Panamerican Stadium. Lagos de Moreno. August 20, 2011.
Mexico has its second victory at the IBAF 16U Baseball World Championship. They beat Australia 5-3 in the evening game on Saturday at Panamerican Stadium in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico. A strong outing by starting pitcher Jherson Esqueda and perfectly timed hits by the offense lifted them to a 2-0 record in Group A. Australia dropped to 0-2 in the tournament.
The Mexican didn’t waste any time to get things going, taking an early 2-0 lead in the opening period on a RBI single by first baseman Julian Leon and a sac fly by catcher Guillermo Flores. They built up the advantage to three runs with an Andres Ayron RBI double in the fourth. Australia got on the board with a RBI single by Tom Maxfield in the sixth. Mexico answered right away with two more runs in the seventh, scoring on a bases loaded walk by Luis Medina and a sac fly by Carlos Rubio.
The winner of the 16U Oceania Baseball Championship this February started a rally in the eighth. A RBI single by Zac Shepherd and a throwing error by the pitcher on a pickoff cut the deficit to two runs. They had two players on with no outs afterwards, but weren’t able to plate more runs, missing out on the opportunity to tie the game. Another comeback try took place in the ninth. The first two men got on base, but a pickoff by the catcher, a nice scoop by the first baseman on a bad throw by the shortstop and a strikeout sealed the deal for Mexico.
Jherson Esqueda (W, 1-0) picked up the win, allowing just five hits, a run and a walk. He struck out a tournament-high eight batters. After reliever Aldo Silva got in trouble in the eighth, Victor Arano bailed him out. Kieran McClouskey (L, 0-1) got charged with six hits, three runs (2 ER) and a base on balls in six solid innings.
On Sunday Australia is going to have an off day, trying to regroup before their matchup with Brazil on Monday. Mexico will face the South American team already on Sunday.
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