SPAIN – Veteran righthander Leslie Nacar outduelled Jorge Balboa in a low-scoring title game matchup, and the Tenerife Marlins Puerto Cruz captured the 2012 Spanish Baseball King’s Cup Sunday with a 3-2 victory over C.B. Barcelona at the Carlos Perez de Rosas Municipal Field in Montujuic.
Nacar (1-0), who is 3-2 with a 3.49 ERA in five starts so far this season, went the distance allowing two runs on five hits. The 28-year-old former minor leaguer hit three batters and struck out seven en route to the decision.
Both squads got on the board in the third. American slugger Kevin Malone reached on a leadoff single, swiped a pair of bases, and motored home on a throwing error by Tenerife catcher Victor Velazquez to give Barcelona an early 1-0 lead.
The Marlins retaliated in the bottom of the frame. Deion Galvan legged out a one-out bunt single and scampered to second on an errant throw. A balk put the tying run just 90 feet from pay dirt before Dewis Navarro knotted the score with an RBI base hit.
Tenerife (2-0) capitalized on two run-scoring gaffes in the fourth with two down. Nestor Perez scored on a throwing error to give the Marlins a 2-1 advantage. Jose Luis Salazar crossed the plate on a balk moments later for a key insurance run.
Barcelona (1-1) made things interesting in the ninth as a pair of defensive blunders made it a one-run affair. Howevr, Nacar induced a game-ending groundout off the bat of Malone with the tying score on third base to seal the championship win.
The Marlins also clinched a spot at one of next year’s European Cup tournaments.
Balboa (0-1) was tagged with the loss despite giving up just three scores and six hits over eight innings.
Xavier Civit drilled a three-run bomb to help C.B. Sant Boi knock off C.B. Viladecans, 7-5, in the consolation game. Roberto Noriega drove in a pair of runs for the winning side, while Viladecans designated hitter Aderly Grullon connected on a solo home run.
Daniel Matias (1-0) worked five frames to notch the win. Reliever Yaeko Vazquez tallied the final six outs to earn the save.
SATURDAY, APRIL 7
Tenerife Marlins PC 7, C.B. Sant Boi 1
C.B. Barcelona 5, C.B. Viladecans 1
SUNDAY, APRIL 8
C.B. Sant Boi 7, C.B. Viladecans 5
Tenerife Marlins PC 3, C.B. Barcelona 2
Photo Courtesy Tenerife Marlins
Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.