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Puerto Rico WBC Roster Announced

The Puerto Rico WBC roster for 2017 has been announced, and they will look to improve on their silver medal from 2013.  The small island is hoping to build on its 2017 Caribbean Series title and bring home another championship in March.

The Puerto Rico lineup will be filled with some of the youngest superstars in the game right alongside some veterans.

Returning to the infield for Puerto Rico will be Mike Aviles who hit .329 with a home run and 9 RBI in 2013. He will be right alongside newcomers to the WBC in superstars Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor. Rounding out the infield are some promising young talents in Javier Baez, who got hot for the Cubs in the playoffs, the Twins Kennys Vargas, and the Mets T.J. Rivera.

While the infield is full of young talent, the outfield features to tried and true veterans that will be big contributors to the club. Led by future Hall of Fame inductee Carlos Beltran the outfield will be a formidable one. However, Beltran struggled last go around in the WBC hitting just .188 as the DH. His fellow outfielder Angel Pagan led the offense for Puerto Rico in 2013 hitting .364 with a team lead 12 hits and 2 stolen bases.

Calling the pitches and shutting down the running game will be perennial all-star Yadier Molina. Molina is returning after a decent 2013 WBC. He will be looked upon to handle the pitching staff more than anything.

That pitching staff will consist of several back after a successful 2013 WBC including Hiram Burgos, Orlando Roman, and Giovanni Soto.

Roman is coming off a stellar winter season where he lead the Criollos de Caguas to the Caribbean Series title. During the Caribbean Series he pitched 10.0 innings allowing just 1 run.  If he can repeat this, Puerto Rico will make another run at the title.

Texas Rangers’ reliever Alex Claudio will be a big lefty arm in the bullpen for Puerto Rico. Seattle revliever Edwin Diaz looks to hold down the 9th for Puerto Rico. Diaz had 18 saves a season ago for the Mariners. The elder statesman in the pen will be J.C. Romero. The 40-year old last pitched in the big leagues in 2012. He has continued pitching in independent leagues and with different AAA teams up until 2015. He did pitch this winter in Puerto Rico.

2017 Puerto Rico WBC Roster:

Pitchers:

Jose Berrios
Hiram Burgos
Alex Claudio
Joseph Colon
Edwin Diaz
Joe Jimenez
Jorge Lopez
Seth Lugo
Miguel Mejia
Emilio Pagan
Orlando Roman
J.C. Romero
Hector Santiago
Giovanni Soto

Catchers:

Yadier Molina
Roberto Perez
Rene Rivera

Infielders:

Mike Aviles
Javier Baez
Carlos Correa
Francisco Lindor
T.J. Rivera
Kennys Vargas

Outfielders:

Carlos Beltran
Reymond Fuentes
Enrique Hernandez
Angel Pagan
Eddie Rosario

Designated Pitcher Pool:

Andrew Barbosa
Jose De La Torre
Jose De Leon
Rayan Gonzalez
Joel Pineiro
Dereck Rodriguez
Andres Santiago
Mario Santiago

Puerto Rico WBC roster

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Puerto Rico Wins 2017 Caribbean Series

Puerto Rico wins 2017 Caribbean Series Championship defeating Mexico 1-0 in 10 innings.

After going 1-3 in the round robin, Puerto Rico found its 2nd win to take down Venezuela in the semifinal before downing Mexico to take the title. It was the 2nd Series title for the Criollos de Caguas, the first since 1987.

It was a pitching duel the entire way. Puerto Rico starter Adalberto Flores had a no hitter into the 6th inning, but he had to exit in the 7th with a blister on his pitching hand. He finished the night tossing 6 innings allowing just 1 hit. Andres Santiago came in to shut down the Mexico bats for 2 innings, before Miguel Mejia picked up the win finishing the final 2 innings.

Hector Velazquez had a good night dancing out of trouble a few times for Mexico. He threw 6.0 shutout innings allowing just 5 hits. Jake Sanchez took the loss giving up 1 run in the 10th inning.

The only run of the game came on a Jonathan Morales sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning. Yadiel Rivera led off the inning with a double. He was moved to 3rd on a sacrifice bunt before Morales drove him home with the winning run.

2017 Caribbean Series Schedule:

Wednesday, February 01:

Thursday, February 02:

Friday, February 03:

Saturday, February 04:

  • Dom. Rep. 2, Puerto Rico 10
  • Cuba 3, Venezuela 8

Sunday, February 05:

  • Dom. Rep. 3, Venezuela 4
  • Mexico 0, Cuba 4

Monday, February 06:

Tuesday, February 07:

Puerto Rico Wins 2017 Caribbean Series

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Mexico Back in Caribbean Series Championship

Mexico is back in the Caribbean Series Championship after defeating Cuba 1-0 on the arm of Miguel Pena and Daniel Rodriguez.

Pena pitched 5 shutout innings giving up just 2 hits. He stymied the Cuban bats all night longs striking out 4. Following him on the hill was Rodriguez who tossed 3 hitless innings of his own, while striking out 5. Jake Sanchez (S, 2) came into finish off Cuba to pick up his second save of the Series.

Offensively Agustin Murillo picked up the only RBI on a single to left to drive in Ronnier Mustelier. Mexico as a team only combined for 5 hits, and Cuba was limited to 2.

Lazaro Blanco (L, 1-1) pitched well but took the loss for Cuba. He went 7 innings allowing just 1 run on 4 hits. He struck out 5.

