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Velasquez leads Panama into WBC final
11/18/2012 10:53 PM ET
It was a player who totaled 64 regular-season at-bats who struck the biggest blow for Panama on Sunday.

Isaias Velasquez tripled, singled and drove in three runs as Panama bested Colombia, 9-7, to wrap up a spot in the World Baseball Classic qualifier final in Panama City.

Velasquez, a free agent who split the 2012 season between the Gulf Coast League and Double-A Montgomery, got the scoring started with a two-run triple in the second inning and came home on a single by Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada. The 24-year-old outfielder plated another run with a base hit in the sixth.

The former Florida State League All-Star raised his average to .333 during the qualifying round. Velasquez batted .266 with one RBI in 19 regular-season games.

Three-time All-Star Carlos Lee slugged a two-run homer and Tejada finished with two hits and a run scored for Panama, which will face Brazil on Monday for a spot in the WBC main field. Ruben Rivera contributed a solo blast.

Former Major Leaguer Ramon Mendoza tossed 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief to get the win. Cubs reliever Manuel Corpas finished off the win, allowing a run on two hits over the 1 2/3 frames.

Red Sox prospect Reynaldo Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, while Marlins infielder Donovan Solano drove in a run for Colombia.

Brazil, which shut down Colombia, 7-1, on Saturday, is seeking its first trip to the WBC. Panama was eliminated in the opening round of the 2009 tournament.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.