Caribbean Series 2017: Puerto Rico’s bats make work of the Dominican Republic in 10-2 route

February 5, 2017


 by Lewis Rubman

Culiacán, Sinaloa, México–Last night we watched a tight game between the two teams that hadn’t yet lost a game in this year’s edition of the Caribbean Series. This afternoon we watched between the two teams that had yet to win one. Puerto Rico’s Caguas Criollos had lost all three of their games, and the Dominican Republic’s Licey Tigers had dropped both of their’s.

The Caguas offense used a variety of methods to produce ten runs on eleven hits in their eight turns at bat. They bunted, stole bases, hit for average, hit for distance; you name it, they did it. The first Criollo tallies came in the opening frame when Ivan de Jesus, Jr. pulled a single into left field and Rusney Castillo, another right handed hitter blasted a home run that landed three rows in front of the back wall in the left field stands. pulled a blast lhome run by Rusney Castillo.

The Tigers manager, Aldo Vicente, yanked right handed Licey starter Bryan Evans after he walked De Jesus and gave up a single to David Vidal with one out in the third. That tactic worked for two thirds of an inning as Evans’ replacement, Ulises Joaquin, retired the side with no further damage.

That all changed in the bottom of the fourth. Joquin walked the first two batters, which is the perfect situation, according to classic baseball strategy, for a sacrifice bunt, especially in the bottom third of the line up is due to come to bat. Vicente brought in Edgar Garcia to face number 8 hitter Yadiel Rivera, who sacrificed the runners to second and third. The decision to give up an out to put a runner on third worked; ninth place hitter Jonathan Morales brought Jose Padilla home with a sacrifice fly.

Licey’s approach in the next half inning echoed what Caguas had done in their last turn at bat. With runners on first and second, Sergio Alcantara moved the runners up a notch. Both of them eventually crossed the plate, tightening the score to 3-2.

The Tigers’ comeback was short lived. The Crioles added three more runs at the first opportunity, taking advantage of an error by Licely third baseman Donovan Solano but also contributing to the breakthrough with their own varied successes, a double by Vidal; stolen base by Castillo and Valentin, who had hit a solid sinbgle; and a run producing sacrific bunt bl;y Padilla.

The Puerto Rican attack was relentless. They scored two more runs in the sixth and made their curtain call with a run produced by three succesive singles.

Andres Santiago, who replaced Brownell, who gave up both of the Dominican runs got the win. Santiage went two and a third innings without allowing a run, although he did permit one hit. Miguel Mejia and Ricardo Gomez each pitched a hitless, runless inning.

Both De Jesus and Gotay went three for four. Each of them also hit a double. Castillo, who homered, drove in three runs. De Jesus drove in two.

Morales, Padilla, and Valentin each drove in one.

Engel Beltre got two hits in a loosing cause. Charity prohibts a listing of the lines of the eight Licey pitchers, but allows to mention that Leyson Septimo gave up no runs or hits in his inning of work, although he did walk a batter.

The standings as of now are:

Team W L GB

Mexico. 3. 0. –

Cuba 2 0. 0.5

Venezuela. 1 1. 1.5

Dominican Republic. 1 2. 2.o

Puerto Rico 1 3. 2.5










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