Mexico returns to the championship looking for the countries 5th title in 7 years. These two countries have been in the finals the past two Caribbean Series with each taking a title.

The Aguilas de Mexicali (Mexico) is looking for the club’s 2nd title in its history with the last coming in 1986. Their opponent will be the Criollos de Caguas (Puerto Rico) who will be in search of a 4th Series title, with the last coming in 1987.

First pitch is slated for 9pm ET Tuesday night.

2017 Caribbean Series Schedule:

Wednesday, February 01:

Thursday, February 02:

Friday, February 03:

Saturday, February 04:

  • Dom. Rep. 2, Puerto Rico 10
  • Cuba 3, Venezuela 8

Sunday, February 05:

  • Dom. Rep. 3, Venezuela 4
  • Mexico 0, Cuba 4

Monday, February 06:

Tuesday, February 07:

  • Puerto Rico vs. Mexico 9:00 p.m.

All times ET

2017 Caribbean Series Standings:

  1. Mexico 4-1
  2. Cuba 3-2
  3. Venezuela 3-2
  4. Puerto Rico 2-3
  5. Dominican Republic 0-4

Caribbean Series Championship

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2017 Caribbean Series Championship: Puerto Rico vs. TBD

A team that started 1-3 in the round robin will be in the 2017 Caribbean Series Championship, Puerto Rico. It defeated Venezuela in the semifinal this afternoon 9-6.

Puerto Rico held off a late inning rally for the win after almost blowing a 9-2 lead. Puerto Rico picked up 4 runs in the top of the first to jump out on top of Venezuela starter Mitch Lively, who didn’t make it out of the first frame. They continued pounding reliever Wil Ledezma for 3 runs over 2.2 innings before he was pulled.

Orlando Roman (W, 1-0) got the start for Puerto Rico and pitched well going 5.0 innings. He gave up just 1 run on seven hits while striking out 7. Reliever William Oliver was touched up for 4 runs in 2.2 innings, all in the 8th inning.

Venezuela made a comeback picking up 4 in the 8th, including a 2-run double from Ronny Cedeno. Venezuela then loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 9th, but Ricardo Gomez worked out of the jam to pick up the save.

Notable Performers: David Vidal hit a home run and drove in 2 runs for Puerto Rico. Henry Ramos set the table going 3-for-5 and scoring 2 runs from the lead off spot. Denis Phipps homered in the loss for Venezuela.

2017 Caribbean Series Schedule:

Wednesday, February 01:

Thursday, February 02:

Friday, February 03:

Saturday, February 04:

  • Dom. Rep. 2, Puerto Rico 10
  • Cuba 3, Venezuela 8

Sunday, February 05:

  • Dom. Rep. 3, Venezuela 4
  • Mexico 0, Cuba 4

Monday, February 06:

  • Cuba vs Mexico

Tuesday, February 07:

  • Puerto Rico vs. TBD 9:00 p.m.

All times ET

2017 Caribbean Series Standings:

  1. Mexico 3-1
  2. Cuba 3-1
  3. Venezuela 3-2
  4. Puerto Rico 2-3
  5. Dominican Republic 0-4

Caribbean Series Championship, Puerto Rico

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Mexico Wins with Walk-Off Grand Slam at Caribbean Series in Culiacan

Mexico improved to 3-0 at the 2017 Caribbean Series in Culiacan on Friday night after Sebastian Valle ended the night on a walk-off grand slam. The loss sent Venezuela to a 1-1 record.

For 8 innings the game was a pitching duel. Both starters went at least 5 innings and both only allowed a single run. Carlos Hernandez got the nod for Venezuela going 5.2 innings allowing just 5 hits. For Mexico it was Barry Enright who went 5 innings allowing just 5 hits.

The bullpens were on as well. Three relievers for Mexico, including Oliver Perez (W, 1-0), shut down the Venezuela bats for the remaining 4 innings.

Venezuela had three strong outings from its pen as well, until Pedro Rodriguez entered the game in the bottom of the 9th inning. Rodriguez never got an out.

Luis Juarez singled to start the bottom of the 9th. Ronnier Mustelier was next to reach base before Jesus Castillo walked to load the bases. Then on a 3-2 count with no outs, Sebastian Valle blasted a no doubter to left field to send Mexico home with the win.

Mexico now sits atop the standings and is assured a spot in the semifinals next Monday regardless of what happens in its final game on Sunday night against Cuba.

2017 Caribbean Series Schedule:

Wednesday, February 01:

Thursday, February 02:

Friday, February 03:

Saturday, February 04:

  • Dom. Rep. vs. Puerto Rico 3:00 p.m.
  • Cuba vs. Venezuela 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 05:

  • Dom. Rep. vs. Venezuela 3:00 p.m.
  • Mexico vs. Cuba 7:00 p.m.

Monday, February 06:

  • TBD vs. TBD 3:00 p.m.
  • TBD vs. TBD 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 07:

  • TBD vs. TBD 3:00 p.m.

All times ET

2017 Caribbean Series Standings:

  1. Mexico 3-0
  2. Cuba 2-0
  3. Venezuela 1-1
  4. Dominican Republic 0-2
  5. Puerto Rico 0-3

Caribbean Series in Culiacan

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Cuba pounds 12 hits in win over Puerto Rico at 2017 Caribbean Series

Vladimir Garcia (W, 1-0) tossed 6.0 innings allowing just one run en route to leading Cuba to a 6-1 victory over Puerto Rico at the 2017 Caribbean Series. William Saavedra went 3-for-4 with a 2-run home run in the 7th inning improving Cuba to 2-0. The loss drops Puerto Rico to 0-3.

