Heading into the final weeks of round-robin play, the post-season is tightening up across the Caribbean. Ponce remained in contention in the Roberto Clemente League thanks to infielder Jonathan Mota, while pitchers Yoanner Negrin and Eduardo Figueroa helped keep their teams’ hopes afloat in Venezuela. Details are inside today’s report.
Note: Coverage of the winter leagues is by calendar week, Sunday through Saturday
Dominican Winter League
Cibaenas kept themselves in contention in the DWL as they beat Licey on Saturday 10-1. Frank Batista recorded the final three outs as he walked one and struck out one in an inning of work.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
Leones de Ponce
Ponce kept pace in the RCPBL playoffs last Sunday by beating Caguas 6-1. Jonathan Mota started at third base and was 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI, and two runs scored.
The Lions took a step backward on Tuesday as they lost 3-0 to Carolina. Jonathan Mota once again was at third base and went 0-for-3 in the game.
On Wednesday, the Pride bounced back by shutting out Carolinas 2-0. Jonathan Mota went 1-for-4 and started at third base.
Ponce missed an opportunity to tie Mayaguez in round-robin play on Friday as they lost to the Indians 4-3 in 12 innings. Jonathan Mota was the starting third baseman and went 1-for-5 in the loss.
It looked as if the Lions were going to pull away from Mayaguez on Saturday as they were up 5-3 after five innings. But the Indians stepped on the accelerator and zoomed past Ponce 10-5. Jonathan Mota once again started the game at third base and was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored before being lifted for a pinch-hitter.
Venezuelan Winter League
Leones de Caracas
On Thursday, Yoanner Negrin kept Caracas in the hunt by defeating Zulia 8-4. Negrin went five innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk while striking out four batters.
Tiburones de La Guaira
La Guaira made a push to get back into the race for the league title on Friday as they defeated Zulia 9-1. Rubber-armed Eduardo Figueroa set down the side in order in the ninth and recorded a strikeout.
Austrailian Baseball League
Ryan Searle pitched another strong game but received no run support as Brisbane lost 2-1 to Perth on Saturday. Searle went the distance, throwing eight innings and allowing two earned runs on ten hits while striking out 11 batters. Searle remains third in the ABL with a 0.93 WHIP and is sixth in ERA (2.63) and seventh in strikeouts. Searle has notched 41 strikeouts in 41 innings.
Attention CCO Readers
The Down on the Farm preliminary reader’s poll has begun. Please post the names of the minor league players you would like the Down on the Farm Report to follow next season. The CCO will then take the top 20 names and run a special poll for the final month of Spring Training. The CCO will then track the progress of top 10 players throughout the entire season. A representative sample of positions and levels of play is optimal. You can name as many players as you like, but remember, only 10 will eventually be chosen. Last week, readers nominated 22 players to get the ball rolling. So from Luis Acosta to Tony Zych, all nominations will be accepted and given equal weight.
Race to Wrigley
For the second straight year, I will be competing in the Race to Wrigley 5K run on April 12, 2014. If anyone is interested in making a donation, please visit ChicagoCubsOnline – Race To Wrigley to register. All proceeds go to Chicago Cubs Charities and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital).