Abdiel Saldana struck out three and walked one for Panama in a 6-0 win against Chile at the 2023 Pan American Games. (Photo Courtesy WBSC Americas)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
On the fourth day of the 2023 Pan American Games baseball tournament, world No. 12 Panama shut out host nation Chile 6-0 in Group A.
Panama improved to 2-0 in Group A of the 2023 Pan American Games. Panama has not won two games at the Pan American Games since the 1999 tournament and finished 2-1 during pool play.
Chile dropped to 0-2 in Group A, and has had 22 runs scored against them in two games. Chile had four defensive errors during Saturday’s loss.
Panama starting pitcher Luis Ramos threw four innings, allowed one hit, two walks, and struck out five during Saturday’s win. Relief pitchers Julio Denis, Davis Romero, and Abdiel Saldana combined for three innings, no hits allowed, one walk and four strikeouts.
In the bottom of the first inning, Panama designated hitter Erasmo Caballero singled to left field, scoring Luis Castillo for the first run of the game. On the same play, Chile left fielder Jose Hernandez let the ball get past him, and Panama first baseman Jhadiel Santamaria scored from first base, giving Panama a 2-0 lead.
Chile’s first hit of the 2023 Pan American Games came in the top of the third inning when center fielder Anderson Castro singled with one out.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Panama second baseman Edgard Munoz roped a double to left field. The next batter, Castillo, reached on an infield single in the infield to Chile shortstop Allan Carrillo. Carrillo made a throw, but it went past Chile first baseman Gabrille Valladares and Munoz came in to score from second base to make it 3-0.
Panama kept their foot on the gas, adding four runs in the top of the fifth inning during Saturday’s win.
Panama’ left fielder’s Abraham Rodriguez pinch hit for left fielder Jose Mordock and recorded an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning that scored Caballero to make it 5-0.
Chile starting pitcher Sebastian Vega took the loss on Saturday, throwing 4.1 innings and allowing seven hits, three earned runs, one walk, and one strikeout.
Panama has never medaled in baseball at the Pan American Games. The last time Panama medaled at an international regional senior event was at the 2017 Central American Games, taking home silver after losing to Nicaragua in Managua, Nicaragua, in the gold medal game. Panama has won three silver medals and two gold medals at the Central American Games.
The last time Panama medaled at an intercontinental senior event was the 2005 Baseball World Cup, when they beat the Netherlands in the bronze medal game. Panama has never won gold at an intercontinental senior event in their nation’s history.
Mexico, at 2-0, will play their final game of Group A in the pool round against No. 12 Panama at 8:30 a.m. in Cerrillos, Chile at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park on October 23. The Dominican Republic, also 0-2, will play their final game of Group A against host nation Chile at 2 p.m. EDT on October 23.
Group B will play two games on Sunday, October 22 with (1-0) No. 23 Brazil going up against (0-1) No. 15 Colombia at 8:30 a.m. EDT and (1-0) No. 8 Cuba playing (0-1) No. 6 Venezuela at 2 p.m. EDT. Both games will be held at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park in Cerrillos, Chile.
All Pan American Games will be live streamed for free on https://www.panamsportschannel.org/main.