22/06/2021 - 26/06/2021

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Baseball Final Qualifier 2021 - Official Payoff

Dominican Republic wins slugfest over Venezuela to open baseball final Olympic qualifier

Dominican Republic wins slugfest over Venezuela to open baseball final Olympic qualifier
23/06/2021
On a night when the ball was flying in central Mexico, the biggest power inning spelled the difference.

The Dominican Republic hit back-to-back-to-back home runs as part of a five-run seventh inning to seize control of their Tuesday night matchup with Venezuela and held on for a 10-7 win in the first game of the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier in Puebla, Mexico.

The opening contest of the Final Qualifier was already wild long before the visitors’ big seventh inning. The Dominican Republic and Venezuela combined for six home runs through the game’s first six frames – five hit by Venezuela, all of them solo blasts. The early offense led to five lead changes by the sixth inning, as well, with neither side able to gain the upper hand for long.

It all changed in the seventh when, with his team trailing 6-5, the Dominican Republic’s budding star outfielder Julio Rodriguez worked a lengthy leadoff walk to set the table for slugging cleanup hitter Juan Francisco. With two RBI singles already on his line for he day, Francisco crushed a two-run homer to give his team the lead. The DR was just getting started.

Johan Mieses followed with a no-doubt blast high off the center field batter’s eye, and Diego Goris capped off the outburst with his second home run of the night to swing the Dominican Republic’s deficit into a 9-6 lead. They added another two-out run in the inning for their final tally.

Venezuela’s offense was impressive on the night but hampered by all six of its homers coming without runners on base. Alexi Amarista belted a pair, and Hernan Perez, Danry Vasuez, Luis Sardinas, and Alexander Palma all added solo blasts of their own.

All told, the two teams combined for 23 hits. Francisco and his teammate Gustavo Nunez led all hitters with three knocks on the night.

Jhan Marinez picked up the win for the Dominican Republic, allowing a run on one hit while striking out two in 1 2/3 innings.

Luis Madero took the loss, charged with three runs on three hits in the seventh.