Panama, Nicaragua headed to World Baseball Classic 

October 6th, 2022

The Panama City Qualifier in Panama at Estadio Nacional Rod Carew finished up on Wednesday. Panama and Nicaragua will join Czech Republic and Great Britain as Qualifiers in next year's World Baseball Classic.

Every second of the Qualifiers will be available to stream live and for free no matter where you're located on WorldBaseballClassic.com. In addition, you'll be able to watch on MLB.TV, MLB.com, the new World Baseball Classic YouTube channel, and the World Baseball Classic Facebook page.

Game 9: Nicaragua 3, Brazil 1
Nicaragua will play in its first ever World Baseball Classic tournament after beating Brazil on Wednesday night in the final game of the Panama City Qualifier.

Nicaragua got going early with two runs in the top of the first inning. Second baseman Elmer Reyes brought in a run with a ground out to kick off the scoring. One batter later, Dwight Britton, the 35-year-old Nicaraguan who signed with the Mariners in 2004 when he was just 16, doubled home another run. While they'd add on later, that would be all they needed.

Brazil was held to just one unearned run by Nicaragua's pitching staff. Osman Gutierrez, who spent time in the Blue Jays and Marlins Minor League system from 2012-17, tossed six innings of three-hit ball, striking out five while walking just one and allowing the unearned run. A combination of four pitchers came out of Nicaragua's bullpen to shut out — allowing just two hits — Brazil through the final three innings. 

Nicaragua lost to Brazil, 4-1, in its first game of the Qualifier, but won its next two games to stay alive. Now, after tonight's win, they're headed to the WBC tournament.

Game 8: Panama 4, Brazil 0
Panama will play in its first World Baseball Classic tournament since 2009 after shutting out Brazil on Tuesday night.

After both teams went scoreless through three innings, Panama got the scoring going thanks to a two-run home run by star Dodgers prospect Jose Ramos, ranked No. 8 overall in the system by MLB Pipeline.

They didn't stop there. Outfielder Allen Córdoba — who played in the Major Leagues with the Padres in 2017 and played the 2022 season with Triple-A Louisville — added an RBI single an inning later to push Panama's lead to three.

On the mound, a combination of five Panama pitchers held Brazil to just three hits. Ariel Jurado, a pitcher in the Mets organization who last appeared in the Majors in 2020, started and tossed 5 1/3 innings of one-hit ball while striking out six and walking none.

Brazil will take on Nicaragua to determine the other WBC tournament bid on Wednesday.

Nicaragua lost to Brazil, 4-1, in its first game of the Qualifier, but won its next two games to stay alive.

Game 7: Nicaragua 6, Argentina 5
Nicaragua will play for its first World Baseball Classic tournament bid after edging Argentina in a tight matchup on Tuesday afternoon.

Nicaragua rallied back from a 4-2 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, only to have Argentina tie it up on a solo homer from Lucas Stalman in the next half-inning. But in the bottom of the seventh, Nicaragua pulled ahead for good when Dwight Britton scored Steven Leyton with an RBI single to center field.

Roniel Raudes got the final five outs to put Argentina away.

Brazil and Panama will meet Tuesday night to decide which team will receive the first WBC tournament bid from the Panama Qualifier, while Nicaragua will take on the loser to determine the other bid on Wednesday.

Nicaragua lost to Brazil, 4-1, in its first game of the Qualifier, but it has won two in a row to stay alive.

Game 6: Argentina 4, New Zealand 1

Argentina bounced back from an 11-0 loss to Panama thanks to a four-run seventh inning in which left fielder Lucas Stalman delivered an RBI single and Argentina took advantage of a bases-loaded walk, a wild pitch that led to another run, and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch. 

Argentina's pitching staff was excellent, with right-hander Frederico Robles starting and throwing seven strong innings before turning things over to the bullpen. Robles gave up just one run on four hits, including a solo homer by Chayton Strauss. Robles walked none and struck out six. 

Right-hander Jose Mendoza came in from the Argentina bullpen to lock down the final two innings, yielding just one hit while striking out two.

Next up for Argentina will be a matchup with Nicaragua on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET.

Game 5: Nicaragua 12, Pakistan 0 F/7

After a 4-1 loss at the hands of Brazil on Saturday, Nicaragua kept its World Baseball Classic hopes alive with a mercy win over Pakistan in this elimination game on Sunday.

Isaac Benard, the son of former Giants outfielder Marvin Benard, hit a three-run homer during Nicaragua’s five-run fourth inning, and Steven Leyton, a Reds Minor Leaguer, went 2-for-2 with a walk, three RBIs and two runs scored in the rout.

