Nicaragua entered the 10th inning of Thursday’s World Baseball Classic qualifier game trailing 4-3, but Reds prospect Alex Blandino sent his team home happy with a walk-off two-run double against pitcher Enorbel Marquez.
Darrel Campbell started the rally with a leadoff single, and Jairo Beras singled up the middle to set the table for Blandino. Blandino drove a 1-1 offering from Marquez to deep center field, hitting the warning track just past the outstretched glove of Dominique Taylor. Campbell scored easily, and Beras slid in headfirst just ahead of the relay throw home.
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On Friday, Nicaragua will play the winner of Thursday’s game between the Czech Republic and Mexico.
Blandino, 23, was rated the Reds’ eighth-best prospect heading into this season according to MLB Pipeline. He got his first taste of Double-A competition last year, batting .235/.350/.374 in 138 plate appearances with Pensacola.