In another lopsided game between host nation Mexico and Nicaragua, Mexico flexed its muscles against the much smaller baseball country. Once again Nicaragua was outscored (12-1 this time), while they collected seven basehits themselves but failed to score more than one. Eventually Mexico needed only seven innings to clinch a birth in the main tournament.
Nicaragua 1 – 12 Mexico
Mexico had two BIG innings in which the team scored six and five runs to seal the fate of Nicaragua. In the second inning, Nicaragua had a major opportunity to score the opening run as they loaded the bases with only one out. But the team failed to score as Dwight Britton struck out swinging and Omar Obregon grounded out 5-3.
In the bottom of that same inning, Mexico showed how to deal with the opportunities that you get. With two outs and the bases loaded, Mexico started a rally that led to six runs. The opening run and the second run were scored on Esteban Quiroz’ single. The third run was scored when Jesus Castillo drew an RBI walk. When Augustin Murillo doubled to center field, he cleared the bases to give Mexico a 6-0 lead.
The next big inning was in the fifth when Mexico put Nicaragua on the rack a bit more.
Two homeruns, a single and a fielding error led to five more runs.
In the sixth inning Mexico scored one more run. With runners on first and second and one out, Humberto Sosa lined to center to drive in Jose Aguilar.
Eventually Nicaragua got on the board in the seventh inning. After Dwight Britton hit a lead off double, he was driven in on another double by Elmer Reyes. But that was all that Nicaragua could do.
Winning pitcher was Daniel Rodriguez, who lasted only 2.2 innings in which he allowed two hits and two walks and struck out three.
Fidencio Flores took the loss. In 1.2 innings he gave up six (!) unearned runs on l hits. He walked three and fanned two.
Best hitter for Mexico was Adrian Gonzalez, who went 2 for 3 with a run scored. Most impact though had Esteban Quiroz, who went 2 for 4 with four runs batted in.
This was the first time that Mexico had to qualify for the main tournament, but this win means that the team will be part of the big party in 2017 for the fourth time in a row.