US to play Canada, Venezuela for Olympic baseball berth

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — The United States will play Canada on Friday night and Venezuela on Saturday for a berth in the Olympic baseball tournament next month.

Manager Mike Scioscia’s American team finished the first round 2-0 after its game against Puerto Rico was rained out for the second straight day Thursday. Advancement had been determined, and the game will not be made up.

Both upcoming games are in Florida — Canada in West Palm Beach and Venezuela in in Port St. Lucie.

Nick Allen hit a grand slam in the fourth inning for a 6-1 lead when the game was stopped by rain.

The U.S., which failed to qualify at the Premier12 tournament in November 2019, takes a 1-0 record into the super round of the Americas tournament because its first-round win over the Dominican Republic carries over.

Venezuela also is 1-0, while Canada and the Dominican Republic are 0-1.

The top team from the super round joins Japan, Israel, Mexico and South Korea at the Olympic baseball tournament, to be played in Japan from July 28 to Aug. 7 in Fukushima and Yokohama.

Second- and third-place teams advance to a final qualifier in June in Mexico, which will include Australia, Netherlands and Taiwan.

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