Cuba took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 2nd inning when Carlos Benitez drove in Denis Laza with an RBI single to center. Puerto Rico quickly countered with a run of their own in the next half inning to put the score at 1-1.

It did not remain there for long.

In the bottom of the 3rd Cuba broke the game open with 3 more runs to pull ahead 4-1. Alfredo Despaigne got the scoring started with a RBI single to center scoring Yunior Paumier. William Saavedra followed with an RBI double. Carlos Benitez pushed the final run across the plate in the inning with a sacrifice fly to right scoring Despaigne.

Notable Performances: Saavedra finished the game with 3 hits and 3 RBI. Despaigne scored twice and Livan Moinelo pitched two scoreless innings in relief.

Cuba will face off with Venezuela tomorrow night which could be a game between undefeated teams depending on how Venezuela handles a streaking Mexico tonight.

2017 Caribbean Series Schedule:

Wednesday, February 01:

Thursday, February 02:

Friday, February 03:

  • Venezuela vs. Mexico 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 04:

  • Dom. Rep. vs. Puerto Rico 3:00 p.m.
  • Cuba vs. Venezuela 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 05:

  • Dom. Rep. vs. Venezuela 3:00 p.m.
  • Mexico vs. Cuba 7:00 p.m.

Monday, February 06:

  • TBD vs. TBD 3:00 p.m.
  • TBD vs. TBD 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 07:

  • TBD vs. TBD 3:00 p.m.

All times ET

2017 Caribbean Series Standings:

  1. Mexico 2-0
  2. Cuba 2-0
  3. Venezuela 1-0
  4. Dominican Republic 0-2
  5. Puerto Rico 0-3

Cuba Caribbean Series

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Venezuela and Mexico Win on Day 2 of 2017 Caribbean Series

Day 2 of the 2017 Caribbean Series saw Venezuela turn away a late inning comeback from Puerto Rico as the small island nation dropped its second straight game.

Venezuela 4, Puerto Rico 3

Venezuela jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 2nd inning. After a disputed home run wound up as a double for Rene Reyes (1-for-4), Alex Romero (0-for-3) reached on a fielding error which allowed Reyes to score the first run of the game. The very next pitch was deposited in the left field stands by Jesus Flores (2-for-3) giving Venezuela a 3-0 lead.

Puerto Rico tried to rally with 2 outs in the bottom of the 2nd. After two quick outs, Puerto Rico strung together 3 straight singles from David Vidal (2-for-4), Henry Ramos (1-for-4), and Ivan De Jesus (2-for-3) to score its first run of the game.

Venezuela upped the lead to 4-1 after the top of the 4th inning when Jesus Flores doubled with 2 outs. He would come around to score on a RBI single from Ronny Cedeno (2-for-4).

Puerto Rico tried to rally with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th inning. Ruben Gotay (1-for-2) walked and then David Vidal blasted a 2-run home run to left field pulling Puerto Rico to within 1 run. That is as close as they would get.

Omar Bencomo (W, 1-0) picked up the win after allowing just 1 run in 5 innings. He gave up just 4 hits and struck out 6. Hassan Pena (S, 1) picked up the save pitching a scoreless 9th inning. Adalberto Flores (L, 0-1) took the loss tossing 4 innings giving up 4 runs, 2 earned.

Mexico 7, Dominican Republic 2

Mexico jumped out quickly in the top of the 1st inning. Chris Roberson led off the game with a single to right, advanced to second on a ground out, and then scored on a single from C.J. Retherford giving Mexico a quick 1-0 lead.

But the Dominican Republic quickly tied up the game in the bottom of the 1st. Lead off hitter Ronny Rodriguez got it started by reaching on a throwing error by Mexico shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt that pulled the first baseman off the bag. That would come back to haunt Mexico after Zoilo Almonte hit a slicing line drive down the left field line for a double to score Rodriguez from first base.

The Dominican Republic took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 3rd on great base running from Ronnier Mustelier. Mustelier was on first and running on a pitch to Leury Garcia who popped it into right field. The ball fell for a single in front of the rightfielder and as the ball was tossed into second base from the outfield, Mustelier never slowed down and beat the throw home to score the go-ahead run.

However, Mexico would strike back in the top of the 5th inning. Xorge Carrillo led the inning off by getting hit by a pitch. After a sacrifice bunt, Chris Roberson tapped back to the mound, but as pitcher Cesar Valdez was trying to throw him out at first he slipped and it was a bang bang play. Originally called out, Mexico challenged the play and the replay showed that Roberson just beat out the throw. So with runners at the corners, Jason Bourgeois came up with a big 2-run triple putting Mexico back on top 3-2.

Mexico put the game out of reach in the top of the 7th inning. After 2 quick outs, Jason Bourgeois tripled for the second time in the game. He would come home on a ground ball by Yuniesky Betancourt which was booted by Dominican shortstop Sergio Alcantara. That error would lead to two more runs as the next batter, C.J. Retherford, would launch a home run down the left field line to make it 6-2 Mexico.

Hector Velazquez (W, 1-0) picked up the win for Mexico. He tossed 5 innings giving up 2 runs, only 1 earned, on four hits. He struck out 7 and walked 3. Cesar Valdez (L, 0-1) took the loss going only 4.1 innings. He gave up 3 runs on six hits.

