Saturday, November 16, 2019

Puerto Rico Winter Beisbol: LBPRC Opening Day

est. 1938


Indios de Mayguez
Cangrejeros de Santurce

Mayaguez opens the scoring in the third when first baseman Kennys Vargas (MIN) doubles home Michael Gettys (S.D.).  However the defending LBPRC champions rally for three runs in the fourth on a lead-off home run from left fielder Daz Cameron (DET), and runs batted in from shortstop Ivan DeJesus Jr. (MIN), and third baseman Jantzen Witte (BOS) en route to a 3-1 victory.  Santurce starter Ryan O'Rourke (NYM) yields the Indians lone run on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts in three innings pitched but does not factor in the decision.  Bryan Escanio (N/A) follows with three scoreless innings of no-hit ball with one walk and two strikeouts for the victory in relief.  Fernando Cruz (N/A) pitches the ninth for his first save.  Indians reliever Nelvin Fuentes (N/A) gets tagged with the loss.


Criollos de Caguas
Gigantes de Carolina

Five Carolina pitchers join in whitewashing the Criollos, limiting Caguas to just a pair of hits and no walks, while striking out 16 batters.  Starter Hector Santiago (CHW) tosses five scoreless innings of no-hit baseball with nine strikeouts.  Four Gigantes relievers take care of the rest yielding just two hits, no walks, and fanning seven.  Santiago earns the victory, and Layne Henderson (HOU) earns his first save.  Gigantes shortstop Ozzie Martinez' (N/A) first home run of the winter, and catcher Brian Navarreto's (NYY) run batted in makes all the difference.  Criollos starter Ivan Maldonado (N/A) takes the loss upon yielding two runs on five hits and no walks through four innings.  The Criollos bullpen keeps the game within reach with five scoreless innings to no avail.

*(N/A) non affiliated/independent/winter.

Criollos de Caguas: est. 1938 - 18 LBPRC Championships; five Serie Caribe championships (back-to-back 2017-2018). 
Indios de Mayaguez: est. 1938 - 18 LBPRC championships; two Serie Caribe championships. 
Cangrejeros de Santurce: est. 1939 - 15 LBPRC championships; defending champions; five Serie Caribe championships. 
Gigantes de Carolina est. 2000 - Two LBPRC championships. 
Atenienses de Manati est. 2019 - The Athenians were first formed in 2004, but only lasted three seasons.  Due in part to a reorganization of the Santurce Crabbers the Atheniens reemerged for the 2012-2013 season.  The new Atheniens are an expansion team.  The team name is Manati's traditional local sports identity.

San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium will host the 2019-2020 Serie Caribe.  Hiram Bithorn is major league baseball's first Puerto Rican born player.  He pitched for the Chicago Cubs during the 1942-1943 seasons before serving two years in the United States Navy.  He pitched one more season for the Cubs in 1946, then made a very brief appearance in 1947 with the crosstown White Sox.  Hiram was 34-32 with a 3.16 ERA in 105 major league games and 509.2 innings pitched.

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