Winter League Playoffs 1/18 — Hernandez Scores Lone Run, Moss Has Key RBI
A few Pirates’ players and friends got into Wednesday’s winter league playoff games:
Aguilas Cibaenas 7, Gigantes del Cibao 1
Los Aguilas got all the runs they would need in the top of the 1st. The game began with back-to-back singles, then a hit batter to load the bases. RF Brandon Moss drove in the lead runner with a sacrifice fly, then an RBI single and an RBI ground out gave Los Aguilas a 3-0 lead. Moss added a solo homer in the 3rd, and Los Aguilas scored one run in each of the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings. Moss walked to load the bases in the 7th inning rally, and another sacrifice fly brought in the run. Los Gigantes posted 10 hits, but scored only one run, and that came on a solo homer in the 2nd. Nine Gigantes’ base runners were left stranded, while two were caught stealing and two more were picked off base.
That concludes the round-robin portion of the Dominican League playoffs. Los Leones del Escogido finished in first place with an 11-7 record. Los Aguilas Cibaenas and Los Tigres del Licey are tied for second place, both with 9-9 records, and Los Gigantes del Cibao finished fourth with a 7-11 record. Los Aguilas and Los Tigres will have a one-game playoff on Thursday to determine second and third places.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas 4, Indios de Mayaguez 1
Los Criollos tied up this best-of-9 series at 2 games each as they held Los Indios to just one run. That run scored on 3 singles in the bottom of the 6th. Los Criollos scored with a solo homer in the 2nd, and two unearned runs that crossed the plate on a fielding error at first base in the 4th inning. Former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa drove in one more run for Los Criollos in the 7th inning with an RBI single.
Aguilas de Zulia 3, Caribes de Anzoategui 1
Los Aguilas won just their second game of this round robin tournament, as their starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx pitched 7 shutout innings, allowing only one hit and one walk. The hit was a single in the top of the 1st, but that Caribes’ runner was erased in a double play. CF Gorkys Hernandez worked a walk in the 3rd inning, but was left stranded. Los Caribes had no more base runners until the 8th, which opened with a single. That runner was also left on base. Hernandez led off the top of the 9th with a double, then scored Los Caribes’ only run on a single and a sacrifice fly. Los Aguilas scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st, on an RBI single by C Carlos Maldonado, and a run that scored on a double play. A single, a stolen base, and another single drove in Los Aguilas’ last run in the 4th.
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Algodoneros de Guasave 6, Tomateros de Culiacan 4
Guasave tied the game with 2 runs in the 8th inning off former Pirate pitcher Jesse Chavez, then took the win with 2 more runs in the top of the 9th. The win gives Guasave the semi-final series, and moves then to the championship series, where they will face Los Yaquis de Obregon. That best-of-7 championship series will begin on Saturday.
Melbourne Aces 11, Canberra Cavalry 4
It was the Aces’ turn for some revenge after being run down by the Cavalry yesterday. Canberra began the scoring with a solo homer in the 1st, and the Aces returned fire with a solo homer in the 3rd. The Cavalry scored one run on 3 singles in the 5th, and the Aces tied the score again with another solo homer in the bottom of the frame. C Travis Scott led off the top of the 6th with a single. Though he was out at third on a fielder’s choice, three more singles in the inning gave the Cavalry another one-run lead. They made it a 2-run lead with a solo homer in the 7th, but once again the Aces tied the score, this time with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 7th. Then the Aces blew the game open in the 8th, with a 7-run inning. A 2-RBI double, an RBI single, and a pair of 2-run homers accounted for all the runs, and the Cavalry had no answer.
Adelaide Bite 5, Brisbane Bandits 3
The Bite did all of their scoring in one inning, taking a big bite in the bottom of the 2nd. 1B Calvin Anderson led off with a walk, then moved to second base on a wild pitch. A walk and a bunt single allowed Anderson to scored, then back-to-back homers (3-run and solo) made it a 5-run inning. The Bandits scored one run in three different innings, including two solo homers. Anderson went 0-for-3 after his walk. 3B Stefan Welch was also 0-for-3 with a walk.