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Updated: February 1, 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; Photos courtesy of Serie Latinoamericana)

Nicaragua wins Serie Latinoamericana in second consecutive year

MANAGUA (Nicaragua) - Tigres de Chinandega again has won the Serie Latinoamericana. In the Final on Wednesday-evening (January 31), the Nicaraguan champion won 9-1 against Tobis de Acayucan, the champion of the Mexican State Veracruz. With that, Tigres won the event for the second consecutive year. Last year, the team won 4-0 against host Leones Comfacor de Montería when the tournament was held in Montería (Colombia). Next year, the seventh edition of the event will be held again in Colombia, with Barranquilla being the playing site.

Tigres de Chinandega became the first club to win the Serie Latinoamericana two years in a row. The team now has won the event three times, as it also won in 2014.

Before the start of the game, Comandante Bayardo Arce Castaño, President of the Liga de Béisbol Profesional de Nicaragua, addressed the spectators. He announced that Curaçao has now officially joined the Asociación Latinoamericana de Béisbol Profesional. In this tournament, Curaçao was a guest-participant after it joined the ALBP in June last year with Argentina and Chile. Earlier on Wednesday, Curaçao signed the papers which makes it a official member of the ALBP. During that ceremony, Curaçao was represented by Yurendell De Caster, who signed the documents.

...Rojean Cleofa has been handed out the award...
...for Best Hitter by Bayardo Arce Castaño, the...
...President of the Liga de Béisbol Profesional... Nicaragua, before the game...
(© Photo: Serie Latinoamericana)
Bayardo Arce Castaño, who is the Economic Advisor of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Saavedra, also handed out the Individual Awards of the tournament, which were based on the Preliminary Round. Curaçao-player Rojean Cleofa was the Best Hitter with a .667 batting average. Other awards were handed out to Leonordo Ortiz (Nicaragua, Most RBI's, Most Homeruns) and Jamar Walton (Nicaragua, Most Homeruns). Four pitchers got an award for Best ERA (0.00), being Alberto Leyva (México), Sammy Taveras (Panamá), Fidencio Flores and Wilber Bucardo (both Nicaragua). Raúl Ruiz (Nicaragua) won awards for Most Innings Pitched and Most Strikeouts. Wilton López and Gilberto Méndez (México) also won awards for Most Strikeouts.

Nicaraguan singer/songwriter Katia Cardenal sung the Nicaraguan National Anthem before the game. She performs with her brother since they were 16 years old and became a popular singer. Through the years, she performed in many countries in Central and South America, as well as in Europe.

Former pitcher Porfirio Altamirano threw the ceremonial first pitch. The 65-year old Altamirano, nicknamed 'El Guajiro', was a star-pitcher in Nicaragua, won Silver with the National Team at the 1974 World Championship, Gold at the Central American Games in 1977 and Silver at the Central American and Caribbean Games in 1978. Altamirano also played in Venezuela en pitched in the Major League for Philadelphia Phillies (1982-1983) and Chicago Cubs (1984).

With a bright super-blue-moon (no more blood moon anymore) up in the sky, Nicaragua opened the score with three runs in the bottom of the second inning off of starter Jorge Luis Ibarra. Osman Marval led off with an infield-hit and Wuillians Vásquez singled. The two advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Edgard Montiel and then the runscoring started. Yosmany Guera singled in the first run, followed by a runscoring grounder from Leonardo Ortiz and an RBI-single from Jesús López to make it a 3-0 score.

In the top of the third inning, México got runners on first and third base with two outs on two errors by short stop Jesús López, who also had made a throwing error in the first inning. The two runners stranded, as a flyout ended the at bat.

In the bottom of the third inning, Nicaragua added two runs. Norlando Valle led off with a single and scored on an one-out triple from Jamar Walton. He scored the next run on a following single by Orman Marval, which led to a pitching change. Two grounders then ended the at bat, but the home team now led 5-0.

Nicaragua-starter Marcos Frías got several runners due to the errors, but threw three hitless innings. In the top of the fourth inning, he gave up his first basehit when Eliseo Aldazaba led off with a single. But a line out and double play followed.

México got another scoring opportunity in the top of the sixth inning. With one out, Yadil Mujica reached on an infield-hit and with two outs, Francisco Rivera walked, but Frías closed with a strikeout.

...Tigres de Chinandega won the Serie Latinoamericana...
...for the second consecutive year...
(© Photo: Serie Latinoamericana)
México then scored its first run in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, Raúl Rodríguez singled and Hector Hernández walked. That marked the end for starter Marcos Frías, who had done very well and now was relieved by Junior Téllez. He was greeted with a single by Enrique Osorio that brought in Rodríguez. A flyout and force out then ended the at bat.

While the 5-1 lead already was enough, Nicaragua decided the game by scoring four more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Julio Muñiz took over the pitching for México, but he gave up a single to Norlando Valle, then a double to Elmer Reyes. Hereafter, Jamar Walton drove the ball into deep rightfield. There, rightfielder Eliseo Aldazaba ran backwards and into the wall. As he fell on his right arm, he was unable to come up in time to go after the ball. With that, Walton continued running and scored on a inside-the-park-homerun. Another pitching change followed, as Jean Carlos Corpas took over. He walked Osman Marval and Wuillians Vásquez, but a double play followed. That brought Marval to third base and he scored the next run on a single by Yosmany Guerra. Leonardo Ortiz followed with another single and that led to the next pitching change. Eduard Reyes took over and closed with a strikeout, but Tigres now led 9-1.

México was retired in order in the top of the ninth inning to end the game. Lenín Picota, the Panamanian Manager of Tigres de Chinandega, became the first Manager to win the Serie Latinoamericana twice. He also led Tigres to the title a year ago.

Jamar Walton was named Most Valuable Player of the Final. He was 2-for-4 with a triple and homerun, scored twice and batted in four runs. The award was handed out by Yurendell De Caster, who was a member of the winning (Nicaraguan) team in the past two years. In 2016, he won with Gigantes de Rivas and last year with Tigres de Chinandega.

(January 31)

Related Articles:
Curaçao loses vs. México in Semi-Final Serie Latinoamericana. (January 30)
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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