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Updated: January 9, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)

Smith homers, but Tigres lose in Nicaraguan Play-Off

MANAGUA (Nicaragua) - Indios del Bóer evened the best-of-five Semi-Final against Tigres de Chinandega by winning 3-2 in eleven innings on Monday (January 8). Netherlands Team-player Curt Smith homered for Tigres, which opened the Play-Off on Sunday with an 8-2 victory. The winner of the best-of-five Semi-Final becomes the second finalist to reach the Championship Final of the Liga de Béisbol Profesional Nacional. The third game of the Play-Off will be played on Wednesday.

The second game initially was pitching-duel between starters Manauris Báez (Indios) and Raúl Ruiz (Tigres).

...Curt Smith homered for Tigres...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Manauris Báez gave up only three basehits in seven innings and faced only two batters over the minimum in this span. Báez gave up a lead-off single in the top of the first inning to Yosmani Guerra, but then was supported with a double play. From that moment on, he retired 15 of the next 16 hiters. After having retired nine consecutive hitters, Báez gave up an one-out double to Ofilio Castro in the fourth inning, but then retired the next six hitters again. With one out in the sixth inning, Leonordo Ortiz singled for Tigres, but stranded on first base. Castro was the lone Tigres-runner to get into scoring position in the first seven innings.

Raúl Ruiz faced only one batter above the minimum in the first five innings he pitched. In the first inning, he gave up an one-out single to Dayner Moreira, but he was caught stealing moments later. In the second inning, Ruiz walked Lerys Aguilera walked, but then the Tigres-defense turned a double play. After having retired seven consecutive hitters, Ruiz gave up a lead-off single to Jilton Calderón. He then became Bóer's first runner in scoring position when he advanced on a sacrifice bunt, but was left behind on second base.

Bóer opened the score in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring two unearned runs. With one out, Brandon Leyton and Maikel Cáseres both singled. A possible double play-grounder followed from Dayner Moreira, but that ended in a throwing error. A run was scored, while the runners moved to second and third base. To set up a force play, next hitter Javier Robles was walked intentionally. The second run was scored moments later on a sacrifice fly by Jilton Calderón.

In the eighth inning, Tigres got one run back when Curt Smith led off with a homerun, which led to the departure of Báez. The team came alongside in the top of the ninth inning. Ofilio Castro led off with a single, moved on a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch, then scored on a single by Osman Marval. After the latter had advanced on a grounder, Curt Smith was walked intentionally, but the two runners then were left behind.

As Bóer didn't score in its ninth at bat, the game went into extra innings. Tigres led runners behind on first base in both the tenth and eleventh inning. Bóer was retired in order in the tenth, but then struck in the eleventh. Nelson León took over the pitching for Tigres and gave up a lead-off single to Maikel Cáseres. He was forced out on a grounder by Dayner Moreira, but that was followed by a throwing error trying to complete a double play. Moreira ended up on second base, then Javier Robles was walked intentionally. Hereafter, pinch-hitter Iván Hernández drilled the ball into rightfield for a walk-off single that enabled Moreira to score the winning run.

(January 8)

Related Articles:
Curt Smith leads Tigres to win in Play-Off opener. (Jan. 7)
Gigantes in Nicaraguan Final. (Jan. 5)

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