With a high scoring and contentious 8th inning, USA Baseball was victorious Friday night as they beat Canada 10-1 in the Olympic Qualifiers at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
After a 13-year hiatus, baseball is back in the Olympics. There’s been a lot of anticipation for the return of baseball as the last time the sport was included in the events was in 2008.
On Friday, baseball fans came from near and far to get a glimpse of the action.
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“We’re huge baseball fans so to be able to see USA hopefully represented in the Olympics is great. Especially after this crazy year and a half, being able to have all of the nations come together for one event,” said Jennifer Wise, a fan with Team USA.
Team USA beat Canada in the super round of the Baseball Americas Qualifier, which will determine who will move on to the six-team tournament at the Tokyo Olympics.
Team USA players Eddy Alvarez, Tristan Casas and John Jay all have roots in South Florida.
Alvarez hit a triple on Friday and on Thursday we caught up with the Cuban American who’s in the minors with the Miami Marlins.
This isn’t the first time he’s worn the red, white and blue uniform for Team USA.
The athlete won silver in a team relay as a speed skater in the Sochi Winter Olympics. Now, he’s swapped out his skates for baseball cleats, hoping to bring home gold with USA Baseball.
“My parents and I kind of had a running joke like what if you made it to the Olympics as a baseball player. I never thought it was going to be possible because baseball was taken out of the Olympics and it just so happens that the stars aligned and I could potentially be a two time Olympian in two different sports and it’s an absolute dream come true of mine,” said Team USA baseball player, Eddy Alvarez.
He says this opportunity is not lost on him.
“This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had playing baseball. Just the sensation is absolutely amplified being able to wear our colors on our backs and wearing the USA on our chest really feels like a full circle to me,” said Alvarez.
USA plays against Venezuela in Port St. Lucie on Saturday. The team with the best record following the super rounds in this tournament will secure a spot in the Olympics.