5 June 2021 - Day 6 - Final Day
USA claims Olympic ticket, Venezuela and Dominican Republic have another chance in WBSC Final Qualifier
Welcome to this daily summary of the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier, giving you the latest and greatest from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifier in Florida.
World No. 2 USA got the win they needed against No. 8 Venezuela and qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on the final day of the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier in Florida on Saturday.
It was an emotional day at Clover Park in St Lucie with the world No. 10 Dominican Republic coming from behind to defeat world No. 13 Canada 6-5 in a thrilling first game of the day, to keep its Olympic dream alive, before USA clinched the only Olympic ticket on offer by beating Venezuela 4-2 in the last game of the round-robin tournament, maintaining an unbeaten record in the process.
The Dominican Republic and Venezuela will now compete for the sixth and final spot in the baseball Olympic tournament in Japan - to be held in Fukushima and Yokohama from 28th July to 7th August - against world No. 6 Australia and No. 9 Netherlands in the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier, scheduled from 22 to 26 June in Puebla, Mexico.
Day 6 Results
Canada 5 Dominican Republic 6
Venezuela 2 USA 4
Super Round - Final Day Highlights
--Todd Frazier led the USA offense going 4 for 4 with a home run against Venezuela.
--After the game, Frazier told media how playing for his country and striving for Olympic qualification was "one of the best things in my life"
--"You can see the pride that every team had, every player wanted to win so badly," the veteran third baseman said. "And that's what makes the Olympics exciting, playing for USA, playing for Canada for instance, or Venezuela. I wish you guys could understand it felt like a Major League game in playoffs. That much fun."
--Frazier knows what he's talking about. He appeared in 1,244 MLB games, 13 in the 2021 season.
--Frazier took part in another key play. Venezuela had the bases loaded and one out in the top of the first, when dangerous slugger Carlos Perez stepped to the plate. USA starter Matthew Liberatore got him to ground to third base and Frazier started an inning-ending double play.
--Venezuela got the first lead of the game in the third, when Hernán Pérez homered off Liberatore.
--The US reversed the lead on a two-run home run by Eric Filia. The 28-year old outfielder was known as Eric Snyder when he started his collegiate baseball career.
--Filia homered off former World Series winner Anibal Sanchez, who went 4.2 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and suffered the loss.
--Liberatore also went 4.2 innings. The USA bullpen completed the task. Brandon Dickson allowed one run over 1.1 innings. Edwin Jackson followed with two perfect innings and earned the win. David Robertson got the three final outs and the save.
--Canada needed a win to be in with a chance of booking a spot in the WBSC Final Qualifier and fought hard to get it against the Dominican Republic. The Canadians took an early lead against 43-year old Dominican veteran Raul Valdes
--The Cuban born Valdes allowed three runs in the first inning. The left-hander came back. He has played at the highest possible levels and knows how to survive a shaky start. He didn't allow another run until the sixth
--Daniel Pinero homered twice off Valdes. The 27-year old shortstop is of Cuban heritage himself. His father Reinaldo played for the Cuban National Team. Pinero, who batted in 4 of the 5 Canadian runs, is a veteran on the international stage. He started representing Canada in 2011. He has played in the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, in the World Baseball Classic and in the Pan Am Games.
--Canadian veteran left-hander Andrew Albers hadn't allowed a hit in the tournament until Luis Liberato singled in the bottom of the second. Albers would leave after four and with a no-decision.
--Catcher Charlie Valero became the eighth Dominican player to homer in the tournament. The Dominican Republic topped the home run chart at the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier with a total of 15.
--Jairo Asencio got started with three balls in the top of the ninth inning. The 38-year old veteran didn't allow another one and struck out the side to seal the Dominican win against Canada.
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