It’s not that hard to make the semifinals of a tournament in which there are only 5 teams. The mighty Caribes of Anzoátegui did it easily, winning their second consecutive game of the Caribbean Series yesterday in a 6-5 come-from-behind win over the Dominican Republic. After a lively first couple of frames, a parade of relievers, ending with Hassan Pena and Pedro Rodriguez, slammed the door on the Gigantes del Cibao, the DR’s representative. Over the last few innings the Gigantes were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Yeiper Castillo had a bad outing for the Caribes, giving up 4 runs in 1.1 innings, but after Eric Niesen allowed a fifth, Venezuelan’s next seven relievers didn’t surrender a run over the next 7 innings, so the second-inning heroics of Niuman Romero (home run) and Balbino Fuenmayor (game-winning double) stood up–not a run was scored by either team after the second inning.
Venezuela take on Cuba this afternoon, represented by the Vegueros de Pinar del Río (the Tobacco growers). The Cubans kept their hopes alive with a win over host Puerto Rico last night, meaning the host nation is close to being eliminated, at 0-3. On Friday it’s a final first-round matchup against the great Tomateros (Tomato farmers) of Culiacán, Mexico. After dispensing our agricultural rivals, we move on to Saturday’s semifinal.