(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)
Caribes also wins third game in Venezuelan Final
MARACAY (Venezuela) -
Caribes de Azoátegui took a 3-0 lead on Sunday (January 24) by winning 9-6 against Cardenales de Lara in Game 3 of the best-of-seven Championship Final of the Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional (LVBP).
Caribes opened the series on Friday with a 4-0 win, then won 1-0 on Saturday.
The fourth game will be played on Tuesday.
Caribes opened the score in the second inning and rallied for four runs in the fifth and sixth inning.
Reigning champion Cardenales started scoring from the sixth inning on, but ended up short for the third consecutive time.
Caribes scored its first run in the bottom of the second inning when Oswaldo Arcia led off with a homerun off of starter Henry Centeno.
The team then scored four unearned runs in the fifth at bat.
Luis Sardińas led off with a single and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Herlis Rodríguez, which ended in an error.
Another sac-bunt followed, this time by Jesús Sucre, which moved the runners to second and third base.
Moments later, Sardińas scored on a sacrifice fly by Niuman Romero.
Hereafter, Rafael Ortega and Ali Castillo followed with back-to-back RBI-doubles.
That led to a pitching change and Jesús Sánchez took over from Henry Centeno.
Sánchez was greeted with a runscoring single by Willians Astudillo, which lifted the lead to 5-0.
Next batter Oswaldo Arcia also singled, but a grounder then ended the at bat.
Cardenales came back into the game by scoring three runs in the top of the sixth.
Ildemaro Vargas led off with a walk and a pitching change followed.
Ivan Mendoza took over from Andres E. Pérez, who had entered the game in the fourth.
Mendoza struckout the first two batters he faced, César Hernández and Gorkys Hernández.
The latter argued and was ejected by Home Plate Umpire Robert Moreno.
With two outs, Mendoza gave up a runscoring single to Carlos Rivero, which scored Vargas, who had advanced on a wild pitch.
Hereafter, it were Jecksson Flores and Josmar Cordero who belted back-to-back RBI-doubles and that made it a 5-3 score.
José Ascanio was inserted as new pitcher and he got an inning-ending grounder.
In the bottom of the sixth, Caribes answered with another 4-run rally off of reliever Wilking Rodríguez.
With one out, the bases got loaded when Herlis Rodríguez and Jesús Sucre both singled and Niuman Romero walked.
All scored when Rafael Ortega followed with a baseclearing, 3-run triple.
Vicente Campos then took over the pitching, but he saw Ortega score on a single by Ali Castillo.
And that increased the lead of Caribes to 9-3.
With one out in the eighth, Cardenales scored its next run.
Yordanys Linares was then hit by a pitch by new pitcher Liarvis Breto and scored on following singles by Ildemaro Vargas and César Hernández.
In the top of the ninth, Cardenales scored twice.
Yordanys Linares led off with a single off of reliever Mayckol Guaipe, who then was replaced by Lester Oliveros.
But he gave up a single to Ildemaro Vargas, then a runscoring double to César Hernández and a sacrifice fly to José Tabata.
That narrowed the deficit to 9-6, but hereafter, Oliveros got two flyouts that ended the game.