Winter Leagues Update: Kennelly In ABL Finals

In playoff action from today, the Perth Heat swept a doubleheader, advancing to the Australian Baseball League Finals, which will be held next weekend. Pirates prospect Sam Kennelly, will try to help his team to an ABL title, as they face off against the Canberra Calvary in a best-of-three series starting next Friday. The games will be shown(slightly taped delayed) on the MLB Network, possibly giving Pirates fans a first chance to get to see Kennelly play. samken2

Perth won game one yesterday 4-1, then broke open the second game early, only to have to hold off a late comeback by the Sydney Blue Sox, finally winning by an 8-6 score. Kennelly started at third base in game two and contributed an RBI single, but had a tough game otherwise. He went 1-for-5, with three strikeouts and a ninth inning fielding error, that led to three runs being scored.

The Caribbean Series started yesterday, with the best teams from the Winter Leagues in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic squaring off in a round-robin tournament to decide a championship. The rosters have been announced and their are no Pirates players on any of the four teams.

The Colombian League Finals wrapped up earlier this week, with the Caimanes defeating the Tigres 3-2 Tuesday night to take the series in six games. While the winning team didn’t have any Pirates players on their roster, the Tigres had two Pirates prospects, Harold Ramirez and Tito Polo. Both saw time off the bench in the series, with Ramirez getting into three games and Polo playing twice. Ramirez had the only AB between the two, going 0-for-1, being used twice as a defensive replacement. Polo was used twice as a pinch-runner, scoring one run.

There is also another version of the Caribbean Series going on with teams from four of the lesser Winter leagues in Latin America. The winners from Panama, Colombia, Nicaragua and the Veracruz League in Mexico are also playing a round-robin series. The series is especially big for the leagues in Panama and Colombia, as they have petitioned to enter the Caribbean Series in the future. Through the first day of games, no Pirates players have played yet. The full rosters haven’t been posted yet, so it is unknown at this time, whether or not any Pirates are taking part in this tournament.

For future Winter League updates, and Pirates coverage throughout the season, follow me on Twitter @JohnDreker

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John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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