WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Carlos Pérez and Juniel Querécuto hit home runs and Venezuela’s pitchers combined with a single hit in a 5-0 victory over Canada on Wednesday at the Americas Baseball Olympic Qualifier.
Both teams had already qualified for the weekend’s Super Round at the event. However, preliminary results against other Super Round teams hold up, giving Venezuela an advantage over Canada in the battle for a playoff spot at the upcoming Tokyo Games.
Pérez led Venezuela (3-0) with three hits, including a two-run homer in the fourth inning.
Jacob Robson singled in the first inning for Canada’s only hit of the game.
Oddanier Mosqueda took the victory for Venezuela, while Travis Seabrooke took the loss for Canada (2-1) after allowing three hits and two earned runs in two innings.
Venezuela opened the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the second inning. A Ramón Flores single scored by Robinson Chironos, then Yonny Hernández’s single scored by Pérez.
Perez doubled Venezuela’s lead in the fourth when he homered to deep left after a walk to Chironos.
Querécuto capped the score with a solo home run in the seventh.
Venezuelan starter Enmanuel De Jesus pitched four innings, allowing one hit and three walks while striking out three.
Hernandez, Harold Chironos and Henry Centeno then combined for five hitless innings, striking out eight and walking just one in the process.
Venezuela and Canada will each face the United States and the Dominican Republic over the weekend. The Dominican Republic advanced to the Super Round with a 13-3 win over Nicaragua on Wednesday. The United States will carry a victory over the Dominicans to the next round.
The team with the best Super Round record will be declared the winner and qualify for Tokyo. Those who finish in second and third place will compete in a last chance qualifier for the sixth and final participation in the Olympic Games.