(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)
Caribes shuts out Cardenales in opener Venezuelan Final
BARQUISIMETO (Venezuela) -
Caribes de Azoátegui shutout reigning champion Cardenales de Lara 6-0 on Friday (January 22) in the opening game of the best-of-seven Championship Final of the Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional (LVBP).
The second game will be played on Saturday.
Caribes broke a scoreless score in the sixth inning by scoring twice.
The team added two more runs in both the seventh and eighth inning.
Caribes collected 13 basehits, including four by short stop Luis Sardiñas, who played in the Major League in 2014-2018 for five different teams.
Jecksson Flores accounted for three of the seven Cardenales-basehits.
It was Cardenales that got the chance to open the score in the bottom of the fifth inning off of starter David Martínez.
In the first four at bats, the Caribes-defense had turned three double plays, but in the fifth, Cardenales got the bases loaded with two outs.
Jean Toledo took over and got an inning-ending grounder.
Moments later, his teammates opened the score and with that, Toledo became the winning pitcher, while throwing only this 1/3 inning.
After five scoreless innings, Caribes scored two runs in the top of the sixth.
Jesús Sucre led off with a single and then Niuman Romero and Rafael Ortega both walked, which loaded the bases.
Sucre then scored the first run on a force play-grounder by Ali Castillo.
With runners on first and third base, Vicente Campos took over the pitching from starter Logan Darnell.
He got a force play-grounder from Willians Astudillo, but that also enabled Romero to score.
Caribes scored its next two runs in the seventh.
With one out, the first run was scored on back-to-back doubles by Luis Sardiñas and Herlis Rodríguez.
Hereafter, Yapson Gomez was inserted as new pitcher.
He began with a strikeout, but then walked the next batter and gave up a runscoring single to Rafael Ortega, which lifted the lead to 4-0.
In the eighth inning, Caribes scored two runs in its third consecutive at bat.
Willians Astudillo led off with a double and scored on an one-out single by Tomas Telis.
The latter moved into scoring position on a single by Luis Sardiñas, then the bases got loaded on an infield-hit by Herlis Rodríguez.
That led to another pitching change.
Leonel Campos was brought in and got a flyout, but with two outs, he walked Niuman Romero, which accounted for the second run.
Three runners were left behind, but Caribes now led 6-0.
Cardenales left a runner behind on third base in the seventh, then got another scoring opportunity in the eighth.
Francisco Arcía then led off with a double and a pitching change followed.
New pitcher Jake Sánchez got the bases loaded when he walked the next two batters.
Hereafter, Caribes turned its fourth double play (1-2-3).
After another pitching change, a line drive ended the at bat.