SANTA LUCIE, Fla. – Canada’s men’s baseball team lost a spot at the Tokyo Olympics after a 6-5 loss to the Dominican Republic on Saturday in the Americas Baseball Qualifier.
Despite a three-homer performance by Daniel Pinero against the Dominicans, Canada finished 0-3 in the Super Round and fourth overall in the tournament.
The United States (3-0) led the Super Round after a 4-2 win over Venezuela later on Saturday to secure a spot in the Tokyo Games. Second place Dominican Republic (2-1) and third place Venezuela (1-2) progressed to a last chance qualifying tournament.
“It goes without saying that we are disappointed,” Canadian coach Ernie Whitt said. “I’ll say this, I’m very proud of all the guys, the effort they put in.
“We leave everything on the field, and that’s something the Canadian team has always done. I know that’s all we ask of you to come out and do your best, and if we come up short, then that’s the way it should be.” .
Canada led Saturday’s game 5-4 after Pinero hit his third home run of the day in the top of the eighth inning. But the Dominican Republic came back with two in the bottom of the eighth on RBI singles by Gustavo Núñez and Julio Rodríguez.
José Díaz pitched the eighth for the victory, while Jairo Asencio earned the save, Scott Matheson handled the loss for Canada.
Canada took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Connor Panas and a two-run throw by Pinero.
The Dominicans responded with one run in the second and two more in the third, then Charlie Valerio homered in the bottom of the fifth to give them a 4-3 lead.
Pinero’s home run in the sixth inning tied the game and his shot in the eighth inning put the Canadians in front, but they couldn’t hold on.
Andrew Albers started for Canada and allowed three runs and seven hits in four innings, striking out two and walking three.
Dominican starter Raúl Valdez went seven innings, allowing four runs and seven hits while striking out seven and missing a walk.