TOKYO (AP) — José Ramos hit a solo homer in the first inning and scored on Allen Cordoba’s single in the seventh, as Panama beat Italy 2-0 in a Group A game of the World Classic on Friday.
Italy (1-2) put the runners up first and third with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but Nicky Lopez got into a late-game double play.
Panama pitchers (2-2) limited Italy to five hits and had six. Harold Arauz started and threw four two-hitter innings for the win.
Italian starter Michele Vassalotti suffered the loss after allowing two hits and a run in four innings.
In the other game of the day, Rixon Wingrove hit a three-run homer in the first inning, Darryl George hit an RBI single in the seventh and Australia crushed China 12-2 under the 10-run rule. . .
Australia (2-0) scored twice in the third inning and five in the fourth, including Robbie Glendinning’s two-run homer. Two runs in the sixth and seventh closed the game.
China (0-3) scored its two runs in the fourth on a wild pitch and Jinjun Luo’s RBI single.
Australia have options to finish Group B in first place and qualify for the quarter-finals with Japan.