Monday, February 7, 2011

OBREGON TOPS CARIBES, WINS FIRST CS TITLE

Sometimes a little help is all it takes. The Obregon Yaquis have become Mexico’s first Caribbean Series champion since Mazatlan in 2005 by defeating the Anzoategui Caribes of Venezuela, 3-2, Monday afternoon in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. However, the Dominican champion Este Toros gave the Yaquis an assist by defeating the host Caguas Criollos, 3-0, in the nightcap to ensure Obregon’s first-ever CS title.

Obregon pitcher Alberto Castillo gave up two runs in the fourth inning and Caribes starter Seth Etherton was working on a shutout in the sixth when the wheels fell off his wagon. Justin Christian doubled, moved to third on an Evert Cabrera single and scored on Agustin Murillo’s groundout to short. Jorge Vazquez then poled his second homer of the CS to straightaway center to give the Yaquis a 3-2 lead. From that point, the Obregon bullpen took over and locked down the Venezuelans the rest of the way. Adrian C. Ramirez (pictured) got the win after striking out three of the five consecutive batters he retired in the sixth and seventh.

In the game that decided the Serie, Raul Valdes and Julion Manon combined on a four-hitter to lead Este to a 3-0 win over Caguas. Alejandro de Aza’s two-run triple in the fourth was the key blow against the Criollos, who would have won the CS with a win over Este due to their two earlier wins over Obregon. Instead, the Toros turned in a sparkling effort to defeat Caguas that set off a celebration in the Mayaguez stands among Yaquis fans, including one who leaped onto the field and ran the bases while waving a large Mexican flag.

For his efforts at the plate, Vazquez (who hit .310 with two homers and six RBIs) was named the Caribbean Series MVP. Vazquez, whose homer today entirely cleared a sight screen and landed in a parking lot behind the center field wall, will report to spring training in Tampa with the New York Yankeees later this month. It's believed he has considerably improved his chances of getting noticed by the big team.