Panama Beats Nicaragua 6-3, Improves to 3-0 and Holds First Place at Caribbean Series

Panama’s Ricardo Cespedes slides into second in their 6-3 win at LoanDepot Park. (Photo courtesy of the CBPC)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

MIAMI – The Federales de Chiriquí of Panama beat Nicaragua 6-3 in the fourth day of the 2024 Caribbean Series in Miami at loanDepot Park. 

Panama improved to 3-0 at the 2024 Caribbean Series. Nicaragua is 0-3 in their first appearance at the Caribbean Series. 

Panama has not started out 3-0 at the Caribbean Series since the 2019 tournament at Estadio Rod Carew in Panama City, Panama, when the 2018-19 Panamá ProBeis champion Toros de Herrera beat the 2018-19 Cuban Serie Nacional champion Leñadores de Las Tunas 3-1 in the championship game. 

Panama manager Jose Mayorga’s pitching staff allowed eight hits, three earned runs, four walks, and four strikeouts during Sunday’s win. 

The Federales de Chiriquí starting pitcher Heitor Tokar recorded the win on Sunday, facing 25 batters, throwing six innings annd allowing four hits, three walks, with 92 pitches and striking out during his performance. 

Nicaragua was 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position on Sunday and left nine on base. 

Nicaragua starting pitcher Ronald Medrano took the loss on Sunday while throwing 92 pitches and facing 19 batters. Medrano threw 4.1 innings allowing four hits, one earned run, two walks, and five strikeouts.  

Nicaragua manager Marvin Benard’s pitching staff allowed 10 hits, five earned runs, five walks, and six strikeouts during Sunday’s loss. 

With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Nicaragua designated hitter Omar Mendoza hit a ground ball to Panama shortstop Ruben Tejada. Nicaragua’s Cheslor Cuthbert got caught in between second and third base, and when Tejada fielded the ball, he threw to second baseman Edgar Munoz, who cut down Cuthbert for the second out of the inning after his base running miscue. 

Panama scored in the top of the fifth inning when catcher Ivan Herrera hit an RBI single into center field, scoring right fielder Ricardo Cespedes to go up 1-0. 

In the top of the sixth inning, Panama left fielder Allen Cordoba roped a triple into right field, scoring Jean Aranez, Cespedes, and Munoz to make it 4-0. As Cordoba made it to third base, Nicaragua second baseman Emmanuel Garcia overthrew Cuthbert, and the ball trickled away, allowing Cordoba to come in to score and make it 5-0. 

Nicaragua’s Raudy Read lifted a sacrifice fly to right field in the bottom of the eighth inning as second baseman Enmanuel Garcia came in to score to make it 5-1. 

Tejada drove in Panama’s final run on Sunday with a ground ball single in the top of the ninth, scoring Cordoba to make it 6-1. 

Cespedes finished with two runs scored and three hits in four at-bats for Panama on Sunday. 

Cordoba recorded three hits, two runs, scored, and three RBI during his performance in Panama’s third win of the Caribbean Series. 

Garcia was the only player for Nicaragua that had a multi-hit game, as he rapped three hits, scored one run and had two RBI in their third loss at the tournament. 

The last time Panama and Nicaragua played against one another in a club tournament was the 2019 Latin American Series semifinals, where the 2018-19 Liga de Beisbol Profesional Nacional champion Leones de Leon beat the 2018-19 Panama ProBeis league champion Toros de Herrera 5-4 at Estadio Universitario Beto Avila in Veracruz, Mexico. Leones de Leon also won the 2019 Latin American Series, which was the last times Nicaragua participated in a club event, beating Tobis de Acayucan of Liga Invernal Veracruzana. 

The Federales de Chirqui will play the Criollos de Caguas of Puerto Rico (1-2) on Feb. 5 at 8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN+. Nicaragua will play the Curacao Suns (1-2) on Feb. 5 at 10:30 a.m. EST on ESPN+. The 2024 Caribbean Series at loanDepot Park in Miami will be broadcasted on ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes until the final out of the championship on Feb.9. 

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