Osman Gutierrez (3 IP), Rodney Theophile (2 IP), Joaquin Acuna (1 IP) and Roniel Raudes (1 IP) combined to limit Pakistan to four hits over seven scoreless innings.

Nicaragua will play the winner of Sunday’s matchup between New Zealand and Argentina at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Game 4: Panama 11, Argentina 0 F/7

Host country Panama started its World Baseball Classic Qualifiers with a statement mercy win over Argentina, putting it one step closer to a 2023 WBC berth. Eight of Panama's nine starters had a hit, with five tallying at least one RBI.

Center fielder Jose Ramos provided the biggest hit of the night in the third, a two-run homer to make it 3-0. The Dodgers prospect went 2-for-3.

Former Padres shortstop Allen Córdoba drove in three from the leadoff spot, a team-high. Another big league vet in second baseman Rubén Tejada followed with two RBIs of his own. They had two hits apiece.

Humberto Mejía, who spent the past two seasons in the D-backs' system, started the game, scattering two hits with five strikeouts across four innings. Randall Delgado, Matt Hardy, and Alberto Guerrero finished the game with three hitless innings of relief.

Panama will face Brazil on Tuesday. The winner of that game will get one of two berths to the 2023 WBC.

Game 3: Brazil 4, Nicaragua 1

Despite two delays, Brazil kept its composure in the team’s second WBC Qualifier game and took down Nicaragua.

A’s center field prospect Gabriel Maciel set the tone at the top of the Brazil lineup, going 2-for-4 with a walk and driving in a run on a double in the sixth.

Former Rays and Twins Minor League third baseman Leonardo Reginatto was a catalyst for Brazil as well, as he reached in all four of his plate appearances and drove in two. Left fielder Tim Lopes, who spent parts of three seasons with the Rockies and Brewers, also had multiple hits, going 2-for-4.

On the mound, Felipe Sales allowed one run on three hits in 4 1/3 innings, striking out six.

The two teams had to wait out rain to start the day, then in the sixth inning, an issue with the lighting at Estadio Nacional Rod Carew caused a second delay that lasted about 10 minutes.

Game 2: Argentina 7, Pakistan 3

Looking for its first World Baseball Classic berth, Pakistan got on the board first during the second game of the Panama qualifier, jumping out to a 1-0 lead over Argentina in the top of the second inning. But it was Argentina, which is also aiming to play in its first WBC, that came out on top, 7-3. 

Right-hander Lucas Ramon pitched six solid innings for Argentina, holding Pakistan to just two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out five. Eric Ma came in after Ramon and threw two perfect innings. Pakistan made an effort to get back into the game in the ninth, scoring one and putting another in scoring position, but it wasn't enough.

Argentina got contributions up and down the lineup with eight different batters getting a hit. The team's 3-4 hitters -- second baseman Exequiel Talevi and designated hitter Eduardo Zurbriggen -- both drove in two runs. 

Argentina will face Panama at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday. Pakistan will look to stay alive in an elimination game (opponent TBD) on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Game 1: Brazil 12, New Zealand 7

Seeking its first World Baseball Classic appearance since 2013, Brazil started the opening game of the Panama qualifier in style, jumping out to a 4-0 lead over New Zealand in the bottom of the first inning.

Max Brown got New Zealand back in it with a three-run double in the top of the second, but he was thrown out at third to end the inning, and that’s as close as New Zealand would get.

Tim Lopes, who played for the Mariners in 2019-20 and the Brewers in 2021 before spending 2022 in the Rockies system, hit a two-run homer for Brazil in the bottom of the fourth. Lopes scored three runs on the day, including one on an RBI single by his brother, Christian, during Brazil’s six-run seventh inning.

Brazil beat Nicaragua 4-1 on Saturday, while New Zealand will play an elimination game (opponent TBD) on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.

The full schedule is here and below (times are subject to change):

Friday
Game 1: Brazil 12, New Zealand 7
Game 2: Argentina 7, Pakistan 3

Saturday
Game 3: Brazil 4, Nicaragua 1
Game 4: Panama 11, Argentina 0

Sunday
Game 5: Nicaragua 12, Pakistan 0
Game 6: Argentina 4, New Zealand 1

Tuesday
Game 7: Nicaragua 6, Argentina 5
Game 8: Brazil vs. Panama, 7 p.m. Panama Local / 8 p.m. ET

Wednesday
Game 9: Nicaragua vs. Loser Game 8, 7 p.m. Panama Local / 8 p.m. ET