AFP PHOTO / RONALDO SCHEMIDT

ATF: Culiacan - February 4, 2017 - Day 4

The Caribbean Series moved on to Day 4 and things are starting to take shape as to which teams will move onto the next round...

CRIOLLOS DE CAGUAS (PUERTO RICO) 10, TIGRES DEL LICEY (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC) 2

While this game was a relatively easy win for the Criollos, Licey did have one brief glimmer of hope in the top of the fifth inning, when they scored two runs and got within a run of Caguas at 3-2.  The Criollos answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning and another three in the next frame to make the score 9-2 and put the game out of the Tigres' reach.  While the Tigres have not been eliminated from the semifinals, they would need a blowout victory over Zulia today to advance.

Ronny Rodriguez (Tigres del Licey, 1B) - 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB - Ronny-Rod failed to get a hit on Saturday, but still reached base via walk and stole a base. Ronny-Rod has been playing the Serie like a man who could use a break prior to reporting for spring training.

Anderson Hernandez (Tigres del Licey, 2B) - 1-4, 1 R, 1 K - Hernandez was one of only two Tigres to score in yesterday's blowout loss.

Zoilo Almonte (Tigres del Licey, DH) - 1-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K - Almonte's fifth-inning single scored both runs for Licey yesterday.

Engel Beltre (Tigres del Licey, RF) - 2-3, 1 R, 1BB - Beltre was the other runner driven in by Almonte and had the only multi-hit effort of the day for the Tigres.

Leyson Septimo (Tigres del Licey, RP) - 1 IP, 1 BB - Septimo was the only Licey pitcher to pitch an inning or more on Saturday without allowing a run.

Ivan De Jesus Jr. (Criollos de Caguas, DH) - 3-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB - The Criollos have struggled in this Caribbean Series, but De Jesus sure hasn't.  In Caguas' four round robin games, he is batting .692/.750/1.000 with 4 RBI, 3 BB, and only 1 K.  He also has multiple hits in each of the four games.  Yes, it's a small sample size, but this is incredible even for a small sample size.

David Vidal (Criollos de Caguas, 3B) - 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K - Vidal has returned to his form from his first two games of the Serie after a rough third game at the plate.

Rusney Castillo (Criollos de Caguas, LF) - 2-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB - Castillo had more hits yesterday than in his two prior games in the series (1-for-9).

Andres Santiago (Criollos de Caguas, RP) - W, 2.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K - Santiago entered in the fifth after starter John Brownell allowed two runs, finished the inning without further damage, and pitched two shutout innings to pick up a well-deserved relief win.

AGUILAS DEL ZULIA (VENEZUELA) 8, ALAZANES DE GRANMA (CUBA) 3

The Alazanes suffered their first defeat of the Serie in a game that set the top three in the round robin (these two teams and the Agulias de Mexicali, who were off yesterday), but not their seeding.  This was another game that was close early (tied at three runs apiece through three innings), but that ended as a blowout.  The turning point was the bottom of the fifth, when Zulia scored three runs to make the score 7-3 Aguilas.  While both teams have assured themselves of playing on Monday, they do have significant games today to decide who they will face tomorrow.

Carlos Benitez (Alazanes de Granma, starting 2B) - 2-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K - Benitez's second-inning three-run homer accounted for all of the Alazanes' offense on Saturday.

Freddy Alvarez (Alazanes de Granma, SP) - 0.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 earned) - This is almost certain to be the quickest removal of a starting pitcher from a game in this year's Serie.

Freddy Galvis (Aguilas del Zulia, SS) - 3-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB - Galvis had a solid all-around day, including his first two RBI of the tournament and third stolen base, to continue a strong Serie (.417/.500/.500).

Ronny Cedeno (Aguilas del Zulia, 3B) - 3-5, 1 R, 1 RBI - Cedeno is now 5-for-9 through two games played in the 2017 Caribbean Series.

Wil Ledezma (Aguilas del Zulia, RP) - W, 2.2 IP, 3 H, 3 K - Ledezma earned the relief win with this solid effort following Wilfredo Boscan's mediocre start (4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R [all earned], 1 BB, 5 K,1 HR allowed, 1 WP).

STANDINGS (TOP FOUR ADVANCE TO SEMIFINALS)

Aguilas de Mexicali (Mexico) - 3-0 (CLINCHED)
Aguilas del Zulia (Venezuela) - 2-1 (CLINCHED)
Alazanes de Granma (Cuba) - 2-1 (CLINCHED)
Criollos de Caguas (Puerto Rico) - 1-3
Tigres del Licey (Dominican Republic) - 0-3

TODAY'S SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES US EST.  ALL GAMES ON ESPN DEPORTES.)

Licey vs. Zulia - 3:00 PM
Mexicali vs. Granma - 7:00 PM

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE (ABL) PRELIMINARY FINAL

The Adelaide Bite tied up the series by winning Game 2 8-4, but were unable to finish the comeback as they lost Game 3 18-2 to the Brisbane Bandits.  The Bandits will face the Melbourne Aces next weekend in the ABL's Championship Series.  While ATF will not be covering this series, a schedule and broadcast info will be included in the final Caribbean Series column.


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