La Guaira beat Lara to claim eighth Venezuela Professional Baseball League title

La Guaira beat Lara to claim eighth Venezuela Professional Baseball League title
29/01/2024
The Tiburones won the best-of-seven final series 4-1. It's their eighth pennant, the first in 38 years. Ricardo Pinto earned wins in Games One and Five and was named the series MVP.

La Guaira Tiburones defeated Lara Cardenales, 4-1, in the best-of-seven final series to win the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP). They succeeded Caracas Leones.

It's the eighth league title for the Tiburones (Sharks). La Guaira hadn't won a pennant since the 1985-86 season.

Final Series Results

Tiburones-Cardenales 6-0
Tiburones-Cardenales 12-10
Tiburones-Cardenales 7-5
Cardenales-Tiburones 6-5
Tiburones-Cardenakes 3-0

Veteran right-hander Ricardo Pinto, who has thrown strikes for the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball (MLB), the SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) league, the Rakuten Monkeys of the Chinese Professional Baseball League and the Mexico City Diablos Rojos of the Mexican Baseball League (LMB), had rarely pitched deep into LVBP games before the 2023-24 season. He gave Tiburones seven scoreless innings in Games One and Five and earned MVP honours.

"When you face hitters as strong as Lara's, you don't want them to get on base. I tried to focus and keep calm and didn't think about putting zeros on the scoreboard. My only goal was to win it for La Guaira," commented Pinto after the award presentation.

Closer Arnaldo Hernandez, a 27-year-old fireballer who spent the summer with the Charleston Dirty Birds of the Atlantic League, collected four saves, including the title-clinching Game Five.

La Guaira's lineup could count on MLB talent such as Maikel Garcia (Kansas City Royals), Alcides Escober (Washington Nationals) and Colombian Harold Ramirez (Tampa Bay Rays).

Former WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup All-World centre fielder Yasiel Puig also helped the Tiburones to the title.