31/05/2021 - 05/06/2021

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Baseball Americas Qualifier 2021 - Official Payoff

Romero shines, Bautista homers as Dominican Republic earns first Super Round win

Romero shines, Bautista homers as Dominican Republic earns first Super Round win
04/06/2021
It has been nearly 30 years since the Dominican Republic played Olympic baseball. They played on Friday like a national team ready for that streak to end.

Behind a 17-hit attack that featured five home runs, world No. 10 Dominican Republic routed world No. 8 Venezuela, 14-4, to move into the final day of Super Round play with a chance at an Olympic berth alive.

BOX SCORE

The Dominican Republic got its big offensive afternoon started with a three-run top of the second inning capped off by an RBI single up the middle for Julio Rodríguez, the second of three hits on the day for the star young Seattle Mariners prospect. In the second, Friday’s visiting team added on. Luis Liberato, a fellow Mariners prospect, belted a solo homer, and Jeison Guzmán followed with a solo shot of his own.

In the sixth, the homer parade continued. Two batters after Melky Cabrera’s one-out single through the right side, slugger Jose Bautista hammered a two-run blast to left field to stake the DR to a 7-0 lead.

Venezuela made things interesting in the seventh after the departure of Dominican Republic starting pitcher Enny Romero. Facing the DR bullpen, Venezuela loaded the bases with two outs and cut their deficit to three when Hernán Pérez walloped a grand slam off the facing of the building beyond the left field wall.

The momentum was short-lived. The Dominican Republic immediately got three runs back in the top of the eighth with RBI singles by Guzmán, Bautista, and cleanup hitter Juan Francisco. In the ninth, Yefri Perez and Francisco each belted two-run homers to push their team’s advantage to 10 runs. Venezuela’s pitching staff had only allowed seven runs in its first three games combined before facing the Dominican Republic on Friday.

Romero was stellar throughout six innings of shutout ball. The left-hander scattered three hits and struck out six with one walk, throwing 62 of his 99 pitches for strikes and earning the win.

The Dominican Republic and Venezuela are now each 1-1 on the Baseball Americas Qualifier Super Round standings table with one day to go. The DR will face World No. 13 Canada in Saturday afternoon’s game with Venezuela and the United States matching up in the final game of the Qualifier on Sunday night. Both games will be hosted at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, Florida with a trip to the Tokyo Olympic Games at stake.

Baseball Americas Qualifier