2017 Caribbean Series Schedule:

Wednesday, February 01:

Thursday, February 02:

Friday, February 03:

  • Puerto Rico vs. Cuba 5:00 p.m.
  • Venezuela vs. Mexico 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 04:

  • Dom. Rep. vs. Puerto Rico 3:00 p.m.
  • Cuba vs. Venezuela 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 05:

  • Dom. Rep. vs. Venezuela 3:00 p.m.
  • Mexico vs. Cuba 7:00 p.m.

Monday, February 06:

  • TBD vs. TBD 3:00 p.m.
  • TBD vs. TBD 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 07:

  • TBD vs. TBD 3:00 p.m.

All times ET

2017 Caribbean Series Standings:

  1. Mexico 2-0
  2. Cuba 1-0
  3. Venezuela 1-0
  4. Dominican Republic 0-2
  5. Puerto Rico 0-2

Venezuela 2017 Caribbean Series

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Day 1 of 2017 Caribbean Series in the Books; Mexico and Cuba Win

Day 1 is in the books in the 2017 Caribbean Series. Cuba (Granma Alazanes) defeated the Dominican Republic (Tigres del Licey) 4-0 to claim the first win of the series.

Cuba jumped out in front in the top of the 1st inning and never looked back. Lead off hitter Roel Santos (2-for-4) tripled to lead off the game. He would score two batters later when Dominican catcher Webster Rivas allowed a passed ball letting Santos scamper home from third with the first run of the game.

Later in the 5th inning, Cuba would add 3 more to finish all the scoring for the game. The inning began with a ground out and then things started to go downhill from there for the Dominican Republic pitching staff. Carlos Benitez walked on 4 straight balls. Frank Morejon followed Benitez with a single to right. After a quick trip to the mound, Yoelkis Cespedes singled to load the bases.

With the bases loaded and just one out, Edgar Garcia comes in to relieve Ivan Pineyro and promptly uncorked a wild pitch to make it 2-0 Cuba. On the very next pitch Roel Santos was back again doing damage. This time he doubled to right to score both Morejon and Cespedes to make it 4-0.

That would be all that Cuba would need as Lazaro Blanco (W, 1-0) shut down the Dominican bats for 6.1 innings. He struck out 6 and gave up just 5 hits to pick up the win. Livan Moinelo (S, 1) pitched the last 2.2 innings giving up just 2 hits to pick up the save.

Ivan Pineyro (L, 0-1) would take the loss going 4.1 innings allowing all 4 runs on 4 hits.

Cuba has Thursday off and will return to the field on Friday to face Puerto Rico. The Dominican Republic will try and bounce back again tomorrow night against Mexico in their second game.

Game 2 – Mexico Puerto Rico

Former Braves and Orioles farmhand Daniel Rodriguez had a no-hitter going into the 5th inning. He made it 4.2 innings before it was broken up on a dying single to center field. Mexicali Centerfielder Chris Roberson (2-for-4) almost made a great sliding catch to keep the no-no alive, but the ball bounced out of his glove before falling safely. Rodriguez, pitching at home in Culiacan, last pitched in affiliated ball in 2015.

Matching Rodriguez inning for inning was Orlando Roman for Puerto Rico who tossed 5 shutout innings before being relieved by William Oliver in the 6th.

Daniel Rodriguez was relieved by Derrick Loop (W, 1-0) in the 7th inning only to give up a solo home run from David Vidal (1-for-3) giving Puerto Rico a 1-0 lead. Vidal turned on a pitch and blasted it down the left field line for only the 2nd hit for Puerto Rico.

Mexico rallied in the bottom of the 7th putting runners at the corners with 1 out and getting a run when Puerto Rico couldn’t turn a double play. One pitch later Chris Roberson blasted a 2-run home run to left-center field putting Mexico up 3-1 after 7.

In the top of the 8th, Ivan de Jesus (2-for-3) made it 3-2 with a blast to left field off of Mexicali reliever Sergio Romo. But Yuniesky Betancourt (1-for-4) got the 2-run lead back in the bottom of the 8th with an opposite field home run making it 4-2 Mexico.

Jake Sanchez (S, 1) came in to close it down in the 9th picking up the save.

2017 Caribbean Series Schedule:

Wednesday, February 01:

Thursday, February 02:

  • Venezuela vs. Puerto Rico 5:00 p.m.
  • Mexico vs. Dom. Rep. 9:00 p.m.

Friday, February 03:

  • Puerto Rico vs. Cuba 5:00 p.m.
  • Venezuela vs. Mexico 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 04:

  • Dom. Rep. vs. Puerto Rico 3:00 p.m.
  • Cuba vs. Venezuela 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 05:

  • Dom. Rep. vs. Venezuela 3:00 p.m.
  • Mexico vs. Cuba 7:00 p.m.

Monday, February 06:

  • TBD vs. TBD 3:00 p.m.
  • TBD vs. TBD 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 07:

  • TBD vs. TBD 3:00 p.m.

All times ET

2017 Caribbean Series Standings:

  1. Cuba 1-0
  2. Mexico 1-0
  3. Venezuela 0-0
  4. Dominican Republic 0-1
  5. Puerto Rico 0-1

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Teams Set for 2017 Caribbean Series

The teams are set for the 2017 Caribbean Series to be held in Culiacan, Mexico. There will be a new club champion after the Venados de Matatlan, the 2016 winner, did not make the finals of the LMP playoffs.

