28/09/2023 - 01/10/2023


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Baseball Champions League Americas: Yucatan win, Fargo and Barranquilla to play final
30/09/2023 3 Minute Read

Baseball Champions League Americas: Yucatan win, Fargo and Barranquilla to play final

A couple of four-run rallies took the hosts over Granma. Fargo and Barranquilla finished tied at 2-1 and will compete for the first Baseball Champions League Americas title.

Yucatan Leones defeated Granma Alazanes in the last game of the Baseball Champions League Americas round robin, 9-4.

Leones and Aazanes finished tied at 1-2, both eliminated.

"Ties are a likely event in short tournaments," commented Granma's manager, Leonardo Soto. "I think the tournament showcased some excellent baseball, and I have no doubt Barranquilla and Fargo played better than we did and deserved to play the final."

In the afternoon game, the Fargo Moorhead RedHawks defeated Barranquilla Caimanes, 10-6. Fargo and Barranquilla finished tied at 2-1 and will compete in the final. The win gave Fargo the home-team advantage.

"The first night against Fargo, we did everything the right way. We didn't repeat ourselves. It's a fact," added Soto. Our pitchers simply couldn't get the job done tonight, and our defence didn't help them. We showed power, but all our power hits came with no runner on base."

"Let me also say it was a privilege to be part of this first edition of the Baseball Champions League. This event will help develop international baseball further," said Soto on a final note.

"Hopefully, more leagues will be participating in the following edition," commented Leones manager Roberto Vizcarra. "I hope this event will grow with time. The first edition was promising."

"Tonight, we scored early and gave our pitchers some confidence. We wanted this win to say farewell to our fans properly. I'm glad my players showed pride and gave all they had tonight despite being eliminated by the afternoon's result."

"I hadn't pitched in this ballpark for four years," added the Leones starting pitcher Cesar Valdes. "I loved pitching tonight. We knew this result wouldn't change the outcome. The tournament didn't finish how we wanted, but we wanted to play hard and give the fans this win."

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Live blog - Game as it happened

Former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Cesar Valdes took the mound for Yucatan.

Right-hander Wilber Reyna started for Granma. The 26-year-old spent the 2023 season with Santiago of the Cuban National League.

Catcher Yosvany Alarcon gave Granma the lead as he homered to dead centre on the second pitch of the second inning.

Yucatan reversed the lead in the bottom half of the frame. Third baseman Josh Fuentes hit a two-out double with a runner at first in the bottom of the second. Second baseman Diego Madero followed with a two-RBI single.

Cuba handed the ball to Yanielkis Duardo. Leadoff hitter Norberto Obeso turned his second pitch into a two-RBI double, extending Yucatan's lead to 4-1.

Granma cut the gap in the top of the fourth. Third baseman Yordany Alarcon hit an RBI single with runners at second and first.

Yucatan added a run in the bottom of the fifth against Miguel Paradelo, the third Cuban pitcher. Marco Jaime reached on a fielder's choice, advanced to second on consecutive wild pitches and scored on Jonathan Villar's sacrifice fly.

Paradelo walked Juan Escarra and left for Carlos Santana, who was plagued by a defensive error and allowed an RBI single to Yadir Drake right after. Second baseman Diego Madero added an RBI single to make it 7-2.

Cuba called Daniel Ferraz from the bullpen. The right-hander thought he was out of the inning when Diego Madero popped his third pitch to shallow right field, but the ball fell, allowing Yucatan another run.

Francisco Haro took the Leones' mound in the top of the sixth and immediately got some help from Josh Fuentes.

Granma got to Haro in the top of the seventh. First baseman Guillermo Aviles and shortstop Andres De la Cruz homered on consecutive pitches to cut the gap to 8-4.

Yucatan got to Alberto Civil, the sixth Cuban pitcher, with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. The right-hander hit Obeso and allowed Marco Jaime a base hit.

Granma called Yunier Castillo from the bullpen, who allowed an RBI infield single before retiring the third out on strikes.

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