Friday, April 22, 2016

Yucatan veteran Morejon collects 2,000th Liga hit

Yucatan Leones veteran Oswaldo Morejon has recorded the 2,000th hit of his Mexican League career.  Morejon reached the milestone during a 6-0 series-opening loss to Reynosa on April 15 before a Friday night crowd of 10,924 at Merida's Parque Kukulcan.

Morejon entered the game with one out in the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitting for Leones shortstop Kevin Flores.  After fouling off a pair of Sergio Zamudio pitches, the 37-year-old Merida native lined Zamudio's 0-2 pitch between Broncos third baseman Miguel Torrero and shortstop Hector Hernandez into left field for a single. At that point, Yucatan manager Willie Romero sent Kristian Delgado to first base to replace Morejon, who left the field with fans chanting his name all the way to the dugout.

A 5'9" 1695-pounder, Morejon broke into the Liga with the Leones as as 18-year-old in 1997, batting .244 with no homers in 74 games.  He has spent all but two seasons of his 20-year career with Yucatan, playing 1,717 games almost exclusively at second base.  Morejon has batted over .300 nine times, including an uncharacteristic .383 (fourth in the LMB) over 111 games for Laguna in 2013, and has a career average of .296.  Never a longball hitter with only 72 career homers, Morejon has displayed occasional gap power and speed with 332 doubles and 36 triples along with 108 stolen bases.

Morejon has also played ten winters in the Mexican Pacific League, covering the keystone for Guasave, Mexicali and Mazatlan between 2005 and 2014, batting .272 in the more pitching-friendly circuit.

Former teammate Romero has played Oswaldo sparingly thus far this season.  Going into this weekend's series in Monclova, Morejon has gone 6-for-23 in eight games for a .261 average with one double and one RBI for the 11-6 Leones, who are tied with Puebla for first place in the LMB South.  The host Acereros are 13-4 with a two-game lead over Monterrey in the LMB North.