23/09/2021 - 02/10/2021

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III U-23 Baseball World Cup 2020 - Official Payoff

Pitching puts Venezuela on top of Group B of the U-23 Baseball World Cup

Pitching puts Venezuela on top of Group B of the U-23 Baseball World Cup
25/09/2021
After two days of competition, Venezuela is in front. Colombia, Korea, Nicaragua and Panama share a 1-1 record.

After Day 2 of the U-23 Baseball World Cup, Venezuela is the only team with a clean record. Four teams have a 1-1 record and the Netherlands are at the bottom, at 0-2.

Panama-Nicaragua 13-6 GAME REPORT BOX SCORE
Korea-Netherlands 8-7 GAME REPORT BOX SCORE
Venezuela-Colombia 3-2 GAME REPORT BOX SCORE

Panama scored seven runs in the top of the eighth. As manager Gordon Giron announced during the pre-tournament press conference, Panama used some old fashioned small ball. Luis Tello dropped a sacrifice bunt. The runs came on five consecutive hits. The rally was capped by a two-run home run by designated hitter Erasmo Caballero.

Caballero was one of four Panama's players to enjoy a multi-hit game.

In the eighth inning, the first extra-inning played in the tournament, Luis Tello got the second out on a diving catch and completed the game-ending double play with a perfect throw to first.

"Thank God we earned this win, and I was able to make the final play. This is baseball. We practice to be ready when these plays need to be made," said Tello after the game.

"We are warriors," he added, "We never give up. The key to our win was believing in a comeback till the end and fighting for it."

Korea erased a five-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh and won the game against the Netherlands thanks to a walk-off hit by shortstop Do-yeong Kim in the bottom of the eighth.

"I didn't play well tonight. I made defensive mistakes and I couldn't forgive myself," commented Kim through an interpreter. "Fortunately enough I got the winning hit. This makes me proud. The way we never gave up and came back makes me also proud."

It was a very close game. Korea prevailed in hits (8-7) and both teams had a defensive forgettable night, committing three errors each.

Right fielder Jong-chan Lim went 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs.

Venezuela got a great effort from starting pitcher Jesus Vargas. He went five innings and allowed only one run.

"The plan for our starter was to go three innings. He did so well that I convinced myself that this was his game," said Venezuela's manager Carlos Garcia. "I told him to have fun and go as deep as he could."

With Venezuela leading 3-1, El Almirante needed three pitchers to get out of the sixth with a lead. The third pitcher to come out of the bullpen was closer Luis Curvelo. He earned a four-out save.

"I was confident he could do the job," said Garcia. "He is our closer, he has the game under control."

Curvelo entered to face catcher Juan Zabala, a player he has faced at the A level in the US minor leagues.

"I know I could get him out. I was tense when I took the mound, but I relaxed myself attacking the strike zone. That was a huge out. Also the first out of the seventh was big. After that, I was really confident."

Venezuela outhit Colombia, 9-4. Right fielder Jesus Lujano, first baseman Robert Perez Jr and catcher Juan Fernandez had all a multi-hit game.

Saturday 25 September

10.30 am Korea @ Panama
3 pm Colombia @ Netherlands
7.30 pm Venezuela @ Nicaragua