The Liga Venezolana Beisbol Profesional or LVBP started its championship series this weekend. Playing in the finals with a chance to advance to the Caribbean Series are the Arguilas del Zulia and Cardenales de Lara.
The seven game championship series began today, Friday January 20. It will continue through Saturday January 28 with the final three games only as needed.
Game 1 was dominated by the visiting Zulia 12-2. The game stayed close for the first five innings with Zulia ahead just 3-2, but the Aguilas bats got hot in the sixth inning scoring eight runs.
After Lara starter Raul Rivero gave up a lead off triple in the sixth, he was pulled for reliever Franklin Morales. However, Morales failed to get any of the three hitters he faced out. Morales promptly hit Alex Romero putting two runners on base. He then was plagued by a defensive miscue, Lara would commit two errors allowing six unearned runs, that allowed Jose Pirela to score from third. Morales followed that up by plunking the next hitter too in Jordany Valdespin before being yanked. It would take Lara four pitchers to get out of the sixth but not before they gave up eight runs.
Endy Chavez (2-for-4) homered for Zulia. Six hitters for Zulia had multiple hits including Freddy Galvis with four from the lead off spot. Mitch Lively pitched well for the Aguilas to pick up the win going seven innings allowing just two earned runs on six hits.
The champion will advance to the 2017 Caribbean Series where Zulia would be in search of its third title with the last coming in 1989. The Aguilas last won the LVBP in 2000. The Cardenales de Lara last won the LVBP in 2001 but have never won a Caribbean Series title.
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.