Winners from the winter leagues of Mexico (LMP), Dominican Republic (LIDOM), Venezuela (LVBP), Puerto Rico (LBPRC), and Cuba play a round robin format with semifinals and finals to follow.

The teams competing are:

Dominican Republic – Tigres del Licey – The most accomplished team not only in the LIDOM with 22 titles, but also the most accomplished team in the history of the Caribbean Series with 10 titles. The Tigres last Series title was in 2008. To get back to the Series, for the first time since 2014, Licey needed all 9 games in the LIDOM Championship Series to get past the Aguilas Cibaenas.

Puerto Rico – Criollos de Caguas – The 17-time LBPRC champions, Caguas is back in the Caribbean Series for the first time since 2013. They will go in looking for their 4th Series title but the first since 1987. To get to the Series, Caguas needed 8 games to win 5-games-to-3 over Santurce.

Mexico – Aguilas de Mexicali – Winning its 4th LMP title, Mexicali last went to the Caribbean Series in 1999. It holds just a single Series title from 1986. Mexicali defeated the Caneros de los Mochis 4-2 in the LMP Championship Series to advance. They will look to keep the recent success of the LMP champions alive having won 4 of the last 6 Caribbean Series titles.

Venezuela – Aguilas del Zulia – This was the 6th LVBP Championship for Zulia, the last coming in 2000. The franchise has 2 Caribbean Series titles to its credit, but nothing since 1989. To get back to the Series this year Zulia defeated the Cardenales de Lara 4-1.

Cuba – Granma Alazanes – This was the first Serie Nacional de Beisbol or Cuban National Series title for Granma. It took 40 years for the club to claim its first title, and this will be its first trip to the Caribbean Series. Granma defeated the 2-time defending champion Ciego de Avila in the championship series sweeping them to take the title.

Total Caribbean Series Titles:

Dominican Republic 19 (last in 2012)
Puerto Rico 14 (last in 2000)
Mexico 9 (last in 2016)
Cuba 8 (last in 2015)
Venezuela 7 (last in 2009)
Panama 1 (1950) – no longer play in Caribbean Series

All games will be broadcast in Spanish on ESPN3.com

2017 Caribbean Series Schedule:

Wednesday, February 01:

  • Cuba vs. Dom. Rep. 5:00 p.m.
  • Puerto Rico vs. Mexico 10:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 02:

  • Venezuela vs. Puerto Rico 5:00 p.m.
  • Mexico vs. Dom. Rep. 9:00 p.m.

Friday, February 03:

  • Puerto Rico vs. Cuba 5:00 p.m.
  • Venezuela vs. Mexico 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 04:

  • Dom. Rep. vs. Puerto Rico 3:00 p.m.
  • Cuba vs. Venezuela 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 05:

  • Dom. Rep. vs. Venezuela 3:00 p.m.
  • Mexico vs. Cuba 7:00 p.m.

Monday, February 06:

  • TBD vs. TBD 3:00 p.m.
  • TBD vs. TBD 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 07:

  • TBD vs. TBD 3:00 p.m.

All times ET

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Tigres del Licey win 22nd LIDOM Championship

The Liga de Beisbol Profesional de la Republica Domincana or LIDOM went a full 9 games this past week as the Tigres del Licey pulled off a 6-2 victory over the Aguilas Cibaenas to win the title. After going up 4-games-to-2, Licey fell twice as the Aguilas forced a decisive 9th game.

Going to the hill in the winner-take-all game was Cesar Valdez (W, 4-0) for Licey. Valdez tossed 5.0 shutout innings giving up just 2 hits while striking out 5. He picked up the win and held the Aguilas off long enough for the Tigres bats to come alive. For his efforts, Valdez was named MVP.

Leading just 1-0 heading into the top of the 6th, the Tigres bats exploded for 5 runs. Lead off hitter Mel Rojas Jr. (0-for-4) walked to start the inning. After Diory Hernandez (0-for-5) flew out to center, Samuel Deduno was pulled in favor of fellow reliever Juan Grullon. Grullon was rudely greeted by Engel Beltre (2-for-4) who promptly doubled to right putting runners at 2nd and 3rd. Grullon then walked Rossmel Perez to load the bases. Then to put the Tigres up on top big, Emilio Bonifacio (2-for-4) doubled to left scoring all three runners on base. And that would do it on the day for Grullon after he failed to get an out and gave up 3 runs on 2 hits.

Licey would go on to add 2 more runs in the inning to go up 6-0 before the Aguilas would add 2 runs in the bottom of the inning.

Sergio Alcantara wound up setting the stage well going 4-for-5 in the lead off spot for Licey. He drove in 2 and scored 1.

Licey now heads to Culiacan, Mexico for the 2017 Caribbean Series where they will face off with Cuba in its first match on Wednesday February 1st.

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Aguilas de Mexicali Wins LMP Championship

The Aguilas de Mexicali took home the Liga Mexicana del Pacifico (LMP) Championship Saturday night after a 13-1 drubbing of the Caneros de los Mochis. The win gave Mexicali the title and a spot in the Caribbean Series.

Mexicali pounded out 16 hits in the game. Five players had 2 or more hits including Yordanys Linares (3-for-3 with a home run), Yuniesky Betancourt (2-for-4, 6 RBI, and a grand slam), and Chris Roberson (3-for-5). The offensive attack was relentless as Mexicali scored in 6 straight innings.

