The Australians are beginning their third iteration of the Australian Baseball League this weekend.� The Aussies have had two leagues before — both had to shut down due to financial issues.� This time, the ABL is going to be a partnership between MLB and the Australian Baseball Federation.� MLB has been sponsoring the Australian Academy Program since 2001, and several Pirates’ farmhands (Jarryd Sullivan, Mitch Fienemann) have participated.� This academy works with young Australian and Asian players, similar to the work done by the Dominican and other Caribbean academies.
The new ABL has six teams:� the Adelaide Bite (think: shark), the Brisbane Bandits, the Canberra Cavalry, the Melbourne Aces, the Perth Heat, and the Sydney Blue Sox.� The season will run into January, with each team playing 40 games.� Of course Australian players will be featured, but there are some other “imports” as well.� Here’s the official ABL site, and you can see the resemblance to many other US minor league sites.
The good news:� some Pirates’ farmhands are going to be playing
Adelaide Bite:� RHP Mitch Fienemann, LHP Paul Mildren (former Altoona Curve), C Dylan Child, OF Quincy Latimore;� the team manager is Pirate international scout Tony Harris.� Also on the team is a second baseman named Dayle Child…. I’m guessing he’s Dylan’s brother, but I’ve not confirmed it.� The Bite play their first game on Thursday.
Canberra Cavalry: LHP Rinku Singh
Sydney Blue Sox: RHP Jarryd Sullivan
The Calvalry and Blue Sox open on Saturday Nov 6th at 7:30 AEST in Sydney… which is 4:30 am EST in the US, as best as I can tell.� (I will not be up.)
And on to Friday evening’s winter league games:
Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in the Winter Leagues on Thursday…
Tigres del Licey� 6,� Gigantes del Cibao� 3 — C Robinzon Diaz singled and doubled, and Indy area native 1B Jake Fox went 3-for-3 with 3 RBI as Licey posted 14 hits.� Licey scored one run in the 2nd, and another run in the 3rd (including a single by Fox).� Fox also hit the second of two doubles in the 7th inning, giving Los Tigres another run.� Licey plated 3 runs in the 8th, on four singles, including one by Diaz, a hit batter, and Fox’s sacrifice fly.� Diaz’s double came in the 9th inning.
Estrellas de Oriente� 6,� Aguilas Cibaenas� 3� — CF Starling Marte went 0-for-4 as Los Aguilas were held to just 4 hits.� They scored one run in the 7th inning when a bases-loaded walk forced in a run.� That inning ended when Los Estrellas’ Franquelis Osoria got pinch-hitter Luke Carlin to ground out.� A double added 2 runs for Los Aguilas in the 8th, but it wasn’t enough to catch up the Los Estrellas.
Leones del Escogido� 4,� Toros del Este 3� — Los Toros scored their runs all in the 5th inning, on an RBI double and a 2-run homer.� Escogido caught up with 2 runs in the 7th and one mor in the 8th to tie the score.� In the bottom of the 9th, two singles and a sacrifice fly by SS Pedro Lopez brought in the winning run.� Lopez had only a walk in his previous 3 plate appearances for Los Leones.� Jason Jaramillo singled in the 6th for Los Toros, but he was out on an unusual double play — the runner who had been on first base was thrown out at third on the throw in from right field, and when Jaramillo tried to get to second on the throw, he was also thrown out.� Jaramillo also walked in the 9th inning.
Wednesday’s winter league games with Pirates’ players and friends…
Bravos de Margarita� 6,� Leones del Caracas� 4 — Margarita starter Justin Thomas gave up 2 runs in the 2nd inning on a walk and a home run.� He zipped through the 3rd inning, then allowed a single and a walk in the 4th before being relieved, though both of those runners were left stranded.� Caracas scored 2 more runs in the 5th on three walks, a single, and an error.� Los Bravos had been scoreless for the first 4 innings, then exploded for 6 runs in the bottom of the 5th.� 3B Andy LaRoche followed a lead-off single with an RBI double.� Three consecutive walks by a new Caracas pitcher forced in LaRoche with the second run of the inning, leaving the bases loaded.� Another new Caracas pitcher was greeted by LF Frank Diaz’s grand slam, to give Margarita a 6-4 lead.� Former Pirate farmhand Ronald Belisario pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th to earn the save.
Navegantes del Magallanes� 2,� Cardinales de Lara� 1 — Los Cardenales were held to just 4 hits in this game, while Los Navegantes posted 11 hits.� Magallanes scored their first run in the 3rd inning, on an RBI single by 1B Mark Trumbo (Angels).� Their starter Anthony Lerew (Royals) pitched 6 innings and allowed the 4 hits, one of which was a solo home run in the 6th inning, to tie the score and make Lerew ineligible for the win.� Corey Hamman came on in relief, and pitched a perfect 7th inning.� Jean Machi followed with a perfect 8th, and Yoel Hernandez retired the side in order in the 9th.� In the top of the 8th, DH Mike Ryan broke the tie with a solo home run, which became the game-winner.� That gave Hamman the win and Hernandez his 2nd save.� Ryan went 3-for-4 in the game, raising his batting average to .389.� SS Argenis Diaz went 1-for-4 for Magallanes.
