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 the Pirates’ players and friends in winter league action on Thursday…
Tigres de Aragua� 6,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� — Los Bravos were held to just 2 hits — a single in the 7th, and another to lead off the 9th inning.� 3B Andy LaRoche worked a walk to open the 2nd inning, but was erased in a double play.� Margarita got another walk in the 4th inning, and those were the only two Bravos batters to reach base in the first six innings.� Los Tigres scored their first run in the 1st inning, on a double, a single by SS Ronny Cedeno (in his Tigres’ debut), a fielders’ choce by CF Lastings Milledge, and an RBI single.� They added 2 more runs in the 4th, on a 2-run homer.� C Raul Chavez doubled after the homer, and Hector Gimenez reached on a fielder’s choice, but Chavez was out at third.� Cedeno also doubled in the 5th, then had the second single of the 7th inning.� Milledge moved Cedeno up to second base on a ground out, and an intentional walk loaded the bases.� A sacrifice fly plated the first run of the inning.� Chavez and Gimenez each drove in a run with an RBI single.� Jorge Cortes made a pinch-hitting appearance for Los Tigres and worked a walk in the 8th, but was left on base.
Navegantes del Magallanes� 3,� Tiburones de La Guaira� 1� — Los Tiburones put up half of their 6 hits in the 4th inning, when they scored their only run — back-to-back doubles and a single to begin the inning.� Los Navegantes scored one run in the 1st inning on a fielding error, a stolen base, and a double.� After Los Tiburones tied the score in the top of the 4th, Magallanes came back in the bottom of the frame to take the lead with a single, a walk, a wild pitch, and a 2-RBI single.� DH Mike Ryan was hitless in 4 trips to the plate for Magallanes.� Jean Machi pitched the top of the 9th for Magallanes and gave up a walk but struck out 2 batters to keep Los Tiburones from scoring.� Machi earned his 3rd save of the winter league season.
Cheering for Pirates’ players and friends in the winter leagues on Tuesday…
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Criollos de Caguas� 8,� Senadores de San Juan� 2� — Former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa was just a homer away from hitting for the cycle, with 3 of Los Criollos’ 15 hits.� 3B Ramon Vazquez also had a hit for Caguas.� Figueroa doubled in the 1st inning but was left on base.� He singled in the 3rd and scored on an RBI double in the 4-run 3rd inning, then he tripled a run in and scored in the 2-run 4th inning.� Caguas also scored one run in the 2nd and the 8th innings.
Toros del Este� 6,� Tigres del Licey� 4� — Los Toros posted a pair of 3-run innings to take the win.� They scored on three walks and two doubles in the 4th inning, and on two walks and three singles in the 5th, complicated by a throwing error by Los Tigres’ C Robinzon Diaz.� Diaz had one hit for Licey, a single in the 8th inning, after a solo home run.� 1B Jake Fox also had one single for Los Tigres, but did not score.
Aguilas Cibaenas� 8,� Leones del Escogido�� 7� — Another hit-fest, with Los Aguilas recording 12 hits and Los Leones piling up 17.� LF Starling Marte had one hit for Los Aguilas, a single to load the bases in the 5th.� A strikeout ended that inning without a run scoring.� He also reached base on fielding error in the 2nd inning, which allowed a run to score.� Los Aguilas’ biggest inning was the 3rd, when DH Eric Patterson hit a grand slam.� Luke Carlin came into the game to catch for Los Aguilas in the 9th inning, but did not get a plate appearance.� Los Aguilas scored again in the 4th and 6th innings, and had an 8-2 lead going into the bottom of the 7th.� Los Leones scored 3 runs in the 7th, plus one more in each of the 8th and 9th innings, but still came up short.
Cardenales de Lara� 5,� Navegantes del Magallanes� 4� — Three runs in the bottom of the 8th inning gave Lara the win.� A walk and two singles brought in the first two runs, to tie the game.� Jean Machi came on in relief for Los Navegantes, and he was able to prevent a run from scoring by fielding a come-backer and firing it back to the plate, to make the out at the plate. But a passed ball allowed the next runner on third base to score the go-ahead run.� Magallanes had scored 3 runs in the top of the 1st on a walk and three doubles, including a double by 1B Mike Ryan.� A home run added another run in the 6th.�� SS Argenis Diaz singled in the 2nd inning and walked to lead off the 7th inning for Magallanes, but did not score.� Former Pirate Romulo Sanchez pitched 1.2 innings for Lara.� He entered the game in the top of the 6th after the home run, with one runner on base and no outs.� He got a double play, then gave up a single before ending the inning with a ground out.� He walked Diaz and gave up a single in the 7th inning.
Saturday’s winter league action for the Pirates’ players and friends.� The Puerto Rican League had their Ponce/Caguas game postponed.
Bravos de Margarita� 11,� Cardenales de Lara� 1� — Despite 10 hits, Los Cardenales were able to score just one run, which came in the 3rd inning.� Los Bravos piled up 12 hits and 11 runs, with two big innings.� Margarita began with one run in the 1st, then added another in the 2nd.� With all of the hits Lara was collecting, the Margarita starter, Will Savage, was relieved in the 5th inning, with one on and one out.� Jhonathan Ramos came in for Savage, and ended the inning by getting a double play.� He only pitched to one batter, but with the Bravos’ rally in the bottom of the inning, Ramos was awarded his second win of the season.� Margarita scored 4 runs in the 5th.� 3B Andy LaRoche singled and stole second base in the inning, then scored on a later RBI single.� LaRoche also walked in the 7th, and scored on another RBI single, for the first run of what would be a 5-run inning.
Navegantes del Magallanes� 6,� Tigres de Aragua� 3� — LF Lastings Milledge singled twice and walked once for Aragua, but it wasn’t enough for a win.� Milledge led off the bottom of the 4th with a single, and a fielding error, a single, and a grounder force out gave Aragua 2 runs, for a 3-1 lead.� Milledge also singled to lead off the 6th and stole second base, but was left on base when Corey Hamman came on in relief for Magallanes and struck out the only batter he faced.� Another pitcher relieved Hamman and ended the inning with Milledge still on third base.� Milledge also reached third base in the 8th, when he walked, and advanced to third on a single.� Magallanes scored 3 runs in the 6th inning, then two more in the 7th, to take the lead and the win.� Jean Machi earned his 2nd win for Magallanes when he struck out the side (all swinging) in the 9th inning. � LF Mike Ryan went 0-for-4 for Magallanes.� C Hector Gimenez went 0-for-4 for Aragua.
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.