Juarez Sharp For Nicaragua In Oualifing Play

It was a case of today vs. yesterday as far as the Dodger system is concerned in Friday's Olympic qualifying play in Phoenix and the "what have you done for me lately" guy was the winner.

Righthander William Juarez, who pitched for Jacksonville this year, was on the mound for Nicaragua against former Dodger farmhand Hugo Pivaral for Guatamala and Juarez was the easy winner, 6-1. The 24-year-old was in complete command, scattering four hits in six scoreless innings, walking only one and striking out two as Nicaragua stayed in contention to advance further by evening its record at 2-2.

Pivaral didn't fare nearly as well, being roughed up for seven hits and all six runs in the eight innings he worked. Guatamala fell out of contention to 0-4.

Juarez's Jacksonville teammate, Russell Martin, caught for Team Canada on Thursday, singling twice and driving in a run as the Canadians breezed by Panama 15-5. He wasn't in the lineup Friday, however, when Mexico handed the Canadians their first loss in four games, 7-2. Ex-Dodger Luis Garcia had four hits for Mexico in that one.

Meanwhile, Team USA, which has no Dodgers on its roster, downed Panama 9-3 to stay perfect after four games to assure its advancement to the next level.

Four teams will qualify for the hemispheric event which is scheduled for Cuba next September. However, US officials indicated they will ask it be moved up one week so minor leaguers on competing teams can play and still be in line for possible call-ups to the big leagues, Sept. 1.