Leones de Caracas 8, Bravos de Margarita 2 — C Carlos Maldonado contributed 3 hits and 2 RBI, as Los Leones posted a total of 18 hits for the win. Los Bravos were held to just 5 hits, and their only runs came on a 2-run homer in the 2nd. Jose Ascanio pitched 2 scoreless innings of relief (7th and 8th), and worked around lone singles in each inning. Meanwhile, Los Leones were pounding out the hits. They scored one run in four different innings and 2 runs in both the 7th and 8th innings. In the 4th, two singles, a sacrifice bunt by LF Mike Ryan, and an intentional walk to Maldonado loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly brought in one run. After a walk and a single to lead off the 5th inning, Ryan drove in a run with an RBI single. Maldonado doubled in two runs in the 7th inning; a pair of doubles and a single added another 2 runs in the 8th. Maldonado also singled in the 2nd and 9th innings.
Caribes de Anzoategui 6, Tigres de Aragua 5 — Both teams put up big first innings, but Los Caribes managed to stay ahead of Los Tigres. LF Lastings Milledge had 3 hits and 2 RBI for Los Tigres, and CF Jorge Cortes singled twice. Los Caribes began the game with a 4-run inning, on a walk, two singles, and two doubles. Los Tigres answered with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st, on a walk, two singles, and an RBI double by Milledge. Milledge singled in the 3rd inning, and came around to score on an RBI single, to tie the score. Los Caribes regained the lead with 2 runs in the top of the 5th, again using a walk, two singles, and two doubles. Milledge singled in an answering run in the bottom of the inning, but that was all Aragua could get. When the relief pitchers took over, they shut down the hitting for the last three innings of the game.
Los Caribes and Los Tigres entered today’s game tied for first place in the round robin tournament, both with a 10 – 5 record. The win give Los Caribes (11-5) first place in the tournament, which ends today. Aragua finished tied for second with Caracas, with 10-6 records. Margarita finished fourth at 5-11, and Zulia finished fifth with a 4-12 record.
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
Yaquis de Obregon 8, Algodoneros de Guasave 1 — Los Yaquis opened the championship series with a win, thanks to a 5-run 3rd inning. Guasave scored their only run in the 3rd inning, with the help of a throwing error. 1B Yurendell de Caster singled for Guasave, but was left on base.
Brisbane Bandits 12, Adelaide Bite 8 (Game 1) — Homers abounded as the Bandits jumped out to an early lead with 4 runs in the 1st and 2 more in the 3rd. The Bite got into the mix with a 2-run homer in the 3rd, then another run on a single and a double. Brisbane kept ahead with a run on a walk, a single, and an error in the 4th. Jackson Lodge came on to pitch in relief for the Bite in the 4th, and finished the inning with a fly out. He came back out to begin the 5th, and gave up a solo homer to the first batter of the inning, then retired the next two batters. A throwing error put a runner on first base, but Lodge promptly picked him off to end that frame. Lodge also had to work around a single and another error in the 6th, but kept the runners from scoring. Adelaide caught up to the Bandits with a solo homer in the 5th, then a 4-run 6th inning, tying the game at 8-8. But another solo homer, two walks, and two doubles gave the Bandits 4 runs in the top of the 7th for the win.
Bite 5, Bandits 2 (Game 2) — The Bite got their revenge in the night-cap, to end the regular season with a split. They continued the day’s home run derby with all of their scoring coming on the long ball. CF James McOwen had two of the homers, both solo blasts, one in the 1st and one to lead off the 4th. A 2-run homer followed in the 4th, and another solo homer in the 8th took care of all of the Bite’s runs. The Bandits scored a run in the top of the 1st (not a homer) and another in the 8th (homer). DH Quincy Latimore went 0-for-4 in the game. He finishes the regular season play with a .313 batting average, 8 doubles (2nd on the team), 2 triples (team best), 5 homers, and 25 RBI (4th on the team).
Sydney Blue Sox 5, Canberra Cavalry 4 (Game 1) — Two singles and a sacrifice bunt gave the Blue Sox the go-ahead run in the top of the 8th inning for the win. Rinku Singh pitched the 6th inning for Canberra, allowing a walk, but retiring the other three batters he faced. Sydney also won the night-cap, 4-2.
The Cavalry and the Bandits are out of the playoff picture. The Blue Sox finished the season in first place, and the Perth Heat came in second, one game back. The Bite finished in third place, half a game behind the Heat, and the Melbourne Aces finished fourth, 5.5 games behind the leader. The playoff procedures (shown here) will have the top two teams (Sydney and Perth) facing off in a 3-game series, and the third and fourth place teams (the Bite and the Aces) also playing a 3-game series. Those series will begin on Thursday.