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Updated: January 18, 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)

Gigantes comes from behind and wins in 13th inning in Nicaraguan Final

RIVAS (Nicaragua) - Gigantes de Rivas trailed 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning, but came alongside and won 5-4 on a wild pitch with two outs in the 13th inning on Wednesday-evening (January 17) in Game 3 of the best-of-seven Championship Final in Nicaragua against Tigres de Chinandega. With the win, Gigantes cut the lead of reigning champion Tigres in half, 2-1. Tigres 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. The team took a 2-0 lead on Monday, winning 6-1. Game 4 will be played on Thursday-evening in Chinandega.

...Osman Marval had 3 hits for Tigres,...
...including a 2-run double...
...Last year, he played for UnipolSai...
...Bologna in Italy, with whom he played... the European Champions Cup in...
...Regensburg (Germany)...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Tigres struck early on Wednesday, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning off of starting pitcher Gustavo Martínez. With one out, Ofilio Castro singled, but he was forced out on a following grounder by Jamar Walton. But with two outs, Martínez got the bases loaded when he gave up a single to Osman Marval and walked Curt Smith. Hereafter, two runs were scored when Edgard Montiel delivered a 2-run single.

Gigantes got one run back in its first at bat off of starter Wilton López. With two outs, Elmer Reyes tripled and scored when a grounder by next hitter Juan C. Torres was misplayed by short stop Jesús López.

In the third Gigantes-at bat, there were two quick outs. Elmer Reyes then hit the ball down the rightfield-line. When that was ruled foul, 1B Coach Aníbal Vega was ejected for his reaction to the call. Moments later, Reyes singled. Hereafter, Juan Carlos Torres drove the ball into deep leftfield, but there, it was caught by Jamar Walton just in front on the fence.

Gigantes then did tie the score in the bottom of the fourth. Wuillians Vásquez led off with a single and next hitter Denis Phipps walked. With one out, Vásquez scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Luis Alen.

Tigres immediately re-took the lead in the top of the fifth inning by scoring two runs with two outs. Norlando Valle led off with a single, but was caught stealing. Yosmani Guerra then walked and with two outs, Jamar Walton reached on an infield-hit. Both scored when Osman Marval doubled down the rightfield-line. While Guerra and Walton scored, Marval tried to stretch his hit into a triple, but was then eliminated at third base.

The 1B Umpire and Righfield Umpire had a busy evening judging the batted balls, as in the bottom of the fifth inning, it was Darrel Campbell, who hit the ball down the foul-line for an one-out single. Hereafter, Elmer Reyes doubled, just out of reach of rightfielder Curt Smith, but the two runners were left behind.

After stranding the runners on second and third base in the fifth inning, Gigantes was unable to get into scoring position in the next three innings, but then tied the score with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. With a 4-2 lead, closer Wilber Bucardo took the mound for Tigres. With one out, he gave up a single to Ramón Flores. He went on to score when Vladimir Frías followed with a double. In an attempt to eliminate Flores at the plate, a throwing error followed enabling Frías to reach third base. Moments later, Frías scored the tying run on a single by Darrel Campbell, who injured himself while running towards first base. Omar Obregón took over as pinch-runner, Elmer Reyes also singled, which led to a pitching change. With runners on first and second base and only one out, Junior Téllez took over the pitching. The two runners advanced on a grounder by Juan Carlos Torres. To set up a force play next hitter Wuillians Vásquez was walked intentionally. The force play indeed came, as Obregón was eliminated on third base on a grounder by next hitter Denis Phipps, who went after the first pitch. And so, the game went into extra innings!

With one out in the top of the tenth inning, Ofilio Castro singled. He was forced out on a grounder by Jamar Walton, who then initially was called out in a close play at first base for what then was an inning-ending double play. However, an umpire-review followed at the request of the Tigers-Manager. After reviewing the replays, Walton was ruled safe. A pitching change followed. Manauris Báez, who was the starter for Gigantes in Game 2 on Monday, took over. The Dominican closed the at bat with a strikeout.

In the bottom of the 10th inning, Gigantes got into scoring position again. Moisés Flores led off with a walk and was moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Luis Alen. With first base open, Ramón Flores was walked intentionally. Reliever Junior Téllez followed with a strikeout and a pop-fly ended the at bat.

After leaving a runner behind on third base in the 12th inning, Gigantes again reached third in the thirteenth. But this time, it was decisive. With two outs, Denis Phipps walked, then moved to third base on a single by Moisés Flores. With runners at the corners, José David Rugama became the new pitcher for Tigres. He got a full count on next hitter Luis Alen, then threw the next ball passed his catcher. The wild pitch enabled Phipps to score the winning run for Gigantes!

(January 17)

Related Articles:
Tigres wins 2nd game; Smith scores and has RBI. (Jan. 15)
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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