Source: South Williamsport, Pa.
Date/Time: Sunday, August 21, 2011, Noon ET
Power bats and taking full advantage of errors carried Latin America over Canada, 8-0, on Sunday, giving the team from Venezuela their second consecutive win.
Two Canadian errors — one with the bases loaded — and some heads-up base running led to three runs for Venezuela in the third inning.
“Venezuela has a terrific club,” said Canada Manager Rick Burns. “We made a couple of errors…when we make errors, they capitalized on it.”
Venezuela had three runs on the board early, but could only muster three hits in the first four innings. Slow starts have become a theme in the Latin America dugout.
“We have started very calm in the first couple innings,” said Latin America Manager Gustavo Narvaez. “We’re very anxious from the beginning. We just need relax a bit.”
It took five innings, but the bats woke up.
With a runner on first, shortstop Latin America Yonny Hernandez drove the first pitch he saw over the left-center field fence.
“I knew he was opening with a curveball,” Hernandez said. “I had confidence I would see that pitch in my third at-bat, and that was the result.”
On the next pitch, first baseman Neil Prieto sent a towering home run over the right field wall.
“The first two at-bats, I didn’t hit the ball very well,” Prieto said. “In my mind, I felt I needed to explode.”
The Latin America Region Champs would tack on another run, and an inning later Hernandez blasted his second homerun, again with a runner on first, to center field. He ended his day 3-for-4 with two homers and four RBI.
“Yonny’s first home run gave confidence to the team,” Narvaez said. “Everybody started to get into a rhythm. We’re a very offensive team and just needed to calm down.”
Outside of Hernandez and Prieto, Latin American was held to just two hits.
“We held them back pretty well for the first four innings,” Burns said. “They had the size and the power. Perhaps our pitcher needed to be pulled a little sooner.”
Latin America starter Jothson Flores threw three-plus innings, allowed four hits, no runs and struck out three.
A strong outing with great run support—still, Narvaez believes his team can show more.
“I think as manager it’s my job not to settle,” he said. “I have a lot of confidence in my players that they will do better. We need to make adjustments and correct those mistakes.”