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08/29/2006 Archived Entry: "LEONES SHOCK MONTERREY FOR Mexican League PENNANT"

Yucatan tops Sultanes 4 games to 1 for first flag in 22 years

MERIDA – Pitching has always been a hallmark of Yucatan Leones baseball, but it has never been more evident than in their 2006 Mexican League championship series with the powerful Monterrey Sultanes in one of the most unexpected endings to a season in Liga history.

Not that the Leones mound staff got off to a hot start in the finals. In fact, they were looking a little shaky while splitting the first two games against the Sultanes as Monterrey was able to score 13 runs over the two tilts in the light desert air of Monterrey Stadium, where crowds of 27,500 and 23,836 gathered to watch. Monterrey took the August 22 opener 5-4 before Yucatan came back to win a 12-8 slugfest one night later. When the series shifted to Merida, where the heavy marine air from the Gulf of Mexico limits fly balls hit at Kukulcan Park, the nature of the games changed along with the venue.

Yucatan pulled into the series lead on August 25 with a 3-1 win as Leones starting pitcher Eduardo Salgado reversed what had been a season of mound misfortunes with a standout effort, shutting out the Sultanes for 6.2 innings. The Monterrey bats went silent again August 26 when the Sultanes were held to just one hit by Yucatan starter William Vizcarra and a relief corps as the Leones copped a 4-1 win to pull to within a game of the LMB title. Jose Vargas, who saved the first game in Yucatan, came on again in the eighth inning to preserve the win for the Lions, setting the stage for the next night’s heroics.

In that fifth game, both teams scored single runs in the first inning before going into offensive meltdowns that carried into extra innings. With the score tied at 1-1, Yucatan’s Jesus Castillo drilled a one-out homer to right field off Monterrey reliever Miguel Rubio in the bottom of the 14th to end the marathon, touching off a wild and joyous celebration among players and fans alike in Merida. Vargas was the pitching hero once more, entering the game in the eleventh inning and holding the Sultanes scoreless until Castillo’s blast gave the Leones the LMB crown.

Yucatan was the fourth and final playoff qualifier from the LMB South, and nobody expected much from the Leones. However, Yucatan eliminated the regular season South Division champion Mexico City Red Devils and the defending Liga champion Angelopolis Tigres to meet up with Monterrey, who cruised to the LMB North title with the best season record in the league and then went 8-2 in the playoffs to reach the finals. After winning the first game of the series last Tuesday, Monterrey dropped four straight games (including the last three in Yucatan) as the Leones won the finals for their first pennant since 1984.



Tuesday, August 1
Tijuana 4, MONTERREY 3
W-A Delfin, L-J Silva

PUEBLA 3, Saltillo 2
W-M Diaz, L-M Garcia

Yucatan 8, MEXICO 3
W-S Arellano, L-R Ramirez

Tigres 14, OAXACA 4
W-P Ortega, L-C Elizalde

Wednesday, August 2
MONTERREY 5, Tijuana 4
W-F Campos, L-M Suzuki

Saltillo 7, PUEBLA 4
W-A Rios, L-E Kamar

MEXICO 16, Yucatan 13
W-R Gonzalez, L-S Garibay

OAXACA 6, Tigres 1
W-J Quintanilla, L-J Guzman

Friday, August 4
Monterrey 13, TIJUANA 5
W-A Aceves, L-H Castellanos

SALTILLO 7, Puebla 5
W-M Mendoza, L-P Alvarez

YUCATAN 7, Mexico 0
W-O Rivera, L-S Robles

Saturday, August 5
Monterrey 3, TIJUANA 2
W-W Silva, L-M Suzuki

SALTILLO 8, Puebla 2
W-R Beltran, L-A Valdez

Mexico 12, YUCATAN 4
W-V Alvarez, L-E Salgado

Oaxaca 14, TIGRES 0
W-C Leon, L-O Bustillos

Sunday, August 6
Monterrey 7, TIJUANA 6
W-H Ruelas, L-J Meza

Puebla 14, SALTILLO 4
W-E Knott, L-S Bourgeois

YUCATAN 3, Mexico 0
W-S Arellano, L-R Ramirez

Monday, August 7
TIGRES 2, Oaxaca 0

W-P Ortega, L-J Quintanilla
Tuesday, August 8

MEXICO 7, Yucatan 3
W-E Lizarraga, L-F Villalobos

TIGRES 10, Oaxaca 6
W-J Guzman, L-J Jimenez

Wednesday, August 9
Puebla 12, SALTILLO 11
W-E Kamar, L-A Rios

Thursday, August 10
Saltillo 2, PUEBLA 1
W-R Diaz, L-E Knott

Tigres 10, OAXACA 6
W-J Olague, L-C Elizalde

Friday, August 11
Yucatan 5, MEXICO 4
W-J Vargas, L-J Soria


Saturday, August 12
MONTERREY 6, Saltillo 5
W-M Rubio, L-M Garcia

Sunday, August 13
MONTERREY 6, Saltillo 2
W-F Campos, L-M Mendoza

ANGELOPOLIS 7, Yucatan 1
W-P Ortega, L-F Villalobos)\

Monday, August 14
Yucatan 9, ANGELOPOLIS 3
W-J Vargas, L-B Zambrano

Tuesday, August 15
Monterrey 10, SALTILLO 7
W-A Aceves, L-R Beltran

Wednesday, August 16
SALTILLO 9, Monterrey 5
W-M Gonzalez, L-A Garcia

YUCATAN 3, Angelopolis 0
W-O Rivera, L-O Bustillos

Thursday, August 17
YUCATAN 7, Angelopolis 5
W-J Vargas, L-A Manzano

Monterrey 15, SALTILLO 5
W-W Silva, L-M Mendoza

Friday, August 18
YUCATAN 6, Angelopolis 2
W-D Dominguez, L-P Ortega


Tuesday, August 22
MONTERREY 5, Yucatan 4
W-G Aguirre, L-I Flores

Wednesday, August 23
Yucatan 12, MONTERREY 8
W-S Arellano, L-W Silva

Friday, August 25
YUCATAN 3, Monterrey 1
W-E Salgado, L-A Aceves

Saturday, August 26
YUCATAN 4, Monterrey 1
W-W Vizcarra, L-J Acevedo

Sunday, August 27
YUCATAN 2, Monterrey 1 (14)
W-J Vargas, L-M Rubio


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