If at some point Efren Navarro’s bat from the bronze medal sport of the 2019 Premier12 results in a corridor of fame someplace, it gained’t get there in a single piece.
Not that it’ll matter within the least to Mexican baseball followers. Navarro and his shattered bat are happening in historical past regardless.
Navarro despatched Mexico’s baseball group to the Olympics for the primary time ever with a 10th-inning broken-bat single into heart that gave the Mexicans a 3-2 win over the US within the third-place contest on the Premier12 on Sunday afternoon at Tokyo Dome.
“Very completely happy,” Navarro stated. “Our group fought. It wasn’t going to be simple, clearly, going through USA and plenty of good prospects, future huge leaguers. I do know it was a terrific expertise for them and for us as properly. Simply completely happy that I used to be capable of come by and assist our group make historical past and go to the Olympics.”
Mexico punched its ticket for the 2020 Tokyo Video games by being the highest-placed group from the Americas on the Premier12. South Korea secured the berth for the highest Asia/Oceania (excluding Japan) group on Friday. Mexico and South Korea be part of Japan and Israel within the six-team Olympic event.
“I’m very completely happy we had been capable of win this bronze medal,” Mexico supervisor Juan Castro stated. “Very completely happy about this, I like this medal. I feel we’re going to want to do higher to have the ability to win the gold medal within the Olympics and we could have extra confidence to have the option do this.”
Mexico beat the Individuals in each of their video games on the Premier12.
The U.S. could have two extra possibilities to qualify for the Tokyo Video games. The primary will come throughout an Americas qualifier in Arizona in March.
“Haven’t actually given thought to what lies forward,” U.S. supervisor Scott Brosius stated. “However we all know there’s one other alternative to qualify and you may wager that we’re going to point out up and do this.”
Mexico trailed 2-1 within the backside of the ninth till Matt Clark went deep to heart in opposition to U.S. nearer Brandon Dickson to tie the rating.
The 2 had been teammates with the Orix Buffaloes in 2016. Navarro additionally has NPB expertise, having performed with the Hanshin Tigers the previous two seasons.
Clark’s blast despatched the sport into further innings and meant — beneath the tiebreaker guidelines — every subsequent body would start with runners on first and second.
Bobby Dalbec started the U.S. half of the 10th by bunting the runners over. Drew Waters was then deliberately walked to load the bases.
Mexican pitcher Carlos Bustamente struck out Alec Bohm on a forkball and received Jake Cronenworth to fly out to finish the inning.
“I used to be given the possibility to play and I used to be very completely happy I used to be capable of seize the chance,” Bustamente stated.
The Mexican half of the 10th additionally started with a bunt and intentional stroll.
That introduced Navarro, who had already struck out 3 times, to the plate with the bases loaded. He responded with one of many largest hits in Mexican baseball historical past.
“I had two strikes,” Navarro stated. “I simply instructed myself, put the ball in play. Yeah, I broke my bat. Clearly for me, a success is a success. For those who hit it onerous otherwise you hit it smooth, a success is a success. Fortunately I got here by.”
Bustamente was credited with the win whereas Dickson took the loss.
Clark, who additionally drove in a run earlier within the sport, was named MVP of the third-place contest.
“It’s onerous to place into phrases,” Clark stated. “To have the ability to do that for Mexico, the entire nation, all of the followers who assist us all yr lengthy and with the ability to put collectively two good video games in opposition to the USA actually reveals the world we’re not going to be pushed over.
“We’re going to return out and we’re gonna play onerous within the Olympics and we’re going to attempt to win a medal there too.”
Jo Adell received the U.S. on the board early with an reverse subject solo homer to proper within the first inning. The Los Angeles Angels prospect hit safely in all eight video games on the Premier12 and completed 13-for-32 with three house runs and 5 RBIs.
Mexico loaded the bases in opposition to reliever Daniel Tillo within the sixth and Clark hit a tough single to first to tie the sport.
Andrew Vaughn received the seventh began with a single to right-center and Erik Kratz moved him over with a sacrifice bunt.
Dalbec, an infielder within the Boston Purple Sox group, hit a single up the center that scored Vaughn and put the U.S. forward.
The sport remained that approach till the ninth.
Employees author Kaz Nagatsuka contributed to this report