DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – The Leones del Escogida advanced to the Caribbean Series with a 6-5 win over the Aguilas Cibaenas in Game 9 of the Dominican Winter League.
Aguilas jumped out to a 4-1 lead after 4 innings but couldn’t hold on late. The Aguilas pounded 3 home runs but were out hit 13-8. Hector Luna and Miguel Tejada hit solo shots in the 2nd inning, and Jesse Gutierrez added a solo shot in the 9th off of Fernando Rodney. Aguilas starter Raul Valdes pitched 6 strong innings allowing only 1 run but didn’t factor into the decision as the bullpen couldn’t hold on. Wilkins Arias and Miguel Batista (BS, 3)(L, 2-1) both allowed two runs late in the game as it slipped away from Aguilas.
Trailing 4-1 going into the bottom of the 7th Escogida would tie it up and take the lead with a run in the 7th and 3 in the 8th. Mauro Gomez hit a solo shot in the 7th inning and Andy Dirks drove in 2 runs in the game including 1 in the 8th on a sac fly. Each hitter for Escogida had at least 1 hit in the game as they pounded out 13 total. Aneury Rodriguez and Nelson Figueroa combined for 4.2 innings of scoreless relief. Fernando Rodney (BS, 2)(W, 2-1) blew the save in the top of the 9th giving up a home run that tied the game, but he picked up the win when Andy Dirks drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 9th.
Game 1: Aguilas 2, Escogido 5
Game 2: Escogido 4, Aguilas 1
Game 3: Aguilas 1, Escogido 3
Game 4: Escogido 0, Aguilas 1
Game 5: Aguilas 8, Escogido 5
Game 6: Escogido 1, Aguilas 2
Game 7: Aguilas 2, Escogido 5
Game 8: Escogido 2, Aguilas 9
Game 9: Aguilas, 5, Escogido 6
*Escogido wins the series 5-4
Escogido will face the defending Caribbean Series Champion Obregon Yaquis (Mexico) in their first match on Thursday.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.