduras at the Pan American Qualifier in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo: Central Caribe Sports)
By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network
Day three of the 2023 Pan American Games Qualifying tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina, featured matchups between Peru and Panama, and Argentina and Honduras. Each game of the Pan American Games Qualifying 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.
Panama Defeats Peru 9-0
Panama, the No. 14 ranked country in the World Baseball Rankings, defeated No. 40 Peru on Sunday 9-0 in seven innings to improve to 1-1. Peru fell to 1-2.
Jhadiel Santamaria opened up the scoring for Panama in the top of the first with an RBI single to center field to give his team a 1-0 lead. Catcher Adolfo Reina extended the lead to 3-0 with a big two-run double to left field three batters later. Reina tallied another RBI in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly to right field to put Panama ahead by four runs.
The Panama offense would not stop there, scoring a combined five additional runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh inning. Santamaria hit an RBI double in the fifth, Jorge Bishop hit an RBI single in the sixth, and Luis Castillo drove home two more runs with his single to center field in the sixth. Bishop recorded his second RBI single in the top of the seventh to give Panama a commanding 9-0 lead.
Peru’s offense was never able to get a rally going due to the great performance of Panama starting pitcher Harold Arauz. The former Philadelphia Phillies’ farmhand threw five innings and allowed no runs on five hits to go along with four strikeouts.
Relief pitcher Luis Ramos struck out all three batters he faced in the seventh inning and helped Panama secure their first win of the tournament.
Panama will play their next game on Monday, June 19 at 2 p.m. ET against Honduras. Peru will play their next game on Monday, June 19 at 10 a.m. ET against Canada.
Argentina Defeats Honduras 4-2
Argentina, the No. 29 ranked country in the World Baseball Rankings, defeated No. 43 Honduras on Sunday to remain the only undefeated team in the 2023 Pan Am Qualifier tournament.
Nicolas Alvarado opened up the scoring for Argentina in the bottom of the third with an RBI single past the second baseman to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Honduras took a brief 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth on a bases loaded wild pitch and sacrifice fly from Licona Reyes, but were never able to retake the lead after Argentina scored two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning. Nicolas Alvarado hit an RBI groundout to shortstop, and Exequiel Talevi hit an RBI single to right field to give Argentina a 3-2 lead in the fifth.
Argentina left fielder Julian Pedrouzo gave the bullpen some much needed insurance in the bottom of the sixth with a clutch RBI double down the left field line to extend the lead to 4-2.
Relief pitcher Miguel Garcia came into the game in the top of the seventh inning for Argentina, and promptly retired the Honduras’ hitters in order to end the game.
Argentina’ starting pitcher Kevin Riello only completed three innings, but was efficient in his outing. The right-hander allowed no earned runs on one hit, struck out six and walked two.
Honduras will play their next game on Monday, June 19 at 2 p.m. ET against Panama. Argentina will have an off day on Monday, and their next game will be on Tuesday, June 20 at 2 p.m. ET against Panama.