Colombia scored five runs in the first inning on their way to a 6-2 win against Venezuela at the 2023 Pan American Games. (Photo Courtesy WBSC)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
World No. 15 Colombia shocked No. 6 Venezuela 6-2 on the final day of Group B at the 2023 Pan American Games in Cerrillos, Chile.
Colombia will advance to the super round of the 2023 Pan American Games due to the Total Quality Balance tie-breaking criteria used by the World Baseball Softball Confederation after Tuesday’s win.
Colombia is in contention for the first medal at the 2023 Pan American Games since the 1971 tournament in Cali, Colombia. Colombia has not medaled at an international senior event the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, at Estadio Edgar Renteria.
Colombia tallied five runs to start the game in top of the first inning, starting with left fielder Dilson Herrera’s bases-clearing triple down the right field line that sent shortstop Francisco Acuna, catcher Carlos Arroyo, and third baseman Fabian Pertuz in to score.
Venezuela manager Carlos Garcia lifted starting pitcher Jose Guzman after just 0.1 innings, allowing three hits, four earned runs, one walk, and one strikeout.
The next batter, right fielder Derwin Pomare, roped a single to center field, scoring Herrera to extend the lead to 4-0.
A few batters later, Colombia center fielder Jesus Marriaga doubled into the right center field gap and Pomare and first baseman Leandron Emiliani came in to score to make it 5-0.
Colombia added to their lead in the top of the second inning with Pertuz lofting a sacrifice fly to center field sending Arroyo across the plate for the sixth run of the game.
Colombia starting pitcher Victor Vargas recorded the win during the final game of Group B, throwing four innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs, one walk, and two strikeouts.
Colombia’s relievers combined to throw three innings, allowing five hits, no earned runs, no walks, and four strikeouts during their final game of Group B on Tuesday.
The Venezuela pitching staff combined to allow seven hits, six earned runs, four walks, and four strikeouts in Tuesday’s loss.
Colombia will play No. 3 Mexico on October 26 in the Super Round at 8:30 a.m. in Cerrillos, Chile at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park.
Venezuela will play against Chile on October 25 at 8:30 a.m. in the seventh place game at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park.
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.
The 2021 Junior Pan American Games was the first year that baseball debuted at the event.
Colombia is aiming for their first gold medal at an intercontinental senior event since the 1965 Baseball World Cup. Colombia has also won the gold medal at the Baseball World Cup during the 1947 tournament as the host nation.
Venezuela entered the 2023 Pan American Games by beating the Dominican Republic in the bronze medal game 8-7 at the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, El Salvador during July.
Venezuela has won four intercontinental senior events in the history of their nation at the 1941, 1944, 1945 Baseball World Cup, the 1954 Central American and Caribbean Games and the 1959 Pan American Games.
Venezuela will play in the Premier 12 tournament next November to have another opportunity to win the gold medal during an intercontinental senior event.
Each nation that is in the Super Round with Colombia, Brazil, Panama, and Mexico will play from October 25-27.
The gold medal and bronze medal game will be on Saturday, October 28.
2023 Pan American Games Schedule
All start times are Eastern Daylight Time
All Games will be played at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park
Wednesday, October 25
8:30 a.m. EDT – 7th Place Game – Chile vs. No. 6 Venezuela
2 p.m. EDT – Super Round – No. 23 Brazil vs. No. 12 Panama
Thursday, October 26
8:30 a.m. EDT – Super Round – No. 3 Mexico vs. No. 15 Colombia
2 p.m. EDT – 5th Place Game – No. 8 Cuba vs. No. 9 Dominican Republic
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. 23 Brazil
Saturday, October 28
8:30 a.m. EDT – Bronze Medal Game
2 p.m. EDT – Gold Medal Game