Caribes de Anzoategui� 3,� Tigres de Aragua� 2� –� Brian Bass gave up 2 runs on 2 hits in his start for Los Tigres, and he was lucky that it wasn’t more runs, because he walked 5 batters.� He gave a free pass to 2 batters in each of the 1st and 2nd innings, and both times left them on base.� In the 3rd, he gave up a 2-out walk, and the next batter smacked a 2-run homer.� He gave up a single in the 5th, and was relieved after getting a ground out.� Aragua tied the game in the 5th inning when former Indy Indian LF Jorge Cortes walked, then a hit batter and a ground out pushed Cortes to third.� he scored on an RBI single.� The score remained tied until the bottom of the 10th, when Los Caribes got a lead-off single.� Adenson Chourio came in as a pinch-runner, and he stole second base.� A walk-off double plated Chourio with the winning run.� 1B Hector Gimenez singled and walked twice for Los Tigres, and C Raul Chavez singled and walked, but neither scored.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas� 2,� Senadores de San Juan 1 — San Juan scored one run in the top of the 1st on a walk, a stolen base, an error, and an RBI ground out.� Then they had only 4 hits for the rest of the game.� Caguas tied the score in the 5th inning on a walk, a single, and an RBI single by former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa.� A solo home run by DH Omir Santos gave Los Criollos the winning run in the 7th inning.� Figueroa had 2 more hits in the game — a double to lead off the bottom of the 1st inning, and a single after the homer in the 7th.� 3B Ramon Vazquez singled twice in the game, in the 6th and the 8th innings.
A busy Sunday afternoon and evening in the winter leagues… the Arizona Fall League has the day off on Sundays.
Navegantes del Magallanes� 2,� Caribes de Anzoategui� 0� –� Corey Hamman earned his first save of the winter season for Magallanes.� Hamman entered the game in the top of the 8th, with pinch-runner Adenson Chourio on first and no outs.� He got a ground out to first to end the inning, then came back out in the 9th, w hen he worked around a lead-off walk for a scoreless inning.� Los Caribes were held to just 4 hits in the game, and Los Navegantes did not hit much better — only 5 hits.� Magallanes scored one run in the top of the 1st on a walk, a ground out by DH Mike Ryan which moved the runner over, and an RBI single.� A walk and a double brought in the run in the 5th.� Ryan also singled in the 8th, but was left on base.
Leones del Caracas� 14,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 5� — The Sharks were clawed up by the Tigers this afternoon, as every member of the Caracas lineup had at least one hit.� La Guaira scored 2 runs in the 3rd inning, but Caracas scored in each of the last 5 innings, including 4-run innings in the 8th and 9th.� C Carlos Maldonado singled in the 2nd inning, but did not factor into any of the late scoring.
Bravos de Margarita� 5,� Aguilas de Zulia� 0 — Los Bravos did all their scoring in the 7th (3 runs) and 8th (2 runs), and held Los Aguilas’ hitters to just 5 hits.� Andy LaRoche did not get into the game.
Tigres de Aragua� 5,� Cardinales de Lara� 3 — DH Raul Chavez, C Miguel Perez, and pinch-hitter Hector Gimenez all went hitless in the game, but Chavez was hit by a pitch and scored in the 2-run 1st inning for Aragua.� A walk and four singles gave Los Tigres 3 more runs in the 3rd.� Lara also had a walk and four singles, plus an Aragua throwing error, in the top of the 5th, when they also scored 3 runs.
The Dominican and Puerto Rican winter leagues open their seasons tonight.� So far, many of the teams in those leagues have only partial rosters or no rosters posted.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Gigantes de Carolina — SS Benji Gonzalez (West Virginia Power in 2010), and former Indy Indian (2007) OF Luis Matos.
Criollos de Caguas — former Indy Indian (2004) SS Luis Figueroa and former Pirate INF Ramon Vazquez
Gigantes de Carolina� 4,� Criollos de Caguas� 0 — Of these players, Figueroa and Vazquez were the only ones to get into the game.� They went 0-for-9 between them as Caguas was held to just 6 hits in the shutout.
Aguilas Cibaenas –� C Luke Carlin (Indy Indians in part of 2010) and OF Starling Marte (Bradenton Marauders in 2010).
Toros del Este — managed by Dean Treanor, with C Jason Jaramillo and maybe SS Pedro Ciriaco.
Tigres del Licey� — Three former Pirates: C Ronny Paulino, C Robinzon Diaz, and RHP Denny Bautista.
Gigantes del Cibao� 5,� Aguilas Cibaenas� 1� — C Luke Carlin started the game behind the plate for Los Aguilas.� He walked to open the top of the 3rd but was out in a double play, then struck out in the 5th.� Los Aguilas managed only 3 hits, and they scored their only run in the 6th inning, aided by two errors and a wild pitch.
Bravos de Margarita� 4,� Aguilas de Zulia� 1 – Margarita took advantage of mistakes by Zulia.� They scored a pair of runs in the 5th on a single, a walk, and an error, then two insurance runs in the 9th on two walks, two wild pitches, and another error.� Andy LaRoche started the game at third base.� In three trips to the plate, he flied out, struck out, and walked — and was picked off base.� When the next half inning began, LaRoche was removed from the game.� Los Bravos might be getting a little frustrated with LaRoche, who is hitting .100.