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Canada misses out on baseball Olympic berth after 6-5 loss to Dominican Republic

SAINT LUCIE, Fla. — Canada's men's baseball team missed out on a spot in the Tokyo Olympics after a 6-5 loss to the Dominican Republic on Saturday at the Baseball Americas Qualifier.

Despite a three-home-run performance from Daniel Pinero against the Dominicans, Canada finished 0-3 in the Super Round and fourth overall at the tournament.

The United States (3-0) topped the Super Round following a 4-2 win over Venezuela later Saturday to secure a berth at the Tokyo Games. Second-place Dominican Republic (2-1) and third-place Venezuela (1-2) moved on to a last-chance qualifying tournament.

"Needless to say, we’re disappointed,” said Canadian manager Ernie Whitt. “I will say this, I’m very proud of all the guys, the effort they put forth.

"We left everything on the field, and that’s something that Team Canada has always done. I know that’s all we ask them to come and give it their best, and if we fall short, then that’s the way it was meant to be."

Canada led Saturday's game 5-4 after Pinero hit his third homer of the day in the top of the eighth inning. But the Dominican Republic came back with two in the bottom of the eighth on RBI singles from Gustavo Nunez and Julio Rodriguez.

Jose Diaz pitched the eighth to pick up the win, while Jairo Asencio earned the save, Scott Matheson was charged with the loss for Canada.

Canada took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single from Connor Panas and a two-run shot from Pinero.

The Dominicans responded with a run in the second and two more in the third, then Charlie Valerio homered in the bottom of the fifth to give them a 4-3 lead.

Pinero's sixth-inning home run tied the game and his eighth-inning shot put the Canadians back in front, but they couldn't hold on.

Andrew Albers started for Canada and gave up three runs on seven hits over four innings, striking out two and walking three.

Dominican starter Raul Valdez went seven innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out seven and not issuing a walk.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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