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Updated: January 31, 2018
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)

Curaçao ends up short against México in Semi-Final of Serie Latinoamericana

MANAGUA (Nicaragua) - KJ74-Guardian Group WildCats, the champion of Curaçao, lost 9-3 against Tobis de Acayucan (México) on Tuesday-evening (January 30) in the Semi-Final of the Serie Latinoamericana. In Estadio Nacional Dennis Martínez in Nicaraguan capital Managua, the Mexicans outhit Curaçao 12-6. Alexander Rodriguez collected three of the six Curaçao-hits, while Yurendell De Caster scored two of the three runs.

With the win, México advanced to the Final of the event, which will be played on Wednesday-evening against Nicaraguan champion Tigres de Chinandega. With the loss, Curaçao was eliminated. Tonight's result must have been a disappointment for the Curaçao-squad, as it played three good games in the Preliminary Round. It led in the final two games, but lost both.

WildCats opened the event on Friday-afternoon with a 7-6 victory against Panamá. On Saturday, the team lost 12-9 against México, despite leading 7-4 after six innings. The Curaçao-squad closed the Preliminary Round on Sunday with a 6-5 loss in eleven innings after having led twice. Nevertheless, Curaçao, which played a fine tournament, qualified for the Semi-Final.

On a windy Tuesday-evening, Curaçao was retired in order in the top of the first inning by lefthanded Mexican starter Andin Díaz López. Moments later, México rallied for four runs off of Curaçao-starter Cerilio Soleana, also a lefthander.

...Yurendell De Caster scored twice for Curaçao...
...On the photo, he plays for the Netherlands Team during the...
...2017 World Baseball Classic...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Hector Hernández led off with a single, then Enrique Osorio walked. The two advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Yadil Mujica back to Soleana, who made a throwing error towards first base, enabling Hernández to score the first run. Osorio ended up on third base and then scored the next run on a wild pitch. With Mujica on third base, Eliseo Aldazaba was walked intentionally, but Francisco Rivera followed with a runscoring single that made it a 3-0 score. With runners at the corners, two flyouts followed, but the bases then got loaded when Raul Rodríguez walked. That led to an early pitching change, as Soleana was replaced by more experienced pitcher Shairon Martis, who more or less was the expected starting pitcher for tonight's game. Martis was greeted with a single from Santiago González. That brought in Aldazaba, while Rivera was eliminated at the plate when he also tried to score. That ended the at bat, but Curaçao trailed 4-0.

Curaçao got one run back in the top of the second inning. Alexander Rodríguez led off with a single, moved on a wild pitch, advanced when Johnny Gregorius flied out and scored on a 2-out infield-hit from Dashenko Ricardo. The latter was forced out to end the inning on a grounder by Rojean Cleofa, who was the best hitter of the Preliminary Round with a .667 batting average. Cleofa led the tournament also with eight basehits and was second with four runs scored.

After México left runners behind on first and second base in the bottom of the third inning, Curaçao scored another run in the fourth at bat. Yurendell De Caster led off with a walk, then advanced to third base on a following single by Alexander Rodriguez. With one out, De Caster scored when pitcher Díaz stepped off the plate and threw the ball past first base. Rodriguez moved to second base, then next batter Levi Carolus walked. A pitching change followed and reliever José Piña retired the next two hitters, meaning the two runners were left behind.

In the fifth inning, Raywendley van Gurp singled with one out, but the Mexican defense then turned a double play.

In the bottom of the fifth, México took some more distance when Yadil Mujica led off with a homerun. With one out, Francisco Rivera doubled, but he stranded on second base.

But Curaçao also scored again in the top of the sixth. Yurendell De Caster again led off with a walk and went on to score his second run when Alexander Rodriguez followed with a double. Rodriguez stranded on second base, as the next three batters were eliminated, two of them with a strikeout.

México then decided the game in the bottom of the sixth inning by scoring three more runs. Raul Rodríguez and Santiago González led off with walks, which led to the departure of Shairon Martis. The righthander was relieved by Wendell Floranus, but he gave up a single to Hector Hernández and a double to Enrique Osorio, which brought in the two runners. With one out, another run was added on a single by Eliseo Aldazaba. A double play ended the at bat, but Curaçao now trailed 8-3.

After Curaçao was retired in order in the top of the seventh, México made it a 9-3 score in its seventh at bat off of new pitcher Shair Lacrus. Victor Santos led off with a single and with one out, he stole second base, then was able to continue to third base on a following error. Moments later, he scored on a wild pitch. México got two more baserunners hereafter, but a double play then ended the at bat.

Curaçao was retired in order again in the eighth, then got its final chance to do something back in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Randolph Kirindongo led off with a single on the first pitch thrown by Victor Arano, who closed the game for México. However, he stranded on first base. Next hitter Levi Carolus lined out to third base, then the next two batters were retired to end the game.

(January 30)

Related Articles:
Curaçao loses in 11th vs. Nicaragua, but reaches Semi-Final. (January 28)
Curaçao empty-handed after lead vs. México in Nicaragua. (January 27)
Curaçao opens Serie Latinoamericana with win vs. Panamá. (January 26)
Diegomar Markwell, Dudley Leonora to particpate in Serie Latinoamericana. (January 19)

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