While Mexicali was taking care of business at the plate, Hector Velazquez (W, 3-1) was taking care of things on the mound. Velazquez tossed 6.0 innings giving up just a single run. He struck out 4, walked 2, and scattered 4 hits. The Aguilas bullpen came in and shut down Los Mochis the rest of the way as Jose Meraz, Fautino De Los Santos, and Jake Sanchez each tossed a scoreless inning in relief.

Mexicali moves on to the 2017 Caribbean Series now to face Puerto Rico in their first game on Wednesday February 1.

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Criollos de Caguas Win LBPRC Championship, Advance to Caribbean Series

The Criollos de Caguas have won the best-of-9 Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (LBPRC) Championship by taking Game 8 over the Cangrejeros de Santurce. Caguas needed extra innings to pull off the series clinching win on Wednesday night.

After a huge bottom of the 6th for Caguas when they scored 4 runs, Santurce made a come back to tie it at 5 by scoring a run in the 7th and a run in the 8th only to see their series end after Caguas scored a run in the bottom of the 12th.

With two outs, David Vidal (1-for-6) reached on a throwing error by right fielder Juan Silva allowing him to advance to second base. The next hitter came up big to send Caguas on to the Caribbean Series with a walk-off single. The hero of the night would be Henry Ramos (3-for-5).

Orlando Roman pitched well in the start for Caguas, but failed to complete 5 complete. He only allowed 1 run on 4 hits in 4.2 innings. Ricardo Gomez blew the save late allowing an inherited runner score going 3.2 scoreless innings of relief striking out 6. Joel Pineiro (W, 1-0) picked up the win tossing a scoreless inning in relief.

Caguas will advance on to Culliacan, Mexico to play for its 4th Caribbean Series title. Its last came in 1987. They will begin the series facing off with Mexico on Wednesday February 1.

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Aguilas de Zulia Win LVBP Championship, Advance to Caribbean Series

The Aguilas de Zulia took down the Cardenales de Lara in the Liga Venezolana Beisbol Profesional or LVBP Championship yesterday. The 5-2 victory sealed Zulia’s seventh title and gives them a spot in the 2017 Caribbean Series.

The Aguilas rode the right arm of Mitch Lively to the win. Lively tossed 7.0 innings allowing just one run on two hits. He struck out five to pick up his second win. Raul Rivero (L, 0-3) did not pitch terrible but took the loss giving up three runs over 7.0 innings.

The offense for Zulia was jump started in the bottom of the 1st inning with a 2-run home run by Jose Pirela (1-for-3). Endy Chavez (2-for-2) chipped in with a RBI and was the only Zulia hitter with more than one hit.

Jesus Montero (1-for-4) and Carlos Rivero (1-for-4) both hit solo home runs for the only runs that Lara would score. The Cardenales only managed 4 hits the entire game.

Zulia will travel to Culiacan, Mexico to try and pick up their 3rd Caribbean Series title. They will open up on Thursday February 2 against Puerto Rico.

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Criollos de Caguas 1 Win from the LBPRC Championship

The Criollos de Caguas have taken a 4-3 lead in the best-of-nine series with the Cangrejeros de Santurce in the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente or LBPRC.

With the Game 7 win, Caguas sits one win away from advancing to the Caribbean Series.

Caguas scored a pair of runs in the top of the first and second innings, and that is all it would need. John Brownell, who has had several good seasons lately with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League, started and pitched well for Caguas. He only lasted 3 innings but allowed just one run. Will Oliver (W, 2-1) picked up the win tossing 2.1 scoreless innings in relief allowing just 2 hits.

Former Washington Nationals outfielder Jorge Padilla went 3-for-4 from the lead off spot for Caguas. Hitting second and also going 3-for-4 was Angels farmhand Rey Navarro. The top two hitters in the Caguas lineup had more than half the hits for the team on the night.

Santurce got its lone run in the second inning. Juan Silva (2-for-4) led off the bottom half of the inning with a triple. He then scored on a Christian Vazquez sacrifice fly. Danny Ortiz would go for 3-for-4 but Santurce would not score again.

Caguas will try to finish off the series on Wednesday night.

LBPRC Championship Scores:

Game 1: Caguas 1, Santurce 0
Game 2: Santurce 6, Caguas 3
Game 3: Caguas 4, Santurce 2
Game 4: Santurce 4, Caguas 1
Game 5: Caguas 1, Santurce 3
Game 6: Santurce 1, Caguas 12
Game 7: Caguas 4, Santurce 1
Game 8: 1/25 7:15 PM AST
Game 9: 1/26 7:15 PM AST

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Aguilas de Zulia 1 Game Away from LVBP Championship

The Aguilas de Zulia moved game closer to taking home the Liga Venezolana Beisbol Profesional or LVBP Championship. Zulia took Game 3 by a score of 8-7 to move within a game of moving onto the Caribbean Series. The Cardenales de Lara are now down to must win games to stay alive.

It was an exciting finish going into extra innings tied at 5. Lara pulled ahead in the top of the 8th 5-4 only to see Zulia tie the game in the bottom half of the inning on a Mario Lisson solo home run.

Lara would go onto score 2 runs in the top of the 10th only to see Zulia come back and score 3 for the walk off win.

Jesus Montero, who last played in the big leagues in 2015, led Lara offensively going 3-for-4 with a double and a pair of runs batted in. Rangel Ravelo (2-for-4) and Juniel Querecuto (2-for-4) both chipped in with a pair of hits for Lara.

