By Bruce Baskin
The Mexican Olympic baseball team lost to Israel by a 12-5 count Sunday in Yokohama to be eliminated from their first appearance in the Summer Games after losing all three contests they played. The Verdes Grande had dropped a 1-0 knucklebiter to the Dominican Republic and a 7-4 decision to host Japan last week to finish 0-2 in Group A.
In Sunday’s loss, Israel took a 6-0 lead and never looked back in winning its first Olympic game after turning in an 0-2 record in Group B. Mexico starter Manny Barreda gave up six runs on four hits and three walks over two-plus innings to take the loss. The ex-Yankees prospect was trailing 1-0 after two innings before the roof caved in top of the the third, when he walked Israel’s first two batters before giving up a three-run homer to former MLBer Danny Valencia, who drilled a fastball ten rows deep into the Yokohama Baseball Stadium’s left-field seats. Barreda allowed two more baserunners without recording an out before being yanked for reliever Sasagi Sanchez, who then gave up a two-run Nick Rickles single to make it a 6-0 game.
To their credit, the Mexicans fought back to make it a one-run game by scoring four times in the bottom of the third. Braves farmhand Ryan Goins doubled to deep left to plate Jonathan Jones with Mexico’s first run and then came in when Israel starter Jonathan Zeid uncorked a wild pitch during a walk to Isaac Rodriguez. Rodriguez scored on a Sebastian Elizalde double to left and then Elizalde crossed the plate when Joey Meneses singled to shallow left to narrow the deficit to 6-4. Adrian Gonzalez singled in Meneses in the bottom of the sixth to close to gap to 6-5, but a horrible top of the seventh put the game out of reach.
In that fateful frame, Israel sent ten batters to the plate and scored six runs on as many hits, keyed by consecutive two-run singles from Mitch Glasser and Zach Penprase, a pair of longtime indyball players. Former MLB hurler Oliver Perez allowed all six runs, although the first two were charged to fellow Mexican reliever Fernando Salas. Israel allowed one Gonzalez double over the last three frames to cement the win.
Bruce Baskin writes on Mexican baseball at BaseballMexico.blogspot.com. His BASEBALL MEXICO newsletter has provided the world’s only regular English-language coverage of Mexican baseball since 2009.
For more of mister-baseball.com’s coverage of European baseball, check us out on Facebook.