Panama defeated Mexico 8-2 at the Pan American Games. (Photo Courtesy WBSC Americas)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
World No. 12 Panama improved to 3-0 in their final game of Group A play and beat No. 3 World ranked Mexico 8-2 at the 2023 Pan American Games in Cerrillos, Chile.
Mexico is now 2-1 and holds second place in Group A, and they will advance to the medal round of the 2023 Pan American Games.
Panama will be the No. 1 seed from Group A in the medal round, and Mexico will be the No. 2 seed of Group A when medal round games begin on Wednesday.
Panama is aiming for their first gold medal at an intercontinental senior event.
In the bottom of the fourth, Mexico shortstop Roberto Valenzuela singled through the right side of the infield, scoring right fielder Fernando Villegas to make it 1-0.
Panama manager Hipolito Ortiz pulled starting pitcher Manuel Campos after three innings, having allowed five hits and one earned run.
The next batter, Mexico first baseman Miguel Guzman, grounded into a 4-6-3 double play as Valenzuela came in to score to extend the lead to 2-0.
In the top of the fifth inning, Panama finally got on the scoreboard. With the bases loaded and one out, Mexico reliever Faustino Carrera’s pick-off move skittered past Guzman to the wall, and Panama’s Luis Castillo and Jhadiel Santamaria scored to tie the game at 2-2. Jason Patterson would advance to third base on Carrera’s throwing error.
A few moments later, Panama plated their third run of the game when Patterson scored on a wild pitch as Panama took a 3-2 lead.
During the top of the sixth inning, Panama tacked on their fourth run when second baseman Edgard Munoz roped a double to left field, scoring shortstop Eduardo Thomas to go up 4-2.
Panama opened the floodgates in the top of the seventh when Thomas singled through the left side of the infield to score center fielder Jhonny Santos and make it 5-2.
Panama kept their foot on the gas and plated four runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Munoz, in five at-bats, recorded two hits during Monday’s win, along with one run, one RBI, and two strikeouts.
Panama’s pitching staff combined to allow eight hits, two earned runs, one walk and two strikeouts in their third win in Group B.
Mexico’s relief pitching allowed six hits, four earned runs, five walks, and no strikeouts during Monday’s 8-2 loss.
Panama has not had multiple wins in the Pan American Games since the 1995 tournament, where they went 4-5.
Mexico and Panama are both aiming for their first gold medal at the Pan American Games. Mexico has not medaled at the Pan American Games since sharing the bronze medal with Nicaragua during the 2007 tournament in Rio de Janeiro.
(1-2) No. 9 Dominican Republic 12, (0-3) Chile 2 F/5
Both nations played their final game of Group A at the 2023 Pan American Games on Monday with the Dominican Republic beating host nation Chile 12-2 in five innings due to the mercy rule.
Chile, during Monday’s loss, scored their only two runs at the 2023 Pan American Games.
Dominican Republic starting Edwin Adon threw three innings and allowed two hits, one earned run, one walk, and struck out six to get the win.
Dominican Republic relievers Sammy Tavarez and Jose Molina threw the final innings at the 2023 Pan American Games and combined for allowing one walk and one strikeout during Monday’s win.
Chile starting pitcher Manuel Zapata earned the loss, throwing three innings allowing five hits, five earned runs, three walks, and one strikeout.
Dominican Republic left fielder Wildert Pujols scored one run, recorded two hits, and three RBI in three of his at-bats during Monday’s win.
Dominican Republic right fielder Sandro Pena scored two runs, three hits, and two RBI.
Dominican Republic third baseman Devi Munoz recorded two hits, scored three runs, one RBI, and one walk on Monday.
Dominican Republic center fielder Elier Rodriguez and designated hitter Darlin German each had two hits, one RBI and two runs scored during Monday’s last game of the 2023 Pan American Games of Group A.
The Dominican Republic and Chile will play in the relegation round starting on October 25 and October 26.
The No. 9 world ranked Dominican Republic will have to wait out the next ranking cycle on December 31, 2023 to see if they qualify for the 2024 Premier 12 tournament next November.
The Premier 12 tournament is the only international senior event on the calendar cycle in 2024.
The last day of group play at the 2023 Pan American Games will be on October 24.
The Total Qualify Balance run differential format from the World Baseball Softball Confederation will have implications during the final day of Group B on October 24.
Cuba will have to beat Brazil and hope that Colombia can beat Venezuela in order to advance into the super round of the 2023 Pan American Games for October 25 and October 26.
Group B No. 6 ranked Venezuela at 1-1 will play (0-2) No. 15 Colombia on Tuesday, October 24 at 2 p.m. EDT at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park. Also in Group B, No. 8 Cuba at 1-1 will play (2-0) No. 24 Brazil on Tuesday, October 24 at 8:30 a.m. EDT at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park.
The super round and placement round set of games of the 2023 Pan American Games will start on Wednesday, October 25 at Cerrillos Bicentennial Park.
The first placement round game will begin at 8:30 a.m. EDT on October 25 with the two last place teams in Group A and Group B, resulting in the seventh place finisher of the tournament. The super round will be at 2 p.m. EDT on October 25 with the top seed teams in Group B and Group A squaring off against each other.