Ronny Cedeno (2-for-3) hit a solo home run in the 2nd inning finishing the game with 3 RBI and a stolen base. Jose Pirela (2-for-5), Alex Romero (2-for-4), and Jesus Flores (2-for-4) led Zulia at the plate. But the biggest hit of the night came from Ali Castillo on a line drive to center to score Jordany Valdespin with the walk off winner.

Zulia will look to finish off the series Tuesday night to try and advance to the Caribbean Series.

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Mexicali Ties LMP Championship Series

The Aguilas de Mexicali evened up the Liga Mexicana del Pacifico (LMP) Championship on Sunday with a 7-2 win over the Caneros de los Mochis. The win evened the series at one game apiece.

Hector Velazquez (W, 2-1) had a strong outing for Mexicali tossing 7.1 shutout innings. He gave up just 4hits, did not walk anyone, and struck out 10 en route to the win. Javier Solano (S, 1) picked up the save tossing the final 2 outs of the game.

On the offensive side of the ball, Mexicalli was led by Dodgers farmhand C.J. Retherford (2-for-4) who had the big blow with his 5th home run in the 3rd inning, a 2-run shot. Longtime Sultanes de Monterrey DH/OF Luis Juarez had a nice night as well going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles.

The only runs of the night for Los Mochis came in the bottom of the 8th inning on a Isaac Rodriguez Salazar 2-run homer.

Going tonight in Game 3 of the series will be Roy Merritt for Los Mochis up against former Major League pitcher Kameron Loe for Mexicali. Loe last pitched in the big leagues in 2013 with Atlanta.

LMP Championship:
Mexicali 1, Los Mochis 3
Mexicali 7, Los Mochis 2
Game 3: 1/24
Game 4: 1/25
Game 5: 1/26
Game 6: 1/28
Game 7: 1/29

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Criollos de Caguas tie up the LBPRC Championship Series

The series it tied in the championship of the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente or LBPRC. Last night the Criollos de Caguas downed the Cangrejeros de Santurce 12-1 to tie the series up at 3 games apiece.

Caguas pounded Santurce pitching for 17 hits en route to the blowout win. Seven hitters had two hits or more for the Criollos including Ruben Gotay (2-for-4), Rusney Castillo (2-for-5), David Vidal (3-for-4), Henry Ramos (2-for-4), Jack Lopez (2-for-4), and Jonathan Morales (2-for-4). Castillo had the big blow with a 2-run home run in the 6-run 8th inning.

Caguas scored in bunches with 2 runs in the 2nd, 4 runs in the 5th, and then 6 runs in the 8th inning. Santurce got its lone run in the top of the 9th.

Andrew Barbosa (W, 1-0) pitched well over 5 innings to pick up the win. He allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out three. Darin Downs (L, 0-1) gave up only 2 runs over 4 innings but took the loss for Santurce.

The best-of-9 series is down to a best 2-of-3 now that the series is tied.

LBPRC Championship Scores:

Game 1: Caguas 1, Santurce 0
Game 2: Santurce 6, Caguas 3
Game 3: Caguas 4, Santurce 2
Game 4: Santurce 4, Caguas 1
Game 5: Caguas 1, Santurce 3
Game 6: Santurce 1, Caguas 12
Game 7: 1/22 4:15 PM AST
Game 8: 1/25 7:15 PM AST
Game 9: 1/26 7:15 PM AST

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Aguilas de Zulia Take 2-0 Lead in LVBP Championship Series

The Aguilas de Zulia once again pounced on the Cardenales de Lara in the Liga Venezolana Beisbol Profesional or LVBP Championship Series. Zulia now leads the best-of-7 series 2-0.

Zulia started off well with a single run in the 1st and 2nd innings then exploded for three in the 3rd which was more than enough. The bottom of the order really led the way for the Aguilas in Game 2. The no. 6-9 hitters all had two hits apiece to pace the 13 hit attack. No other hitter had more than one for Zulia. They also each drove in at least two runs, with eight hole hitter Jordany Valdespin (2-for-5) driving in a game high three.

Wil Ledezma (W, 1-0) pitched well for Zulia starting and going six strong. He allowed just 1 run on 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4 to pick up the win. Lara starter Jorge Martinez (L, 2-1) took the loss going just 2.2 innings.

The bright spot for Lara hitting wise was Gustavo Molina who went 3-for-3.

Game 3 will be tomorrow night (Monday, 1/23) as Lara looks to try and get back in the series.

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Caneros de los Mochis Takes Game 1 of LMP Finals 3-1

Los Mochis kicked off the Liga Mexicana del Pacifico (LMP) championship with a bang taking Game 1 over Mexicali 3-1 on Saturday night.

J.C. Linares (2-for-3) got the game going with a 2-run home run in the bottom of the 1st inning. That would be all Los Mochis would need. Julian Arballo (W, 1-1) picked up the win pitching 6 shutout innings. Arballo gave up 6 hits while striking out 6 to pick up the win. Sergio Romo (S, 6) came in to pitch the 9th inning to pick up the save.

Mexicali never got much going against the Los Mochis pitching staff, even though they outhit Los Mochis 9-4. Ramon Rios (2-for-3) gave Mexicali its only run with a solo shot in the 8th inning off of Oliver Perez (H, 1).

