One of the best things about the World Baseball Classic is watching a previously unknown player turn in an excellent performance against the best of the best. That trait was on full display Tuesday, as Rio Gomez, the son of late ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez, made his WBC debut with Colombia.
Rio, who is currently in the Boston Red Sox’s farm system, took the mound in the sixth inning for Colombia. It took Gomez just five pitches to record his first two outs, both on ground balls. After walking Owen Cassie on seven pitches, Gomez rebounded to strike out Jacob Robson to end the inning.
As Rio walked off the field, his mother was shown on the broadcast cheering Rio on.
Rio wasn’t done, however. He also came out for the seventh inning, and notched another strikeout on three pitches. His night ended after that. Rio was taken out of the contest after getting four outs. His performance came at a crucial point in the contest, as Colombia was trying to limit the damage down 1-0 to Canada.
Colombia got out of the seventh without allowing any damage, but Canada rallied to score in both the eighth and ninth innings. Canada won the contest 5-0.
Rio’s father, Pedro, was a long-time MLB reporter who joined ESPN in 2003. He established himself as one of the game’s best and most recognizable baseball analysts during his tenure at ESPN. Pedro died unexpectedly in 2021. He was 58.
Pedro took a lot of pride in Rio’s baseball career. Broadcasters Adam Amin said Pedro “beamed with pride” when talking about his son.
Rio spent last season with the Red Sox’s Double-A affiliate.