2008 Americas Baseball Cup
From BR Bullpen
The 2008 Americas Baseball Cup was held from September 26 through October 5, 2008 in Venezuela. Ten teams competed for five spots at the 2009 Baseball World Cup. Included were Venezuela, Nicaragua, Colombia, Netherlands Antilles, Mexico Puerto Rico, Brazil, Aruba, Guatemala and Panama.
 September 26
- Netherlands Antilles 6, Venezuela 5. Raymond Martes tosses a win in a strong start for the Antilles, while 45-year-old Didi Gregorius notches the save. Edgar Bruzual goes 3 for 4 for the hosts.
- Panama 2, Colombia 1. Abraham Atencio and Miguel Gómez combine on a 2-hitter as Panama ekes out a win over Colombia.
- Puerto Rico 2, Mexico 1. Josue Matos outduels Francisco Campos and former major leaguer Carlos Rivera's solo homer is the decisive blow in a match-up of two strong outfits.
- Brazil 7, Guatemala 5. Brazil gets a surprising challenge in their opener. Phillies farmhand Heitor Correa provides shutout relief for the final 5 innings to rescue the favorites.
 September 27
- Mexico 12, Brazil 2. SS Agustin Murillo drives in four and Pablo Ortega throws 5 shutout innings as Mexico and Brazil both go to 1-1.
- Other games rained out
 September 28
- Puerto Rico 7, Brazil 3. Abraham Ayala went 2 for 3 with 2 runs and 2 RBI to lead Puerto Rico, while Luis A. Arroyo turns in a fine start. Blue Jays farmhand Jô Matumoto fails to last through the 4th inning for Brazil.
- Puerto Rico 7, Aruba 0. Orlando Roman goes the distance for a no-hitter, striking out 10. A walk and hit batter are his lone mistakes in the gem.
- Nicaragua 7, Venezuela 1. Edgard Lopez and Douglas Morales each drive in 3 at the top of the Nicaraguan order as the hosts fall to 0-2.
- Netherlands Antilles 5, Panama 0. CF Ardley Jansen drives in four and homers twice to lead the Antilles to another surprising win. Johnny Gregorius tossed a 2-hit shutout.
- Nicaragua 2, Netherlands Antilles 1. Carlos Perez and Victor Duarte teamed up on a 2-hitter, fanning 9, to send the Antilles to their first loss.
- Aruba 15, Guatemala 7. Aruba got a win with a rout here. Alexander St. Jago goes 4 for 6 with 7 RBI to lead the attack.
 September 29
- Panama 7, Nicaragua 4. Indians minor leaguer Cirilo Cumberbatch has 3 hits and 2 runs for Panama in the win of Central American rivals.
- Netherlands Antilles 5, Colombia 1. Didi Gregorius follows his son's example of a day prior, as the 45-year-old goes 8 1/3 innings and allows only an unearned run and four hits.
- Mexico 2, Guatemala 1. Luis Garcia doubles, homers and drives home two, while Walter Silva fans 13 in 6 2/3 innings for a surprisingly tough win.
 September 30
- Mexico 15, Aruba 0. Oscar Rivera fans 8 in a shutout win. Carlos Valencia drives in four.
- Puerto Rico 6, Guatemala 0. Jose (Chago) Santiago and Melvin Pizzaro team up on a whitewash as Puerto Rico finishes the first round 4-0, the only unbeaten team. Guatemala is eliminated.
- Brazil 6, Aruba 3.
- Nicaragua 4, Colombia 1. Catcher Marlon Abea drives in two as Nicaragua wins by 3.
- Venezuela 6, Panama 3. Jaen Centeno hits a grand slam to cap a 4-run 6th as Beiker Graterol gets the win over Jorge Cortez.
- Venezuela 2, Colombia 1. Dirimo Chavez scored one run and drove in another as Venezuela eked out a one-run win over Colombia, which was eliminated.
 October 2
- Mexico 4, Venezuela 1. 3B Agustín Murillo homers, doubles and drives in two while Francisco Campos and five relievers shut down the hosts. 37-year-old veteran Rafael Diaz notches the save.
- Puerto Rico 9, Panama 4. LF Gabriel Martinez and C Abraham Ayala (3 for 4) each go deep to lead Puerto Rico, which remains unbeaten. Their only effective hurler, though, is Mario Santiago as starter Josue Matos lasts only one inning. For Panama, their starter was even worse as Abraham Atencio gave up 8 hits and 6 runs in 3 innings. C Cesar Quintero was 3 for 5 with 2 runs, 3 RBI and a homer as a one-man attack for Panama.
- Netherlands Antilles 2, Brazil 1. It was an important game for both teams and a pitching duel as well. In the 8th, though, LF Lorvin Louisa (a former Expos/Nationals farmhand) homered off of Marcelo Arai to give the Antilles the game.
- Nicaragua 15, Aruba 2. 2B Ofilio Castro goes 4 for 4 with a triple, 2 runs and 4 RBI to lead a 20-hit, 15-run assault by the victorious Nicaraguan squad, which went to 4-1.
