Tuesday, January 4, 2011

TEPIC, ACAPONETA WIN LIGA NOROESTE PLAYOFF OPENERS

The Mexican Northwest League has begun its 2010-11 playoffs with the top four squads from the six-team circuit squaring off in the semifinals.

In Santiago, the home Tabaqueros lost a 1-0 nailbiter to Tepic’s Universitario Diablos Rojos on Sunday night. The six-hit shutout for Tepic was spun by starter Rodolfo Aguilar (six innings, four hits) and relievers Martin Arturo Sotelo and Alan Ramirez. Sotelo earned the victory. Santiago’s hard-luck loser was Francisco Madero, who went the distance and only allowed one run on three hits. The game’s lone run came on a solo homer by Tepic’s Francisco Cordoba in the seventh. Tepic is a farm team for Mexico City and Oaxaca of the Mexican League, while Santiago is linked to Monclova and Tabasco.

Meanwhile, in Acaponeta, the hometown Cachorros slammed visiting Tuxpan, 14-3. This was over early when Acaponeta sent twelve men to the plate in the bottom of the first inning, scoring seven runs in the process. The Cachorros, who are a farm club for four Liga teams, put five more runs on the board in the eighth to salt the game away. Tuxpan is an affiliate of Nuevo Laredo and Laguna.

Santiago is the defending LBN champ. Acaponeta won top playoff seed this year with 14 points.