Julio Vivas threw 68 pitches over 4.2 innings, allowing four hits, two earned runs, one walk, and three strikeouts in a 10-2 win against Mexico at the 2023 Pan American Games. (Photo Courtesy WBSC Americas)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
World No. 15 Colombia remains in contention to medal at the 2023 Pan American Games after beating No. 3 Mexico 10-2 on the second day of the super round.
Colombia and Mexico both hold a 2-2 record at the 2023 Pan American Games.
With Colombia’s win on Thursday, No. 24 Brazil will play in the gold medal game on Saturday at 2 p.m. EDT, and will await the winner of tomorrow’s game between Colombia and No. 12 Panama starting at 8:30 a.m. EDT at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park.
Mexico will play in the bronze medal game at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Saturday against the loser of Colombia and Panama.
In the bottom of the first inning, Colombia’s Carlos Martinez roped a two-run double down the right field line, scoring shortstop Francisco Acuna and second baseman Carlos Arroyo for an early 2-0 lead.
During the bottom of the third inning, Colombia added five runs starting with third baseman Fabian Pertuz’s RBI single to right center field, scoring Martinez to extend the lead to 3-0.
Mexico manager Jose Garcia replaced starting pitcher Wilmer Rios with Aldo Gonzalez after Rios threw two innings and allowed six hits, five earned runs, one walk, and one strikeout.
A few batters later, Colombia right fielder Derwin Pomare drew a bases-loaded walk, scoring Pertuz for the fourth run of the game. The next batter, first baseman Leandron Benitez, singleD through the right side of the infield aND Martinez came in to score making it 5-0. Then Colombia center fielder Jesus Marriaga lofted a sacrifice fly and Dilson Herrera came in to score for Colombia’s sixth run of the game.
Colombia’s starting pitcher Julio Vivas threw 68 pitches over 4.2 innings, allowing four hits, two earned runs, one walk, and three strikeouts.
Benitez ended the day with one run scored, two hits, and two RBI during Thursday’s win.
Colombia designated hitter Jose Puerta had an RBI triple down the right field line in the bottom of the fifth inning and scored one run in their first game of the super round. Acuna had an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning and ended the day with one run scored.
Colombia’s bullpen threw 2.1 innings and struck out two batters.
Mexico’s pitching staff allowed 11 hits, nine earned runs, two walks, and three strikeouts in Thursday’s loss, and the offense only mustered four hits.
Mexico remains in the hunt for their fifth bronze medal at the Pan American Games on Saturday. The 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games in June was the first event in which Mexico won gold at an international senior event.
Colombia is aiming for their first gold medal at an intercontinental senior event since the 1965 Baseball World Cup. Colombia previously won a bronze medal at the Pan American Games during the 1971 tournament.
Colombia has also won the gold medal at the Baseball World Cup during the 1947 tournament as the host nation and won the gold during the 1946 Central American and Caribbean Games. The last time Colombia medaled at an international senior event was during the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.
Colombia qualified for the 2023 Pan American Games by winning gold at the 2021 Junior Pan American Games beating Cuba 8-0 at Estadio Edgar Renteria under current national team manager Jose Mosquera, in the first year that baseball debuted at the event.
Colombia will have to qualify for the 2026 World Baseball Classic in 2025 after finishing last with a 1-3 record at the 2023 World Baseball Classic in Pool D at Chase Field in Phoenix. Despite having the same record as Great Britain during pool play, the Total Quality Balance tiebreaker used the World Baseball Softball Confederation put them behind Great Britain, who will not have to qualify for the 2026 World Baseball Classic.
With Colombia ranked No. 15 in the world and being behind No. 14 Czech Republic, No. 13 Italy, and No. 12 Panama, they could potentially qualify for the 2024 Premier 12 tournament, which will start on Nov. 10, 2024, after the regular seasons in Major League Baseball, Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, Nippon Professional Baseball, the Korean Baseball Organization, and the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan are completed.
The World Baseball Rankings will be updated on Dec. 31, 2023, and those rankings will be used to determine the field for the 2024 Premier 12, which features the top 12 ranked nations in the world.
2023 Pan American Games Schedule
All Games will be played at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park
Friday, October 27
8:30 a.m. EDT – Super Round – No. 15 Colombia vs. No. 12 Panama
2 p.m. EDT – Super Round – No. 3 Mexico vs. No. 24 Brazil
Saturday, October 28
8:30 a.m. EDT – No. 3 Mexico vs. TBA – Bronze Medal Game
2 p.m. EDT – No. 24 Brazil vs. TBA – Gold Medal Game