The Tigres del Licey were proclaimed champions of the Dominican Baseball League with a 2-1 victory over the Estrellas Orientales on Wednesday, left on the field by a towering single by Mel Rojas in the bottom of the tenth inning.
Rojas’ hit drove in Ronny Mauricio and gave the Tigers the 2-1 victory.
The Licey ended up winning the best-of-seven series in five games to win the 23rd championship in their glittering history, breaking a tie with the Aguilas Cibaeñas and are now the top winners in the circuit.
Rojas, who batted 4-3, drove in the first run of the game with a single in the third chapter. Jeimer Candelario tied it with a solo home run in the eighth chapter, but Rojas himself capped his inspired night with the deciding run.
The Tigers won the right to represent the Dominican Baseball League in the next Caribbean Series to be held from 2 to 10 February in Caracas. They are also the top winners of the Caribbean tournament with 10 titles, although they have not been crowned since 2008.
The Carolina Giants exploded with a six-hit attack in the first episode, en route to a 6-4 victory over the Mayagüez Indians, to even the best-of-seven series that defines the champion of the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League of Puerto Rico at one game apiece.
In the first chapter, Anderson Feliz opened the party with a run-scoring single, José Sermo connected a two-run double and Oswaldo Martínez pushed in one more with a single.
On the same play, Sermo took advantage of an error by the left fielder to reach the plate, and Delvin Pérez closed the attack with a run-scoring single to give the Giants the lead.
Luis Leroy Cruz allowed seven hits and two runs in five and two-thirds innings to win the game. He was lost by Ronnie Williams, punished with six hits in his brief one-third inning opener.
The Cardenales de Lara backed up a brilliant start by Mario Sánchez with an 11-strikeout offense to beat the Leones del Caracas 9-0 and keep alive their chances of qualifying for the Final Series of the Venezuelan Baseball League.
The Cardinals must win their remaining three games in the round-robin round, and must also wait for a combination of results to advance to the Final Series.
A loss on Wednesday would have consummated their elimination.
Mario Sanchez completed a powerful seven-episode shutout with just four hits and six walks to earn the victory. The setback went to Jesús Vargas, after allowing five hits and three runs in three innings and two thirds.
On offense, Kennys Vargas, 4-2 with a home run and two runs produced, Pedro Castellanos with a two-run home run, and Javier Sanoja 4-1 with two runs batted in.
In Caracas, Maikel García hit a two-run homer to break a scoreless tie in the eighth inning, while Ángel Reyes and Wilson García responded with two-run doubles in the same inning to give the Tiburones de La Guiara an important 4-0 win over the Navegantes del Magallanes.
Arnaldo Hernández won with a blank chapter and three runs batted in. The Mexican backup Jake Sanchez fell, punished with three hits in just one third of an inning.
The Leones and Tiburones lead the round robin with a record of 8-6, followed by Navegantes (7-7), Tigres (6-7) and Cardenales (5-8). All teams must complete 16 games, with the top two teams advancing to the circuit finals.
Matt Pobereyko had a brilliant outing and the stellar Jesse Castillo responded offensively in the Algodoneros de Guasave’s 2-0 win over the Naranjeros de Hermosillo, sealing the best-of-seven series in six games to earn a place in the Mexican Pacific League Final.
Pobereyko pitched seven powerful shutout innings of just two hits and five walks to earn the important victory, while Jesse Castillo drove in one run with a double and one more with a solo home run to provide all that was needed in the winners’ offense.
In Los Mochis, Luis Miranda pitched six innings of one-hit, one-run ball with six strikeouts to lead the Cañeros de Los Mochis to a 5-2 victory over the Yaquis de Ciudad Obregón, winning the series in six games and advancing to the circuit final.
Roberto Valenzuela hit a two-run homer, Wagner Lagrange hit 3-2 with an RBI and Isaac Rodríguez went 4-1 with a RBI to lead the winners.
The first final between the Algodoneros de Guasave and the Cañeros de Los Mochis in the history of the Mexican Pacific League, a best-of-seven game, will begin on Sat.
The first final between the Algodoneros de Guasave and the Cañeros de Los Mochis in the history of the best-of-seven Mexican Pacific League will begin on Saturday, January 21.
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