In the final of the World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Panama City, the host natino took on neighbour Colombia. In what would become a close game, Panama could not clinch the championship for the second time in a row. Four years ago, the team fell to underdog Brazil
Panama 1 – 2 Colombia
Both teams kept each other in check in the first three innings, but Panama had a major scoring opportunity in the second inning as they had runners on the corners with only one out, as they failed to cash in when Isaias Velasquez struck out and Anthony Amaya grounded into a force out at second.
But in the fourth, Carlos Ruiz would stretch a single into a double as he lined to left field. After pitcher Nabil Crismatt walked Javier Guerra intentionally, Carlos Quiroz singled to right field to drive in Ruiz for the opening run. But again with runners on the corners and only one out, Panama failed to cash in again.
After Humberto Mejia limited the Colombian line up to only two hits after he replaced Ariel Jurado in the third inning, Colombia finally got on the board in the sixth.
After Mejia hit Mauricio Ramos with a pitch, he was replaced by Alberto Acosta. But Acosta started in exact the same way as Mejia did: retiring the first batter that he faced with a pop out and then hit the next batter with a pitch. So with two outs and runners on first and second, Adrian Sanchez singled to center field and drove in Reynaldo Rodriguez from second base to tie the game at one.
In the bottom of the eighth, Dilson Herrera hit a towering homerun to left field on a 3-1 offering by reliever Manny Corpas, who just replaced Alberto Acosta.
The Colombian pitching staff retired the final three Panamanian hitters in the ninth to clinch the first World Baseball Classic berth for Colombia.
Winning pitcher was Carlos Diaz, who faced two batters in the eighth and one in the ninth and did not allow a hit or gave up a walk.
Losing pitcher was Manny Corpas, who gave up the tie-breaking homerun to Dilson Herrera.
Dilson Herrera was the best hitter for Colombia as he went 1 for 2 with that bomb to left field in the eighth inning.
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