Anyone who has followed baseball for any length of time knows that yesterday’s stud can be today’s goat. Oaxaca’s Victor Mercedes provided an object lesson Monday night when he committed a throwing error that allowed Puebla’s Miguel Torrero to score the winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning, giving the Pericos a 7-6 victory over the Guerreros in Game Two of their Mexican League Zona Hidalgo title series in front of 9,989 spectators at Puebla’s Estadio Hermanos Serdan.
Oaxaca went up 1-0 in the top of the first on Mercedes’ RBI single, but Puebla responded with three counters in the bottom of the inning as Luis Suarez bashed a two-run homer. A Jaime Brena double scored Juan Carlos Canizalez in the second for Oaxaca to tie the score at 2-2, but in the bottom of the frame Serafin Rodriguez cracked a three-run shot to left for the Pericos, giving Puebla a 5-2 lead.
Horacio Vasquez singled in Canizalez with Oaxaca’s third run in the top of the fourth, but the Pericos matched that in the bottom of the fifth when Suarez led off with a double and later scored on Torrero’s single to make it a 6-3 Puebla advantage. However, Oaxaca fought back for two runs in the sixth on run-scoring singles by Erick Rodriguez and Jolbert Carera, and then tied the game at 3-all in the seventh on Brena’s RBI safety to right field.
The score remained 3-3 into the bottom of the tenth, when Torrero hit a one-out single off Oaxaca closer Yoel Hernandez and moved to third on a Valentin Gamez single, bringing up Ivan Cervantes. After a pickoff attempt to first by Hernandez, Cervantes hit a grounder on the first pitch to Mercedes at third, who overthrew first baseman Cabrera, allowing Torrero to motor home from third to end the game. Mercedes was the hero in Oaxaca’s Game Seven win over Quintana Roo after hitting a bases-loaded series-winning single in the bottom of the ninth on Friday, but he put on the horns Monday night.
Suarez led Puebla at the plate with a 4-for-5 night while Rodriguez had three hits. Brena turned in three hits for the Guerreros. Puebla reliever Luis Ramirez earned the win while Hernandez took the loss. Puebla will take a 2-0 series lead into Game Three Wednesday night in Oaxaca.