Winter League Playoffs 1/26 — Moss, Cortes, and Anderson Homer, Mildren Goes 9
The Mexican Pacific and Puerto Rican Leagues are just waiting for the Caribbean Series (which begins on Feb 2nd), while the Venezuelan and Dominican Leagues are still in their championship series. Just a few Pirates’ players and friends are still in action:
DOMINICAN LEAGUE (best of 9 series)
Aguilas Cibaenas 8, Leones del Escogido 5
Four runs in the top of the 9th gave Los Aguilas the come-from-behind win, cutting Los Leones’ lead in the series to 3 games to 2. Los Leones took the lead several times in the game, but each time, Los Aguilas caught up. Escogido scored one run in the bottom of the 2nd, then Los Aguilas scored one run in the top of the 3rd with a double and a single. Los Leones scored a run on two doubles in the 4th and another run on two singles in the 5th. RF Brandon Moss helped Los Aguilas catch up with a 2-run homer in the 6th. Los Leones scored again in the bottom of the 7th, with one run on two singles, a bunt, and a walk. Three singles by Los Aguilas tied the score again in the top of the 8th. Escogido once again took the lead in the bottom of the 8th. This time, Los Aguilas came back in a bigger way — with 4 runs on 2 singles, 3 consecutive walks (two of which forced in runs), and a 2-RBI double. Pedro Ciriaco, who came to Los Aguilas from Los Toros del Este, got into the game playing second and third base. He went 0-for-4 at the plate.
VENEZUELAN LEAGUE (best of 7 series)
Tigres de Aragua 5, Tiburones de La Guaira 3
Los Tigres posted 14 hits, while holding Los Tiburones to just 3 hits. Los Tiburones also worked some walks and had a batter hit by a pitch, but none of those runners were able to score. They had no hits until the 5th, when a single began the inning, and two walks loaded the bases. All three runners were left on base, though. Los Tiburones’ only other hits came in the 7th — a triple, followed by a 2-run homer. A fielding error, a tag up after a fly out, and an RBI ground out gave Los Tiburones their final run in the 8th. Los Tigres chomped on Los Tiburones’ pitching, beginning with a solo homer by CF Jorge Cortes to lead off the 3rd, and a double and an RBI single in the 4th. After Los Tiburones scored in the 6th to tie the score at 2-2, Los Tigres scored another 2 runs in the 8th. A double and two RBI singles, one by PH/CF Jonel Pacheco, plated those runs. A single, a ground out, and an RBI single in the top of the 9th gave Los Tigres an insurance run. Los Tigres now hold a 2-1 game lead in the championship series.
Adelaide Bite 8, Sydney Blue Sox 3
The Bite tied up this playoff round at a game apiece, as former Pirate farmhand Paul Mildren pitched a complete game for the Bite. Mildren earned the win, allowing just 3 hits and 3 runs (2 earned), with 3 walks and 6 strikeouts. After retiring the first 6 batters he faced in order, Mildren began the 3rd by giving up a walk and a single. The next batter dropped down a bunt, which Mildren fielded, but then threw wildly to first. The lead runner scored, leaving runners on second and third. A double drove in both of those, to give the Blue Sox a 3-0 lead. After that, Mildren shut the Blue Sox down. He allowed a single in the 4th, and promptly picked that runner off first base. A walk in each of the 7th and 8th were the only other Sydney base runners for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, 1B Calvin Anderson was busy giving Mildren plenty of support, going 3-for-4 at the plate. Anderson drove in 2 runs with an RBI single in the 4th (after a walk and a double). 3B Stefan Welch walked, and a wild pitch and another walk loaded the bases. An RBI ground out let Anderson score, tying the game at 3-3. Anderson broke the tie with a 2-run homer in the 5th. The Bite added 3 insurance runs in the 8th, with a walk, an RBI double by Welch, and an RBI triple by CF Denny Almonte (Mariners). Almonte scored on a single. Anderson also doubled in the 2nd inning, but did not score then.
Perth Heat 9, Melbourne Aces 5
Five runs in the bottom of the 1st got the Heat off to a good start, with a lead they would never give up. This series is now also tied at one game each.