The citiies of Ibiúna and São Paulo, Brazil were selected to host the final qualification tournament for the 2019 Pan-American Games in Lima. Four other teams had already secured places at that event, including Perú as hosts, Argentina as South American Championship winners, and Puerto Rico and Cuba from the Central American and Caribbean Games.
Before the tournament, Venezuela dropped out due to funding issues, but even without it, the field was loaded with top COPABE teams. Global No. 6 México, No. 10 Canada, No. 12 Dominican Republic, No. 14 Colómbia, and No. 15 Nicaragua were all present, while the hosts checked in at No. 17. The top two teams in each group qualified for Lima, though the tournament was continued till a winner had been determined.
Teams were absolutely loaded, with Brazil featuring Andre Rienzo, Paulo Orlando, and Tiago da Silva; Canada had Phillippe Aumont, Chris Leroux, Adam Loewen, Dustin Molleken, Dalton Pompey, Tristan Pompey, Scott Richmond, and Michael Saunders; the Dominicans brought ex-big leaguers Ronny Paulino, Emilio Bonifacio, Atahualpa Severino, and Pedro Viola; Nicaragua had prospects Leo Crawford, Rodolfo Bone, and Ismáel Munguia, plus long-time veteran Wilton López; and Panamá showed up with Manny Corpas, Enrique Burgos, and Severino González. México took only LMB players, while Colómbia had a veteran international squad but started Dodgers’ prospect Jair Camargo.
Thanks to the best efforts of the Orioles’ Garabez Rosa, who had five home runs in five games, hitting .526, the Dominican Republic survived a first round scare that saw three teams all with a 2-1 record to slug its way to a title. Colómbia, Nicaragua, and Canada also qualified, finishing in that order while, for the second time in two years, México was the unfortunate loser of a tie-breaker, and will not make the trip to Lima. Neither Panamá nor Brazil won a game.
Pre-Tournament Friendlies (all games in the afternoon)
Jan. 20 (Ibiúna) Brazil 3 – Argentina 2
Jan. 21 (Ibiúna) Brazil 8 – Argentina 5 (had nine hits)
Jan. 22 (São Paulo) Brazil 11 – Argentina 2 (Agustín Tessera homers)
Jan. 23 (São Paulo) Brazil 5 – Argentina 3
Jan. 24 (São Paulo) Brazil – Argentina [cancelled]
Pan-American Games Qualifying Tournament (Pre-Pan)
Group A games were scheduled for Estádio Mie Nishi, São Paulo. Group B games are at CT Yakult, Ibiúna, but on 31 January, both groups moved to Ibiúba. All times local.
29 January Group Results
10:00 A México versus D.R. [postponed due to D.R. visa issues]
11:00 B Canada 5 – Panamá 1
14:00 A Nicaragua – Brazil [postponed due to rain at 0-0, top 4]
30 January Group Results
10:00 A Nicaragua – México [postponed due to rain]
11:00 B Colómbia 10 – Panamá 4
14:00 A D.R. – Brazil [postponed due to field conditions, Brazil wanted to play]
31 January Group Results
10:00 A Nicaragua 3 – D.R. 9 [Field 2]
10:00 A México 13 – Brazil 3 [Field 1]
11:00 B Canada – Colómbia [rescheduled]
14:00 A Nicaragua 12 – México 4 [Field 2]
14:30 A D.R. 3 – Brazil 2 [Field 1]
1 February Group Results
10:00 A México 3 – D.R. 2 [Field 1]
10:00 B Canada 6 – Colómbia 8
14:00 A Nicaragua 6 – Brazil 2 [resumed]
Group A Standings
Group B Standings
2 February Results [Semifinals]
10:00 Canada 7 – D.R. 10
14:00 Nicaragua 4 – Colómbia 5
2 February Results [Third Place; Finals]
10:00 Canada 12 – Nicaragua 14
14:00 Colómbia 4 – D.R. 17
Best Batter: Garabez Rosa (Dominican Republic) with a .526 average.
Top ERA: Felipe Natel (Brazil) ERA of 0.00.
Wins: Juan Sandoval (Dominican Republic) with two wins.
Leader in RBI: Garabez Rosa (Dominican Republic) with 11 RBI.
Most HRs: Garabez Rosa (Dominican Republic) with five homers.
Best Base Robber: Dalton Pompey (Canada) with one stolen base.
Runs scored: Elmer Reyes (Nicaragua) with 8.
Garabez Rosa, achieved a triple crown and thanks to these spectacular numbers: average of .526, 11 RBIs and 5 homers, he won the Most Valuable Players of the tournament, setting a record with his effort.
The All Stars of Sao Paulo 2019
Pitcher Starter: Felipe Natel (Brazil).
Reliever: Carlos Teller (Nicaragua).
Catcher: Kellin Deglan (Canada).
First Base: Williams Vásquez (Nicaragua).
Second Base: Miguel Gómez (Dominican Republic).
Third Base: Derwin Pomare (Colombia).
Shortstop: Daniel Pinero (Canada).
Best Outfielders: Sneider Batista (Colombia), Garabez Rosa (Dominican Republic) and Willy García (Dominican Republic).
Designated Hitter: Jilton Calderón (Nicaragua).
Best defensive player: Charlie Valerio (Dominican Republic).