Sunday, January 17, 2016

MexPac Playoff Scoreboard: SUN, Jan. 17, 2016

Both the Navojoa Mayos and Mazatlan Veados won their Mexican Pacific League semifinal road games Sunday, forcing Game Sevens on Monday in Mexicali and Obregon. Navojoa overcame their own anemic offense with ten innings of shutout pitching and an opportunistic last frame in their overtime victory over the Aguilas while the Venados offense lit up Yaquis pitcher for 14 hits in their tilt.

Following Monday's games, the winning teams will take a two-day breather before opening the MexPac championship series Thursday.

Navojoa 1-4-0, MEXICALI 0-7-1 (10)
W-Moskos (1-0).  L-M. Lara (0-1).  T-2:53.  A-17,000.

After Friday night's comedy of errors, the Navojoa Mayos pulled it together Sunday with an error-free 1-0 win in ten innings at Mexicali in front of 17,000 spectators at La Nida to tie their series at three games apiece, setting up Monday's Game Seven.

Starters Hector Velazquez of Navojoa and Hector Daniel Rodriguez of the Aguilas locked into a pitcher's duel, as Velazquez allowed two hits and struck out seven Mexicali batsmen and walking none over seven innings on the mound while Rodriguez scattered three singles and one walk in 6.1 frames, whiffing eight.  Both bullpens came through as three Navojoa relievers combined for three scoreless innings and four more Aguilas hurlers went 3.2 frames and allowed one Mayos hit, but that safety ended up being the game's difference-maker.

Navojoa first baseman Jesus "Jesse" Castillo (pictured) led off the tenth by rapping a single to right field off Mauricio Lara, then advanced to second when Lara made a bad throw on Jose Guadalupe Chavez' sacrifice bunt back to the mound.  Nate Tenbrink followed Chavez with another bunt to the hill, but Lara was able to nip him at first while both runners advanced.  The call was disputed by Navojoa skipper Enrique "Che" Reyes, but replays upheld it.  Jose Manuel Lopez was brought in to pitch to pinch-hitter Fernando Flores, who lofted a fly ball to centerfielder Chris Roberson.  The 36-year-old Californian made the catch, but Castillo beat the throw to the plate to score the first and only run of the contest.  Mayos closer Daniel Moskos let up two singles in the bottom of the tenth before inducing Luis Juarez to hit into a 5-3 game-ending double play.

Eddie Gamboa will pitch for Navojoa in Monday's Game Seven.  Mexicali manager Edgar Gonzalez did not name his starter as of press time.  Marco Duarte started against Gamboa in Game Three for the Eagles but gave up four runs on two hits and three walks in 3.1 innings in a 6-3 losing effort.

Mazatlan 6-14-0, OBREGON 3-7-2
W-A. Meza (2-1).  L-R. Valdez (1-2).  T-3:33.  A-15,133.

The Mazatlan Venados built themselves a 5-0 by the fifth inning and went on to down the Obregon Yaquis, 6-3, Sunday at a jam-packed Estadio Tomas Oroz Gaytan, leveling their MexPac semifinal series at three games each.

Mazatlan's Cyle Hankerd opened the scoring in the top of the fourth by singling in Agustin Murillo, then came in himself on Olmo Rosario's single to right, barely beating Dustin Martin's throw to the plate.  The call was disputed but upheld by replay officials.  The Venados plated three more runs in the fifth, two scoring on Esteban Quiroz' line-drive double to straightaway center field.  The Yaquis finally broke through with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh, but never came closer than two runs.

Mazatlan collected 14 hits for the game, including three for Rosario and two each for Hankerd, Murillo, Jeremias Pineda, Carlos Munoz and Paul Leon.  Rosario and Quiroz each drove in two runs. Yaquis second baseman Carlos Valencia jacked his fifth postseason homer in the fifth off Venados starter Andres Meza, who got the win after letting in all three Yaquis runs in 5.2 innings.  Justin Green went 2-for-4 for Obregon to raise his postseason batting average to .429 while Martin chipped in two singles.  Yaquis starter Rolando Valdez was ripped for eight hits and five runs before being yanked with one out in the fifth and took the loss.

Game Seven will be Monday night in Obregon.  Venerable Walter Silva will be on the mound for Mazatlan while the Yaquis will send David Reyes to the hill.