Game 2 will be tonight at Los Mochis. The probable pitching match up will be Hector Velazquez (Mexicali) who is 9-3 on the year with a 2.32 ERA. He will be going up against Manny Barreda (Los Mochis) who went 4-3 with a ERA of 2.20. Game time is 5 PM MST (7 PM ET).

See full box score

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Santurce Leads Caguas in the LBPRC Championship

The Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente is heading into the final stages of its championship series. The Cangrejeros de Santurce are taking on the Criollos de Caguas for the title and the right to advance to the Caribbean Series in the best-of-9 championship.

Santurce leads the series 3-games-to-2 after taking the last two games. Game 6 will be later tonight when Santurce could wrap up its 15th LBPRC title. They also own five Caribbean Series titles but nothing since 2000.

Caguas owns 16 LBPRC titles, with some as Caguas-Guayama. The franchise is also the owner of three Caribbean Series titles the last coming in 1987.

LBPRC Championship Scores:

Game 1: Caguas 1, Santurce 0
Game 2: Santurce 6, Caguas 3
Game 3: Caguas 4, Santurce 2
Game 4: Santurce 4, Caguas 1
Game 5: Caguas 1, Santurce 3
Game 6: 1/21 7:15 PM AST
Game 7: 1/22 4:15 PM AST
Game 8: 1/25 7:15 PM AST
Game 9: 1/26 7:15 PM AST

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Licey and Cibaenas Fight for LIDOM Title and Spot in Caribbean Series

The Liga de Beisbol Profesional de la Republica Dominicana or the Dominican Republic Professional Baseball League is wrapping up its season with the championship series. The Tigres del Licey are facing off with the Aguilas Cibaenas for the right to represent the Dominican in the Caribbean Series.

Game 1 saw the Aguilas defeat Licey 4-3. Zolio Almonte tied up the game in the 6th inning at 3 with a two-run home run off of Licey starter Yohan Flande (5.2 IP/3 ER/7 hits). Francisco Pena (1-for-3) would give the Aguilas the lead for good in the 7th inning with a RBI single to right scoring Jose Constanza (1-for-1).

However Licey bounced back after the Game 1 loss to score a victory in Game 2. Again the game was tied heading into the latter innings, this time it would be the Tigres that would come out on top.  With one out Aguilas first baseman Kennys Vargas committed an error allowing Mel Rojas Jr to reach base and Yamaico Navarro to score the go-ahead run. Diory Hernandez followed that up with a sac fly to put the lead at 4-2 where it would stay.

The two teams will look to represent the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Series. The Aguilas have won the LIDOM Championship twenty times with the last coming in 2008. They also own five Caribbean Series titles. The Tigres del Licey are the most decorated team in LIDOM and Caribbean Series history. They own 21 LIDOM titles and a total of 10 Caribbean Series titles, the last coming in 2008 when two LIDOM teams played in the Series.

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Winter Leagues: Zulia Leads Lara in Venezuelan Championships

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.

Game 2 of the series is tomorrow (1/21) at 5:30 PM. The probable starters for tomorrow’s game include Wil Ledezma for Zulia and Jorge Martinez for Lara.

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.

Posted in Latin America, Tournaments, News0 Comments

2017 Mexican Pacific League Championship Set – Mexicali vs. Los Mochis

The Liga Mexicana del Pacifico is all set for the championship round starting tomorrow (1/21). Mexicali will face off with Los Mochis.

Mexicali defeated Hermosillo in their semifinal round. It took the Aguilas de Mexicali seven games to finish off Hermosillo in a back-and-forth semifinal series. The win set up Mexicali for a chance to win the LMP and advance to the Caribbean Series in February.

The Caneros de los Mochis defeated Culiacan in seven games to advance in another back-and-forth series.

Mexicali has not won the LMP since 1999, which was their third championship. The Aguilas have one Caribbean Series title to their credit back in 1986. They hope to make another appearance and make a run at a second Series win.

Los Mochis on the other hand last won the LMP in 2002-2003. They have three LMP titles in franchise history, but have never won the Caribbean Series.

Both teams will try to continue the recent strong showings from the LMP champions at the Caribbean Series having won four of the past six titles, including last year when Mazatlan took home their second title.

The seven game LMP Championship Series will run from Saturday January 21 to Sunday January 29, with the final three games played if needed.

The 2017 Caribbean Series opens on Wednesday February 1. The representative from Mexico will take on Puerto Rico in their first game that night.

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WBSC Announces Groups for 2015 U18 Baseball World Cup

The World Baseball Softball Confederation recently announced the groups for the upcoming 2015 U18 Baseball World Cup. The tournament will take place in Osaka, Japan from August 28 to September 06.

Twelve teams will compete for the title. Each group will play a round robin with the top three from each group moving on to the second round. During that second round a super round robin will be played with the two teams with the best overall records competing for the championship.

The championship will be played in historic Koshien Stadium which was built in 1924. The USA heads into the tournament as the two-time defending champs.

Group A (with current world ranking):

No. 1 Japan
No. 2 USA
No. 12 Mexico
No. 14 Australia
No. 15 Brazil
No. 20 Czech Republic

Group B:
No. 3 Cuba
No. 4 Chinese Taipei
No. 7 Canada
No. 8 South Korea
No. 11 Italy
No. 29 South Africa

Posted in Asia, Europe, N. America, Latin America, Oceania, Tournaments, News1 Comment

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Who will win the 2017 World Baseball Classic?

  • Puerto Rico (31%, 27 Votes)
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  • Mexico (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Other (8%, 7 Votes)
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