The Mexican Pacific League and Dominican Leagues both begin their championship playoff series on Saturday — best of 7 series for the Mexicans, and best of 9 series for the Dominicans. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan League has only two more days left in the regular season, and the Puerto Rican League is in the middle of their best-of-9 championship series.
PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE
Indios de Mayaguez 7, Criollos de Caguas 4
Los Indios took a 3-2 lead in the series with a solid win over Los Criollos. Bobby Livingston made the start for Los Indios, and pitched into the 4th inning, allowing one run in each inning, including 2 solo home runs. Los Indios scored one run on two doubles in the 2nd inning, then scored 5 runs in a big 5th inning, with 5 singles, a double, and 2 walks. A solo homer gave Los Indios one more run in the 8th. Justin Thomas pitched 2 perfect innings for Los Indios, including 2 strikeouts.
Tigres de Aragua 6, Caribes de Anzoategui 4
Los Tigres began the day half a game ahead of Los Caribes in the round-robin standings. Tonight’s win boosted them to 1.5 games up, insuring Los Tigres a first-place finish. This was Los Caribes’ last game in the round-robin series, and Los Tigres play one more game against Magallanes on Saturday. 1B Hector Gimenez got Los Tigres started with a 3-run homer in the 1st inning, then a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning gave them a 5-1 lead. Los Caribes scored one run in the top of the 1st with a double, a sacrifice bunt by CF Gorkys Hernandez, and an RBI single. Los Caribes added a 2-run homer in the top of the 5th, cutting the lead to 5-3. Los Tigres’ third homer of the night, a solo blast, made in 6-4 in the bottom of the 5th. Exicardo Cayones pinch run for Los Caribes in the 8th, but did not score. He remained in the game to play left field. CF Jorge Cortes went 0-for-2 for Los Tigres.
Aguilas del Zulia 11, Tiburones de La Guaira 6
Los Aguilas pulled out another rare win, scoring in four of their first five innings, including a 5-run 5th. DH Carlos Maldonado got Los Aguilas off to a good start with a 3-run homer in the 1st, then contributed an RBI single in the 3rd inning. A 2-run single and another 3-run homer brought in the runs in the 5th.
Adelaide Bite 7, Brisbane Bandits 1 (Game 1)
Starter Darren Fidge pitched a complete game for the Bite, allowing just one run on 6 hits and a walk, with 6 strikeouts. The only run the Bandits were allowed came in the top of the 1st, on two singles and a sacrifice fly. They threatened in the 4th, due to a single and a throwing error, but 3B Stefan Welch fielded a grounder and threw out the runner at the plate. Meanwhile, the Bite chomped early and late. A walk and two hit batters (including 1B Calvin Anderson) loaded the bases in the bottom of the 1st, then three consecutive walks forced in 3 runs for the Bite. Welch hit the second of two singles in the 2nd inning, moving the lead runner to third base, and an RBI ground out gave the Bite a 4-1 lead. The Bite scored again in the 7th on a solo homer, and in the 8th on a 2-run homer. Anderson also singled in the 5th inning, and Welch doubled after the homer in the 8th.
Bandits 4, Bite 3 (Game 2)
The Bandits earned a split of the double header with a win in Game 2. 1B Calvin Anderson went 3-for-4 with a homer, but the Bite could not catch up to the Bandits. Anderson began the scoring with his solo homer to lead off the bottom of the 2nd. The Bandits tied the game with a solo homer in the 5th, followed by back-to-back doubles, for a 2-1 lead. RInku Singh took the mound in relief for the Bite in the top of the 6th, but he was not having a happy night. He gave up a pair of singles and a double, to give the Bandits a 3-1 lead. The Bite got one run back in the bottom of the inning, when 3B Stefan Welch walked, Anderson singled, and another single drove in Welch. Singh came back out for the 7th inning, which began with a lead-off homer, boosting the Bandits’ lead to 4-2. Singh got two outs and gave up a walk, then was relieved. Welch walked again in the 8th, and Anderson singled again, moving Welch to third base. He scored on an RBI ground out for the Bite’s final run.
Melbourne Aces 10, Canberra Cavalry 9
The Cavalry came from behind to tie the score in the 9th inning, but it was the Aces who took the win with a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th. Melbourne scored one run in the bottom of the 1st, and the Cavalry answered with a run in the top of the 2nd on a hit batter and a long run on an RBI single. A 2-run homer, a single, a double by C Travis Scott, and an RBI single gave the Cavalry 3 runs in the top of the 3rd. The Aces got two runs back in the bottom of the inning. Then the Aces took a 7-4 lead with 4 runs in the bottom of the 4th, on a double and 5 singles. They extended their lead with one run in each of the 5th and 6th innings. The Cavalry made it 9-6 with a 20run homer in the 7th, then tied the score with a 3-run homer in the top of the 9th. That sent the game into extra innings, with the Aces taking the win in the bottom of the 10th.