Americas Qualifier Roundup: Diego Rincones Hits Walkoff Homer To Lift Venezuela Over Colombia

Image credit: Diego Rincones (Zachary Lucy/Four Seam Images)

Diego Rincones hit a walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Venezuela to a 3-2 win over Colombia on Tuesday afternoon.

Rincones, a 21-year-old Giants outfield prospect, hit a leadoff homer off Cubs prospect Carlos Ocampo to save Venezuela after it blew a lead in the top of the ninth inning. Venezuela improved to 2-0 in Pool B play and can win the pool with a victory against Canada on Wednesday.

Venezuela led 2-1 going into the ninth before A’s prospect Jordan Diaz hit the tying home run off reliever Gabriel Moya. Moya hit Andres Angulo with a pitch to put the go-ahead run on for Colombia, but Moises Gomez entered and struck out Mauricio Ramos and got Derwin Pomare to fly out to end the threat.

Rincones stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, fell behind 0-1 against Ocampo, and sent the next pitch high over the left-field fence to win it.



Erick Leal pitched six shutout innings for Venezuela with two hits allowed, one walk and six strikeouts. Carlos Perez and Robinson Chirinos each went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk.

Colombia fell to 0-2 in pool play. Red Sox prospect Jeter Downs and A’s prospect Brayan Buelvas each went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

NICARAGUA 7, PUERTO RICO 6, 10 INNINGS: Ofilio Castro scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the top of the 10th inning and Nicaragua rallied to beat Puerto Rico in pool A play.

Nicaragua trailed 5-2 before scoring three runs in the eighth inning on an RBI double by Benjamin Alegria and a two-run single by Edgard Montiel. It took its first lead in the 10th when Castro came home on Freddie Muniz’s wild pitch and Juan Diego Montes added a sacrifice fly for valuable insurance.

Puerto Rico cut the deficit to one on Ruben Castro’s RBI groundout in the bottom of the 10th and had the tying run on third base, but Nicaragua reliever Sheyder Garcia got Osvaldo Martinez to fly out to center to end it.

Alegria, a former Reds prospect, went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored to lead Nicaragua. Giants prospect Ismael Munguia went 2-for-5 with a run scored out of the leadoff spot and former Phillies prospect Berman Espinoza pitched two scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win.

Ivan De Jesus Jr. went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs and Jesmuel Valentin hit a two-run home run for Puerto Rico.

Nicaragua is 1-1. Puerto Rico is 0-2.

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