Mexico Crushes Nicaragua to Return to Classic

Mexico proved its superiority over Nicaragua. After shutting them out 11-0 in the finals of the winner’s bracket it was another 11 run beat down with a 12-1 victory in the championship game. Esteban Quiroz drove in four runs and Augustin Murillo three to lead the offense.

The complexion of the game swung after the second inning. Nicaragua loaded the bases with a single and two walks and could have gained momentum with a clutch hit. Instead, Dwight Britton struck out and Omar Obregon grounded out to leave their run tally at zero.

Mexico was not so generous in the bottom half, exploding for six runs, all starting after an error by shortstop Obregon opened the door. A walk and hit batsman loaded the bases with two outs and nary a runner crossing the plate. Yet. Esteban Quiroz changed all that with a clutch two run single to center. Adrian Gonzalez continued to be forced into being a spectator at the game when Nicaragua chose to intentionally walk him to load the bases. That strategy did not pay off after Fidencio Flores walked Jesus Castillo to force in a run, the third of the inning. Carlos Teller replaced Flores and coughed up a three run double to Augustin Murrillo to close out the six spot.

The game was over by then. Leo Heras put an exclamation point to the slaughter with a two run homer in the fifth. Quiroz added a two run homer in the inning after Sebastian Elizalde plated one run with a single. Mexico had matched the first game score 11-0 after five innings.

When Mexico tacked on another run in the sixth Nicaragua had to score at least three runs in the top of the seventh to keep the game going. They could only score one.

Adrian Gonzalez was walked six times in 12 at bats in the qualifier for a .667 OBA. The walks limited his RBI output to one, but he scored four times. The 16,521 in attendance would have preferred to see Gonzalez hit rather than stand at the plate with his bat on the shoulder. In the long run what was important for the crowd is they got another appearance in the World Baseball Classic.

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