The United States went undefeated to qualify as one of the six Olympic quotas at the Americas Qualifying Event as Baseball makes a return to the 2020 Olympics. The winner qualified a direct spot to the games while second and third place will get a final chance at the final qualifier. The Americas Qualifying Event was held in Port St. Lucie and West Palm Beach, United States from May 31st to June 5th 2021.
Eight teams were placed into two groups of four with the top two advancing to the Super Round where the teams played against the other two teams. The result against the other advancing team from the previous round carried forward.
Group A saw victories by the Dominican Republic and the United States against Puerto Rico (5-2) and Nicaragua (7-1) respectively. Nicaragua was able to rebound from its loss by scoring 7-6 in 10 innings against Puerto Rico. The United States locked top spot in the group by defeating the Dominican Republic 8-6. In the deciding game, the Dominican Republic outscored Nicaragua 13-3 to finish second. Due to rain, the match between the United States and Puerto Rico was delayed twice, but as it had no bearing in the next round, the game was ultimately cancelled.
Cuba suffered back-to-back 6-5 losses to Venezuela and Canada in Group B play, eliminating them from the group. Colombia was also defeated by Canada (7-0) and Venezuela (3-2). In the final set of games to determine the group winner and which team will carry a victory into the Super Round, it was Venezuela which won 5-0. Cuba finished third with a 16-3 seven inning victory over Colombia.
The first set of matches in the Super Round were won by the Dominican Republic, 14-4 against Venezuela and the United States, 10-1 against Canada. The United States clinched the title and Olympic quota by defeating Venezuela 4-2. The Dominican Republic finished second thanks to a 6-5 score against Canada.
The United States is the reigning bronze medalist when the event was last held back in 2008. The nation will be looking to win its second ever gold medal within the sport. By finishing second and third respectively, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela will get a final opportunity to grab the final available Olympic quota at the final qualifying event set to be held in the coming weeks.
* United States