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Updated: January 16, 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)

Tigres wins second game; Curt Smith scores and bats in a run

CHINANDEGA (Nicaragua) - Tigres de Chinandega took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Championship Final in Nicaragua on Monday (January 15) by winning 6-1 against Gigantes de Rivas. The reigning champion opened the Final on Sunday with a 2-1 victory. Trailing 1-0, Tigres scored twice in the top of the ninth inning with the winning run being scored after Curt Smith was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Game 3 of the Series will be played on Wednesday-evening in Rivas.

...Curt Smith scored a run and batted in one...
...for Tigres in the second game...
...of the Nicaraguan Final...
...On the photo, Smith hits for the...
...Netherlands Team during the...
...2016 European Championship...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
At Estadio Efraín Tijerino in Chinandega, Gigantes got its first baserunner right away when lead-off hitter Vladimir Frías led off the first inning with a single. With one out, he moved to third base on a single by Darrel Campbell, who himself was eliminated in a rundown between first and second base after overrunning first base too far. With two outs and Frías on third base, Denis Phipps lined the ball into deep left-centerfield, but there, centerfielder Norlando Valle made an outstanding leaping catch robbing him of a homerun and ending the inning!

Gigantes then opened the score in the top of the second inning. With one out, Venezuelan Tigres-starter Raúl Ruiz gave up a single to Juan C. Torres, who advanced on a grounder. Moments later, Torres scored the first run on a single by Ramón Flores, who himself stranded on second base.

Tigres came alongside immediately in its second at bat when Osman Marval led off with a homerun. Hereafter, Tigres went on to take the lead by adding another run. After Marval had homered, Curt Smith walked and advanced to third base on an one-out double by Jesús López. Next hitter Leonardo Ortiz then hit the ball into the ground, where it jumped up high into the air. Ortiz reached on an infield-hit and Smith scored to five Tigres a 2-1 lead. López was unable to advance and stayed on second base. Later, López and Ortiz moved on a grounder, but then were left behind.

The home team added another run in the third inning and Curt Smith again was involved. Ofilio Castro led off with a single, then the bases got loaded when Gigantes-starter Manauris Báez walked Jamar Walton and Osman Marval. Castro then scored on a sacrifice fly by Curt Smith to make it a 3-1 score.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Tigres increased the lead to 4-1. That was done with another lead-off homerun, this time hit by Jamar Walton. With one out, Curt Smith singled, which led to a pitching change, as Róger Marín took over from Manauris Báez. With two outs, Marín gave up a single to Jesús López. The inning ended when Smith was forced out at third base on a grounder by Leonardo Ortiz.

After having given up a run in the top of the second inning, Tigres-pitcher Raúl Ruiz didn't encounter any problem. In the third inning, the lefthander gave up a lead-off single to Vladimir Frías, who moved on a passed ball, but then was left behind. In the fourth, Ruiz gave up a lead-off single to Wuillians Vásquez, but he was eliminated in a double play. Ruiz retired the side in the next two innings.

Tigres struck again in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring two runs. With one out, Ofilio Castro hit a line drive homerun into leftfield. Hereafter, Jamar Walton tripled, hitting the ball on the foul-line in rightfield. A throwing error towards third base followed, which enabled him to continue running and score the sixth run for Tigres.

Tigres made a great defensive play in the top of the eighth inning. Ramón Flores led off with a double for Gigantes. With one out, Vladimir Frías lined the ball to second baseman Yosmani Guerrra. He jumped up and caught the ball, then lost it while falling down and making an attempt to throw the ball to second base. While being on the ground, he picked up the ball and got it on second base, before Flores was able to return to complete a double play. The crew chief of the umpire then had contact with the video-room to see whether or not Guerra had control of the ball after catching it. That was the case, as he lost the ball on the transfer and so, the double play was upheld.

A weird moment followed in the bottom of the eighth inning. Leonordo Ortiz led off with a single for Tigres. Hereafter, Norlando Valle hit a hard grounder towards first base. However, first baseman Wuilliams Vásquez grounded the ball near the line and stepped on the base to retired Valle. In the meantime, Ortiz ran towards second base, but then left his running lane running towards the outfield. He maybe throught that the ball was either foul or had been caught. Ortiz was called out for running out of his lane, meaning it became an inning-ending double play.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Tigres-pitcher Raúl Ruiz retired the side to throw a complete game.

(January 15)

Related Articles:
Curt Smith helps Tigres win opener Nicaraguan Final. (Jan. 14)
Curt Smith and Tigres reach Nicaraguan Final. (Jan. 11)
Tigres retakes lead in Nicaraguan Play-Off. (Jan. 10)
Smith homers, but Tigres lose in Nicaraguan Play-Off. (Jan. 8)
Curt Smith leads Tigres to win in Play-Off opener. (Jan. 7)
Gigantes in Nicaraguan Final. (Jan. 5)

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