Cartagena, Colombia-Mexico scored the eventual game winning run on a squeeze play with one out in the top of the ninth and held off Canada in the bottom of the inning to win 3-2. The loss, Canada’s first of the tournament, puts their record at 2-1 in round two of the Americas World Junior Qualification Tournament.
The Juniors had their chances to score as they left fifteen runners on base throughout the game which included leaving the bases loaded three times.
“You have to capitalize when you have the opportunity,” explained Head Coach Greg Hamilton. “We have to better than that, we know that and sometimes those days happen.”
Mexico opened the scoring in the top of the second on a two-out, RBI single with a runner on third base. Mexico had started the inning with back-to-back singles, before the Juniors turned a double play with the runner on second advancing to third base.
Starter Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, ON) gave his team a gutsy effort on the mound that included getting out of a one-out, bases loaded jam in the third with an inning ending double play.
Quantrill threw 5 1/3 innings and gave up one run on six hits, three walks and a hit batter.
The Juniors tied the score in the bottom of the sixth when Daniel Pinero (Toronto, ON) hit a two-out, RBI single to score Gareth Morgan (Toronto, ON) from third base. Morgan had led-off the inning with a double to deep left field and advanced to third on a ground out.
Tom Robson (Ladner, BC) took over for Quantrill in the sixth and started a 1-6-3 double play to keep the game tied in the seventh.
Mexico would take the lead in the eighth off an RBI single with a runner on third base. Robson walked the lead-off batter and when the next batter bunted, no one was covering third base allowing the runner to easily take third.
Dayton Dawe (London, ON) came on for the ninth that saw Mexico get a lead-off single, use a hit run to put runners on the corners and then squeeze the eventual winning run across home plate.
“They’re scrappy, they fought and battled,” added Hamilton. “You have to give them credit for that.”
Down 3-1, Canada looked poised to make a comeback in the bottom of the ninth as Pinero led-off the inning with a double to the gap in left field. Brendan Hendriks (Cochrane, AB) followed with a single to right and Justin Atkinson (Surrey, BC) hit a sacrifice-fly to deep centerfield that almost got by the fielder, but brought Pinero home.
Justin Marra (Toronto, ON) kept the inning going with a single to right field, but Dustin Houle (Penticton, BC) struck out and Chris Shaw (Winnipeg, MB) grounded out to third to end the game.
Canada will now face host Colombia in front of what is expected to be a sold-out out Estadio Once de Noviembre in Cartagena.
“I think we’ll find out what we’re made of (tomorrow),” said Hamilton. “You’re not going to get through these tournaments without having your backs against the wall once in a while.”
Notes: Click on the link below for an up-to-date schedule, scores and standings… Tomorrow’s game against Colombia will begin 30 minutes after the completion of the 9am ET game between USA and Venezuela…The game will be streamed LIVE on the internet: http://www.tv.une.net.co/zonastream/ , click on ‘Beisbol 2011’ …As always, for the latest information and LIVE in-game updates, be sure to follow Baseball Canada on Twitter: www.twitter.com/baseballcanada.
Schedule, scores & standings