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“It was a difficult game, but our pitcher did his job,” Luis Gonzalez said through a translator. “One pitch decided the game.”

Mexico scored in the fifth on Marcelo Perez’s RBI single, and had the tying run at second with two outs in the sixth.

But Edisson Gonzalez got a strikeout to end the game.

“I was not nervous in the beginning of the game,” he said, “but in the last inning when the first batter got on, I got nervous. (James’) home run helped because I’m not having a good tournament at the plate and we needed it to win the game.”

After the teams exchanged handshakes at the plate, Edisson Gonzalez joined several teammates to exchange high-fives one more time with Mexico’s disappointed players. He tapped counterpart Ballina, 13, on the shoulder, as the Mexico starter walked back to his dugout to offer kind words and an embrace.

Looking as cool and confident as a big-league ace, Edisson Gonzalez consistently worked ahead of the count and didn’t allow a runner to get past first until Eduardo Abrego doubled to left in the fifth.

“Yes we can! Yes we can,” Mexico’s vocal fans yelled in Spanish in trying to urge a comeback.

Perez followed with his solid RBI single to center, but Gonzalez got two strikeouts to end that inning.

Renowned earlier in the tournament for their power, Mexico hitters struggled at the plate until the final innings. The loss eliminated Mexico.

After beating Curacao on Tuesday, Mexico lost its second game without manager Fernando Rios, who was suspended two games after failing to have all his players take a turn at bat in a 4-3 win earlier this week over Taiwan.

Mexico’s acting manager elected not to speak with reporters after the game.