The Laguna Vaqueros are certainly making the most of their first playoff appearance since 2004. The Torreon team pounded Mexico City, 15-2, last Monday night in Foro Sol to win the seventh and deciding game of their Northern Zone semifinal series, eliminating the defending Liga champions in the process.
Laguna rapped out 21 hits as a team on Monday, including a 4-for-6 night with a homer from Daniel Fornes, to back up pitcher Juan Delgadillo (who tossed two-run ball over his six-inning stint on the mound). Fornes capped an excellent series in which he also whacked a homer in a Game 3 victory and drove in the winning run in the tenth inning of Game 4, both at home in Torreon. The Diablos had stayed alive with a 12-4 drubbing of the Vaqueros last Saturday, featuring a three-hit night from Ivan Terrazas.
Now the Vaqueros are squaring off with Saltillo for the LMB North championship. The Saraperos topped Reynosa in six contests, including an 8-1 Game 6 win in Saltillo last Saturday in which starter Jose Mercedes stretched his string of consecutive postseason shutout innings to 14 with seven frames of three-hit scoreless ball.
The Saraperos opened the Norte finals with a 9-0 shutout over Laguna last Wednesday in Saltillo. Hector Rodriguez scattered four hits and struck out seven Vaqueros in five innings. In Game 2 on Friday night, Refugio Cervantes slammed his fourth homer of the playoffs to break a 4-4 tie as Saltillo held on for a 5-4 win in front of over 11,000 fans in Torreon. Cervantes also stroked an RBI double in the third.