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02/08/2004 Archived Entry: "DOMINICANS ARE NEW CARIBBEAN Baseball King"
DOMINICANS ARE NEW CARIBBEAN Baseball King
by Carlos Fragoso
By beating Puerto Rico in a close game 4-3, The Dominican Republic representative, Licey Tigers, got crowned as the new Caribbean Baseball champions, based on a zippering relief by Series MVP and Best reliever Francis Beltran (Cubs), who come over to replace ,starter Rafael Soriano, (Seattle) and stopped Puerto Rico´s attack in the ninth inning, striking out Raul Gonzales and Valentino Pacucci, to finish the game.
Beltran got 2 saves and also appeared in other two games to become instrumental in getting important games.
It was a coming from behind victory, in which catcher Brandon Marsters, drove in the winning run, scored by Jose Offerman, who started the sixth inning with a walk, followed by a single by Izzy Alcantara while a packed Quisqueya Stadium, get wild, watching their team getting the title, their ninth in the Series history., and 15th for Dominicans all time leaders in this tournaments who are more than 50 years old., and also stopped the series losing streak for Dominicans teams which lasted 16 years.,since Escogido Lions got the title back in 1988.
This also was a historic series, record wise when a total of 20 HR´s were hit a record for Quisqueya stadium, among those hitting long ones were, Robert Pérez,Luis Lopez, Luis Carlos Garcia,José Macías, Magglio Ordoñez, Alex Cabrera, Miguel Tejada, Izzy Alcantara, Benji Gil and Raul Gonzalez, all well known players in both major and minor leagues.
Earlier in the first game, Culiacan did their job beating Venezuela Aragua Tiger 6-5, in a effort to force a tie breaking game, if Puerto Rico would defeat DR, after al it was a terrific series for Culiacan, who placed second in the tournament, and posting 2 players into the Series All Star team Catcher Adan Amezcua and Short Stop Benji Gil.
Reliever Mark Kroon got the win , and a Adan Amezcua single drove in Miguel Ojeda (Padres ) to score the winning run in the 8th.
The bad face in the game was when Venezuelan coach come up to argue chief umpire with a strike call to catcher Gabriel Torrs, and was ejected from the game, and soon afterwards he hit the umpire with his head,both player and coach were ejected after a 10 minutes delay.
Next series in 2005 will be hosted by México, in the City of Mazatlan, home of the Deers.
Player Position Team
Adan Amezcua C Mexico
Carlos Rivera 1B Puerto Rico
Luis Rodríguez 2B Venezuela
Benji Gil SS Mexico
Eduardo Rios 3B Venezuela
Mendy Lopez LF DR
Robert Perez CF Venezuela
Izzy Alcantara RF DR
David Ortiz DH DR
Jose Jiménez RHP DR
Damaso Marte LHP DR
Many Acta MGR DR
Quotes from the series.
« This is for the Dominican people, if I play here every winter, is because of them » David Ortiz
“To be here, to win and celebrate is worthless, I will be willing to pay any price” said super shortstop Miguel Tejada
“ I don´t have words to express how I feel, this is great and the best ever happened to me in my carrer “ said manager Many Acta