Thursday, January 14, 2016

MexPac Playoff Scoreboard: THU, Jan. 14, 2016

Fans were treated to two close games Thursday night in Mexican Pacific League semifinal action, with attendees at Mazatlan's Estadio Teodoro Mariscal getting a bonus of heart-stopping, run-scoring plays in the ninth AND tenth innings as Carlos Valencia (pictured for the second day in a row, a BBM first) continued to swing a heroic bat for the Obregon Yaquis, although not in his expected fashion of late. The Navojoa-Mexicali was another knucklebiter, just not quite as dramatic.

Obregon 5-8-1, MAZATLAN 4-9-2 (10)
W-Judy (1-0).  L-S. Valenzuela (0-1).  T-3:36.  A-7,849.
This may have been the wildest game of the 2016 playoffs thus far, as one infield error lifted Mazatlan into a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the contest into overtime and  another infield error pushed the winning run across the plate for Obregon in the top of the tenth. This was not a textbook win for the Yaquis but it did put them in the driver's seat of their series with the Venados.
With Obregon leading, 4-3, in the bottom of the ninth, Mazatlan's Esteban Quiroz lined to third baseman Alfredo Amezaga for the second out, but Amezaga's throw to double up baserunner Jeremias Pineda at first instead sailed into right field and Paul Leon motored in from third with the tying run.  In the top of the tenth, Venados first baseman Cyle Hankerd misplayed a two-out Carlos Valenica grounder, allowing Alex Liddi to come steaming in from third for the Yaquis. Closer Josh Judy pitched a 1-2-3 tenth to nail down the win for Obregon.
Justin Greene had three hits for the Yaquis while Olmo Rosario had a trio of singles for the Venados, who now trail Obregon, 3 games to 1.  Game Five is Friday in Mazatlan.  The Venados will start 2015-16 ERA champ Alejandro Soto while Arturo Lopez gets the nod for Obregon.

NAVOJOA 3-7-1, Mexicali 2-9-0
W-Solis (1-0).  L-Marin (0-1).  T-3:11.  A-9,681.
Jesus Castillo bashed a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning and that was all the Mayos would need for the win.  Mexicali put the first two runs of the game on the board in the second when Chris Roberson doubled in Yuniesky Betancourt with the game's first run; Roberson then came in on an error by Navojoa second baseman Carlos Orrantia.  Quincy Latimore and Carlos Moncrief were on base two innings later when Castillo went deep on Aguilas pitcher Terance Marin, who'd been working on a shutout before being rudely interrupted.
Marin had an otherwise flawless outing over six innings, small solace to a hurler who's been dogged by hard luck during the postseason and was tagged for the loss.  Tomas Solis earned the win with a good start for the Mayos, letting in one earned run over five frames of work.
The series is now tied at two games apiece.  Game Five is Friday night in Navojoa, when the Mayos send Juan Oyervides to the mound against the Aguilas and Javier Solano in what looks to be a great matchup.