The Mexican Pacific League and the Venezuelan League both wrap up regular season play today. The Puerto Rican League takes the next three days off, then finishes up their season on Jan 3rd and 4th. The Dominican League will take a couple of days off, then resume their playoffs on Monday. Happy New Year!
Tigres de Aragua 4, Aguilas del Zulia 1 (Game 1)
Los Aguilas out-hit los Tigres 8-7, but managed only one run. That run came in the 3rd, on a walk, a bunt, a wild pitch, and an RBI single. Los Tigres answered with a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the score. With two outs, a single, a throwing error, and an RBI single brought in the run. Los Tigres took the lead in the next inning with a solo home run. Cesar Valdez took the mound for Los Aguilas in the bottom of the 6th. He began the inning with a walk and a 2-run homer by 1B Hector Gimenez. Los Tigres’ Wil Ledezma pitched to two batters in the 5th inning — a ground out and a single. C Carlos Maldonado went 0-for-3 for Los Aguilas, and CF/LF Jorge Cortes did the same for Los Aguilas.
Tigres de Aragua 3, Aguilas del Zulia 0 (Game 2)
Los Tigres swept the double-header with a 2-hit shut-out in the night-cap. Wil Ledezma also got onto the mound for Los Tigres in this game, and again pitched to just two hitters — a line out and a double to begin the 5th inning. A walk and a single loaded the bases, but Ledezma’s relief got a strikeout and a ground out, leaving all three runners on base. Los Tigres scored one run in the 1st with a walk, a single, and a wild pitch. They added 2 more runs in the bottom of the 5th, when CF Jorge Cortes led off with a single, followed by a walk. A triple drove in both base runners. DH Hector Gimenez went 0-for-2 with a walk.
Caribes de Anzoategui 5, Cardenales de Lara 4
Los Caribes won this game in the bottom of the 12th with a walk-off steal… a steal-off win? After 3 innings of a 4-4 tie, a one-0ut single and a walk put two Caribes’ batters on base. A quick pick-off move eliminated the runner from second base, then another single put runners on the corners. Luis Ugueto, the runner on third, ended the game when he stole home. Los Caribes scored their first run in the 3rd inning, with a single, C Gorkys Hernandez being hit by a pitch, and an RBI double. Los Cardenales tied the score in the top of the 4th, then a 2-run homer gave Los Caribes a 3-1 lead in the 4th. Lara again tied the score in the 7th with their own 2-run homer. Los Caribes scored again in the bottom of the 7th with a soo homer off former Pirate pitcher Romulo Sanchez. Los Cardenales tied the score yet again in the top of the 9th, on three consecutive walks and a hit batter to drive in the run. Hernandez doubled in the 1st inning, but did not score. RF Exicardo Cayones got his first hit for Los Caribes after coming into the game in the 4th inning – he singled in the bottom of the 6th, but was forced out at second on a grounder.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Leones de Ponce 5, Criollos de Caguas 2
A 5-run 6th inning was all Los Leones needed. A hit batter, a double, and a walk loaded the bases for Los Leones. A single drove in one run, then the next two runs were forced in by walks. Another RBI single brought in the final two runs. Los Criollos scored one run on a single and an RBI double in the 3rd. Former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa doubled in the 5th, then scored on an RBI single. SS Benji Gonzalez went 0-for-2 for Los Leones. Former Pirate farmhand RJ Rodriguez recorded his 11th Save of the season with a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 9th.
DOMINICAN LEAGUE (playoffs)
Aguilas Cibaenas 6, Tigres del Licey 0
Former Pirate Shane Youman pitched 6 scoreless innings to earn the win for Los Aguilas. He allowed just 6 hits (all singles) and a walk, and the three relievers who followed him each pitched a scoreless inning. SS Yamaico Navarro and DH Ronny Paulino each had a single for Los Tigres, but were left on base. Los Aguilas started the game with 2 runs in the top of the 1st. A walk and a single and a ground out by RF Brandon Moss put two runners into scoring position, and 3B Audy Ciriaco’s single into right field drove both runners in. Two singles and a throwing error added a run in the 2nd inning. Moss walked and scored on an RBI double in the 5th. CF Juan Perez raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run in the 8th. Moss also hit the second of two singles to begin the top of the 9th, and a double brought in Los Aguilas’ final run. SS Pedro Ciriaco singled in the 6th inning and walked in the 4th for Los Aguilas.
Perth Heat 9, Adelaide Bite 5 (Game 1)
1B Calvin Anderson homered and 3B Stefan Welch went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, but it wasn’t enough for the Bite to overcome the Heat’s 6-run 1st inning. Those 6 runs came on a sacrifice fly, a 2-run homer, and a 3-run homer. Anderson answered in the bottom of the 1st with his 2-run blast, following Welch’s single. Welch doubled to lead off the 3rd inning, and advanced to third base on a single by Denny Almonte (Mariners). Anderson grounded into a double play, which erased Almonte, but allowed Welch to score. The next batter added a solo home run, bringing the score to 6-4. A single and two errors gave the Bite another run in the 4th, bringing them within one run of the Heat. Welch doubled again in the 6th inning, but was left on base. The Heat increased their lead with a walk and two singles in the top of the 6th, then picked up two more insurance runs with a 2-run homer in the 7th by C Allan de San Miguel, who had also homered in the 1st inning.
Heat 16, Bite 11 (Game 2)
After a combined 5 homers in the first game, there were 9 more homers in the second game, including Allan de San Miguel’s third homer of the day. Each team recorded 17 hits in this game, and the Heat had another 6-run inning, as they scored in all but two frames. Heat batters homered in 6 consecutive innings, with two homers in the 6-run 6th inning (both 2-run homers). The Bite were keeping pace until that 6th inning. They scored one run in the 2nd on two singles and an RBI ground out, and one in the 4th on a solo homer. CF Denny Almonte and DH Calvin Anderson led off the bottom of the 5th with back-to-back singles, and LF James Jones (Mariners) followed with his second homer of the day, a 3-run shot. Anderson’s sacrifice fly in the 6th inning added another run. The Bite had a 3-run 7th inning, with three singles, a walk, and a double driving in two runs, and 3B Stefan Welch’s sacrifice fly bringing in the third. A 2-run homer in the 8th finished the scoring for the Bite.
Brisbane Bandits 3, Canberra Cavalry 2 (Game 1)
DH Travis Scott went 0-for-3 for the Cavalry, who were scoreless until the top of the 9th. The Bandits scored on a 2-run homer in the 5th inning, and held that lead until the Cavalry charged in the 9th. A single and a hit batter put two Cavalry runners on base, and a wild pitch moved both into scoring position. Scott was walked to load the bases, and was replaced by a pinch-runner. A double plated the first two runners, but the pinch-runner was thrown out at the plate. The Bandits broke the 2-2 tie with a bases-loaded walk-off-walk in the bottom of the 9th.
Bandits 10, Cavalry 2 (Game 2)
Travis Scott played first base in the night-cap, with the same results at the plate: 0-for-3 with a walk. Canberra took the early lead with a run in the 1st. A hit batter and two walks loaded the bases, and the run scored when Scott bounced into a double play. The Bandits tied the score with a run in the bottom of the 2nd, but the Cavalry took the lead back in the top of the 3rd, with a run on a walk, a single, and an error. The Cavalry held that 2-1 lead until the bottom of the 7th, when the Bandits tied the score with a solo homer. Then the Bandits exploded for 8 runs in the bottom of the 8th, on 3 walks, 3 singles, a double, a hit batter, and a wild pitch.