Below are the lineups and game notes for the biggest matchup yet in the Central American Games, as No. 13 Nicaragua hosts No. 15 Panamá. Though we are still reconstructing our database of all-time records, including most tournaments back to 1935, Panamá holds a 26-22 edge over Nicaragua.
(If anyone has records for the Central American Games or Central American and Caribbean Games before 1998 or any information on the ALBA Games or Bolivarian Games, please do get in contact.)
We have covered Nicaragua extensively in previous game previews, with the two names to watch for up-and-coming prospects, Cheslor Cuthbert and Ismael Munguía. Darrel Campbell and Ofilio Castro make for an extremely potent top four.
Panamá is starting a legend on the mound in Atencio, a lefty who is fourth all-time in wins in its national league (70) and has pitched for the national team since 2005, including the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Atencio pitched in relief in Panamá’s drubbing of Honduras two days ago.
Seven players in the starting lineup have professional experience, though none were prospects: Édgar Muñoz, Gerald Chin, Ibrahim McKenzie, Adolfo Reina, Anthony Amaya, Jorge Bishop, and Felix Arosemena. Arosemena, only 20, played professionally most recently, hitting .257 for the DSL Marlins in 2016. Amaya (.154 in 4G) and Bishop (.111 in 3G) both suited up for Panamá in the 2016 World Baseball Classic qualifiers.
Panamá could really use one of its MLB players, which include Carlos Ruiz, Rubén Tejada, Randall Delgado, Cristian Béthancourt, Johan Camargo, Allen Córdoba, Paolo Espino, or Enrique Burgos.
Watch the game live (link) and check out our previous articles on the Central American Games:
Central American Games Standings: Day 2 (link)
Central American Games: Nicaragua vs Guatemala Preview (link)
Central American Games: Nicaragua vs Honduras Preview (link)
Central American Games Standings: Day 3 (link)