By Mel Morales
(Coqui Baseball)–The championship series of the Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente kicked off tonight with the Mayagüez Indians hosting the Santurce Crabbers. Mayagüez has home field advantage in the series.
The night started off pretty normal for starting pitcher Jonathan Sánchez, who is usually the most steady and go-to arm in the Indians’ pitching staff. But things started heading south for the right hander in the third inning when he gave up a walk to Ivan de Jesus, Jr. setting up for the 2-run HR by Rey Fuentes to right field.
Sánchez was able to settle in and give an opportunity for the Indians offense to get back into the game. But the Indian bat simply could not catch a break and found themselves either striking out, popping up or hitting into ground balls.
Trouble would find Sánchez again in the top of the 7th inning that started off with a fielding error by centerfielder Jay González allowing Jan Hernández to reach second base. Sánchez would give up one more hit before being pulled from the game responsible for the runners on the corners.
Reliever, Tyler Herron couldn’t stop the Santurce momentum giving up a single to Roberto Peña that would bring in Jan Hernández from third and extending the Crabber’s lead to 3-0.
A sacrifice bunt and sac fly later, Santurce found itself with a 4-0 lead after 7 innings.
Mayagüez truly never came close to getting back into the game and managing only 4 hits in the night and going 1-for-3 with RISP (leaving 3 runners on base). Pitching and fielding errors cost Mayagüez the game seeing that Santurce was able to score 4 runs on only 3 hits.
The Indians offense simply couldn’t respond and get some offensive support to Sánchez tonight who’s only mistake was the 2-run HR in the 3rd inning. The fielding error in the 7th inning, set up for the dismantling of the Indians pitching. Meanwhile, Santurce’s pitchers were doing the same to the mayagüezanos bats.
Santurce takes a 1-0 lead in the best out of 7 finale series which will continue tomorrow for game 2 where Santurce hosts Mayagüez in the Hiram Bithorn Stadium.
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