 October 3
- Venezuela 5, Puerto Rico 4. Beiker Graterol goes 5 1/3 innings in relief for the win to keep Venezuela's hopes alive as the hosts hand Puerto Rico its first loss. LF Willie Vasquez leads a balanced attack by going 3 for 5 and 7 different Venezuelans score or drive in runs. Longtime major leaguer José Hernández leads Puerto Rico by scoring 3 of their 4 runs.
- Mexico 6, Panama 5. C Cesar Quintero has another big game (3 for 4) but it again is not enough as Panama's hopes to return to the World Cup dim. 3B Agustín Murillo goes 3 for 4 with 2 RBI to lead Mexico, while Pablo Ortega turns in a strong showing to improve to 2-0.
- Netherlands Antilles 10, Aruba 5. 3B Djionny Joubert scores 3 runs and both CF Ardley Jansen and LF Lorvin Louisa get 2 runs, 2 RBI and a homer as the Antilles beat Aruba, once part of the Dutch Antilles. Johnny Gregorius allows 2 hits and no runs in 6 innings to go to 2-0. RF Alexander St. Jago (2 for 3, 2 R, 2B) leads Aruba.
- Nicaragua 2, Brazil 0. Carlos Perez and Jairo Pineda combined on a no-hitter with only two walks in a pitiful showing for Brazil's offense.
 October 4
- Venezuela 14, Aruba 0. Pablo Morales allows 2 hits in 7 shutout innings, fanning 12. DH Luis Landaeta (2 HR) and LF Willie Vasquez each drive in four.
- Panama 6, Brazil 1. SS Abraham Aguilar homers and drives in 3 while Rodrigo Tello holds Brazil to 2 hits and a run in 8 innings of work. Two of Brazil's minor leaguers, Gilmar Pereira and Heitor Correa, are roughed up, allowing all 6 Panamanian runs in under 5 innings.
- Nicaragua 2, Mexico 1. Nicaragua got an unearned run in the third off Walter Silva (14 K in 6 2/3 IP) for a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the 5th, 1B Sergio Contreras homered off of Victor Duarte to tie the game and it remained scoreless from there until the 10th. In the 10th, Hugo Castellanos allows Nicaragua the winning run. Former major leaguer Oswaldo Mairena gets the victory in an upset.
- Puerto Rico 14, Netherlands Antilles 4. DH Roderick Eustatius goes 4 for 4 with a double, triple, run and 2 RBI but it's a one-man show as Puerto Rico hands Eustasius and his Antillean teammates their 2nd loss. Former Pirate Carlos Rivera goes 4 for 5 with a double, homer and 5 RBI while RF Benjamin Candelaria has 3 runs and 3 RBI. Luis A. Arroyo improves to 2-0.
 October 5
- Venezuela 5, Brazil 0. Santos Jimenez tosses 7 shutout innings for the win as Brazil's offense is cold once more. 3B Michael Sandoval goes 3 for 3, scores twice and drives home one for the hosts.
- Panama 11, Aruba 0. 2B Jaime Jaen, 3B Audes de Leon and 1B Cesar Quintero each have 3 hits in 4 at-bats. Panama knocks out Aruba's starter in a 6-run first inning to finish at .500, though they will miss their first World Cup in a while. Answar Samudio goes the distance in the shutout.
- Mexico 10, Netherlands Antilles 7. In a high-scoring affair, both teams get balanced offenses. Mexico is led by RF Sergio Contreras (3 for 5, HR, 3 RBI) and 3B Agustín Murillo (2 for 4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI).
- Puerto Rico 4, Nicaragua 1. Orlando Roman gets the win and Angel Garcia the save as Puerto Rico wins the duel of the two remaining one-loss teams to finish in first place in the Cup.
 Final Standing
- Puerto Rico 7-1
- Nicaragua 6-2
- Mexico 6-2
- Netherlands Antilles 5-3
- Venezuela 5-3
- Panama 4-4
- Brazil 2-6
- Aruba 1-7
- Guatemala and Colombia 0-4
 All-Star Team
- C: César Quintero, Panama (.577/.593/.846)
- 1B: Carlos Rivera, Puerto Rico (MVP) (.375/.444/.719, 3 HR, 10 RBI)
- 2B: Ofilio Castro, Nicaragua (.480/.536/.640, 7 R, 7 RBI)
- SS: Andy González, Puerto Rico (.379/.455/.517, 8 R)
- 3B: Agustín Murillo, Mexico (.323/.353/.742, 4 2B, 3 HR, 7 R, 11 RBI)
- OF: Willie Vasquez, Venezuela (.414/.469/.483)
- OF: Ardley Jansen, Netherlands Antilles (.444/.467/.963, 4 HR, 8 R, 8 RBI)
- OF: Danilo Sotelo, Nicaragua (.385/.393/.462)
- DH: José Velázquez, Puerto Rico (.308/.379/.462)
- RHP: Johnny Gregorius, Netherlands Antilles (2-0, 0 R, 5 H in 15 IP)
- LHP: Raymond Martes, Netherlands Antilles (1-1, 5.02)