MEXICALI, Mexico -- Mexico scored, scored and scored some more on Sunday night to defeat Nicaragua at Estadio B-Air Stadium in a seven inning mercy, 12-1. With the win in the World Baseball Classic Qualifier, Mexico will play in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
"It is very nice for Mexico. That's what we came for and we got it," manager Edgar Gonzalez said. "It was a great reward for everyone who worked on this since the formation of the roster. ... it all works out with joy for everyone."
With Fidencio Flores and Carlos Teller pitching, Mexico tallied six runs in the bottom of the second inning for a commanding edge in the finale. Esteban Quiroz singled to center, scoring two runs, Jesus Castillo drew a walk to score Sebastian Elizalde, while Agustin Murillo knocked a three-run double to center field to score Quiroz, Adrian Gonzalez and Castillo for a 6-0 lead.
"We're having fun and enjoying every moment," Gonzalez said, "but not losing sight of the fact that we're here to win games and represent Mexico the way it needs to be represented."
Daniel Rodriguez got the start and recorded the win over Nicaragua. The Baltimore Orioles left-handed prospect, who is currently in Double-A Bowie, was removed after 53 pitches due to the limit. Rodriguez gave up two hits and two walks across 2.2 innings of work with three strikeouts. Flores gave up six runs on three hits and three walks across 1.2 innings pitched for Nicaragua.
Mexico added to their lead with a shot in the bottom of the fifth inning. Leo Heras hammered a fly ball to right field and it went well over the fence. In that same inning, Sebastian Elizalde hit and RBI single and just after Quiroz hit a homer to right field, which just snuck around the right field foul pole for an 11-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Teller, for Nicaragua, gave up three runs (two earned runs on three hits and two walks during 2.1 innings. Junior Tellez, the replacement for Teller, was hit for three runs on three hits during an inning and a third of work.
Nicaragua was the only team to play four straight days of baseball and the team obviously got tired. With the team down to just four pitches to start the game, the situation got worse when their starter, Flores, only made it 1.2 innings.
The final run of the game for Mexico was scored off the bat of Humberto Sosa to score Jose Aguilar for a 12-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth.
In the top of the seventh inning, Elmer Reyes doubled in the first run of the game for Nicaragua as Dwight Britton crossed home. Arturo Barradas gave up the run, but Oliver Perez, talking a break from Washington Nationals spring training, recorded the final out of the game to finish the mercy victory for Mexico.
Mexico, with the win, will play in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. The team went 3-3 in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, 2-4 in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and 1-2 in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Since Mexico did not make the second round in the previous World Baseball Classic event, they had to battle in the qualifier, which the team won. Nicaragua will have to wait another four years to try and make the 2021 World Baseball Classic after failing to make it out of the qualifier this time.