Looking at Pirates' players and friends in winter league play....
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Venados de Mazatlan 16, Tomateros de Culiacan 2
Culiacan had the early lead with 2 runs in the 2nd inning. Former Pirate LF Luis Cruz walked and scored in that inning. But it was all Mazatlan after that. A sacrifice fly and a 2-run homer gave Los Venados a 3-2 lead in the 3rd. All was quiet until the 7th, when two walks and a single loaded the bases for RF Rogelio Noris. Noris, the hometown hero, blasted a grand slam over the center field wall for a 7-2 lead. Mazatlan scored twice more in that inning. Noris walked and scored in the 4-run 8th, and Los Venados added 3 more runs in the top of the 9th.
VENZUELAN LEAGUE -- season openers
Navegantes de Magallanes 14, Aguilas de Zulia 8
A total of 29 hits in this game, and 20 of them by Los Navegantes, who scored 6 runs in the 4th and 5 runs in the 7th. Zulia countered with 3 runs in the 5th and 5 in the 8th. ...
Nancy grew up in Rochester, NY, where her father indoctrinated her to the love of baseball as a small child. He taught her to keep score at the age of 5, and she hasn't stopped since. She now lives in the Indianapolis area with her husband and two sons. Nancy has followed the Indians on both the Most Valuable Network and the Bloguin group, before joining Pirates Prospects in 2011. She provides daily game recaps from Indianapolis, plus player analysis from the guys she sees live at the games.