Venezuela 4, Nicaragua 1
What Happened: Nicaragua’s Erasmo Ramirez kept Venezuela off the board for three innings, giving Nicaragua a chance to take an early lead. But once Nicaragua had to go to the bullpen, an RBI single by Andres Gimenez, a two-RBI single by Eugenio Suarez and an RBI double by Anthony Santander gave Venezuela all the runs it needed to improve to 3-0.
Stars of the Game: Santander went 2-for-2 with a double, two walks, a run scored and an RBI. Suarez had two hits. Ramirez worked three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out three. Nicaragua’s Benjamin Alegria had three hits. The 25-year-old hit .500 in 12 tournament at-bats.
What It Means: Venezuela can start making its plans for the quarterfinals. If the Dominican Republic beats Israel tonight, that will clinch a spot for Venezuela, which has already beaten the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Even if that doesn’t happen, Venezuela’s path to the next round looks pretty clear. Nicaragua’s pool play is over and at 0-4, it is relegated and will have to qualify for the next World Baseball Classic.
– J.J. Cooper
Canada 5, Colombia 0
What Happened: Noah Skirrow and three relievers combined on a shutout, Otto Lopez hit a three-run homer and Canada shut out Colombia in a game with big implications for the Pool C standings. Bo Naylor gave Canada the lead with an RBI single in the fourth and Owen Caissie padded Canada’s lead with an RBI single in the eighth to make it 2-0. Lopez’s three-run homer in the top of the ninth blew the game open, and Scott Mathieson wrapped up the shutout with a scoreless ninth.
Stars of the Game: Skirrow, a 24-year-old Phillies prospect, pitched five scoreless innings with two hits allowed, one walk and five strikeouts for Canada. He threw just 58 pitches, 40 for strikes, and faced the minimum after inducing two double play balls and getting a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play from his catcher Naylor. Colombia lefthander Rio Gomez, the son of late ESPN broadcaster Pedro Gomez, made his WBC debut in the sixth inning and pitched 1.1 scoreless innings with no hits allowed, one walk and two strikeouts. He departed to an ovation from the crowd in Phoenix, where he and his family grew up.
Prospects Of Note: Lopez, the Blue Jays No. 15 prospect, went 2-for-5 with a triple and a three-run homer. Naylor, the Guardians No. 3 prospect, went 1-for-5 with an RBI. Caissie, the Cubs No. 13 prospect, went 1-for-4 with an RBI.
What It Means: Canada improves to 2-1…
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