With the score knotted at 3-all in the fifth inning, Curacao's Mychellon Jansen stepped to the plate. With two outs and no one on, simply getting on base would have been more than enough.
Instead, Jansen launched a solo home run to center field to give Caribbean champ Curacao a 4-3 lead and a win over Canada titlist Vancouver, B.C., on Monday afternoon at Volunteer Stadium.
"I felt very good," Jansen said through an interpreter. "I was very happy. It was cool."
Despite being outhit, 7-3, by Canada, Curacao made the most of its opportunities. Two of Curacao's hits were home runs, while a sacrifice fly brought in two more runs.
"We outhit the other team and they (Curacao) just had some opportunities to win the game and took advantage of them," Canada manager Vito Bordignon said.
Curacao took the lead early on a Mildward Baranco solo home run in the second inning.
Canada didn't take long to answer back, though, as it scored one run in the third inning on a Steven Moretto RBI double, and eventually took a 3-1 lead in the third inning on Noah Hanson-Stafford's two-run home run.
"They were pretty excited," Bordignon said of his team after the home run. "They saw they had the chance to win."
Despite two errors on the day, Canada excelled in the field on defense. Left fielder Carter Kada-Wong made a diving catch in the fourth inning to prevent at least extra bases.
Steven Moretto also showed off the leather at shortstop, making a diving stop and throw from his knees to get Curacao's Ceddanne Rafaela at first base to open the game.
Moretto immediately made another great play, ranging to his right into the hole between shortstop and third base to snag the ground ball before making a laser throw to first to get Railison Bentura in a bang-bang play.
"Our defense was really good," Bordignon said. "We made a couple of errors at inopportune times, but for the whole tournament they (the team) played really well."
Along with timely hits, Curacao got strong pitching performances from starter Siamani Boekhoudt and reliever Railison Bentura.
"It was a very good performance," Curacao manager Edmiro Chirino said through an interpreter. "And the reliever did his job well."
Boekhoudt pitched 3 1-3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out eight. Bentura picked up the win, however, with 2 2-3 scoreless innings of relief while striking out two batters and walking one.
"It went well," Bentura said through an interpreter. "I was thinking about getting everyone out and that no one can hit me. That's the mentality I want."
Baranco's home run in the second inning set the tone for Curacao, giving it the early lead and pushing Canada to the brink of elimination before Vancouver rallied in the third and fourth innings.
"I felt good," Baranco said through an interpreter. "I wasn't nervous. I wanted to put my team out in front so I felt good."