Relief pitching took center stage this past week in the winter leagues as Corey Black has thrust his name back into the spotlight with two saves in the Roberto Clemente League. Greyfer Eregua and Armando Rivero were also successful in Venezuela, while Ryan McNeil, Stephen Perakslis, and James Farris all had good weeks in the Arizona Fall League.
Along with action from the Dominican Winter League, the Down on the Farm Report is ready to close with a flourish.
Arizona Fall League
In a close game last Monday, Mesa could not hold off Scottsdale in the ninth inning and lost 4-3. Ian Happ batted fifth and went 2-for-3 with a triple, two RBI and a run scored. Eloy Jimenez started in left but had only one at bat, going 0-for-1, before being replaced in the second inning. Ryan McNeil entered in the sixth and struck out two in a perfect inning, while Stephen Perakslis gave up a hit in a scoreless eighth.
The Solar Sox put up four runs in the first and second innings on Tuesday to cruise past Surprise 10-7. Designated hitter Ian Happ cracked a solo home run and was 2-for-3 with a walk, two RBI and two runs scored. Victor Caratini was 0-for-3 with a walk as he lined up at first base.
The late inning woes continued for Mesa on Wednesday as two runs in the ninth led to a 5-4 loss to Peoria. Victor Caratini started at catcher but moved to first base as he went 1-for-3 with a walk.
It was the Solar Sox turn to amp things up in late innings as they scored six runs in the sixth and seventh innings to beat Salt River 6-5 on Thursday. Ian Happ moved back to second base and drew two walks as he was 1-for-3 with two runs scored. James Farris had his longest outing of the fall, striking out two in two scoreless innings for the win.
Mesa could just not get things together on Friday in a 5-3 loss to Surprise. First baseman Victor Caratini went 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored in the clean-up spot, while Ian Happ was 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Ryan McNeil and Stephen Perakslis nailed down the late innings as McNeil had two strikeouts in two perfect innings while Perakslis fanned a batter in a scoreless ninth.
On Saturday, the Solar Sox ended the week with a 4-2 loss to Surprise to even their record at 14-14. Ian Happ was 0-for-4 with a walk. Victor Caratini caught and was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and an RBI.
Dominican Winter League
Cibaenas used a three-run fourth inning to best Este 3-1 on Monday. Juan Perez was the DH and went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
On Wednesday, Orientes had a pitcher’s duel with Cibaenas, prevailing 1-0. Stephen Fife had his best outing of winter ball, scattering four hits and striking out three in 5.1 scoreless innings.
Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League
Cangrejeros de Santurce
On Monday, Santurce maintained their first place lead by defeating Carolina 2-0. Leadoff hitter Jacob Hannemann was 0-for-5 and Corey Black struck out two in 1.2 perfect innings for his third save.
Against the team with the poorest record in the LBPRC, it took 12 innings for the Cangrejeros to defeat Aguadilla 6-4 on Friday. Jacob Hannemann continued to struggle as he was 0-for-5 with a walk and a run scored. Corey Black blew his first save as he allowed an earned run on two walks and two hits in 1.1 innings.
The Crabmen returned to dominance Saturday in beating Aguadillo 3-0. Corey Black bounced back with a strikeout in a perfect ninth for his fourth save.
Criollos de Caguas
It took 10 innings for Caguas to defeat Aguadilla 5-4 on Wednesday. Designated hitter Kelly Dugan was 3-for-4 while Miguel Mejia had a strikeout in a scoreless ninth inning for the win.
Caguas played another thriller on Thursday as they traded runs with Mayaguez in the middle inning and came out with a 4-3 win. Kelly Dugan was in left field and went 0-for-2 with a walk. Miguel Mejia had a strikeout in a scoreless eighth inning.
Gigantes de Carolina
Carolina could not muster any offense against front-running Santurce last Monday, losing 2-0. Yasiel Balaguert was 1-for-4 in the loss.
On Saturday, Gigantes could not get themselves untracked against Caguas, losing 5-4. Yasiel Balaguert returned to first base after a couple of games off and was 2-for-5.
The Giants had to hold on to avoid a scare on Sunday as they beat Aguadilla 4-3. Yasiel Balaguert remained in the thick of things as he was 1-for-3 with a walk in the victory.
Venezuelan Winter League
Aguilas de Zulia
Zulia was able to fend off a challenge from Anzoategui on Wednesday, beating them 5-4 in 10 innings. Bryant Flete was at second base and went 1-for-4 in the victory.
The Aguilas had to hold their breath a little on Sunday as they outlasted Margarita 7-6. Bryant Flete played second and was 0-for-2 but drew two walks and scored two runs.
Navegantes del Magallanes
It was a big fifth inning that brought Magallanes an 8-6 victory on Wednesday. Greyfer Eregua picked up his third win as he came on with two outs in the fifth and had a strikeout in pitching a scoreless inning. Gerardo Concepcion struggled a bit, giving up a walk and two hits, but recorded a strikeout in 0.2 scoreless innings.
Tigres de Aragua
Even though there were 14 combined hits, Aragua was only able to eke out a 1-0 win over Margarita on Wednesday. Armando Rivero picked up his fifth hold as he had a strikeout in a perfect eighth inning.
The Tigres were on a roll on Thursday in the second straight win, a 6-1 victory over Margarita. Gioskar Amaya lined up at third base and was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
Make it three in a row for the Tigers as they coasted to a 4-1 victory against Anzoategui on Friday. Gioskar Amaya remained at third base and went 0-for-4, while Armando Rivero pitched a scoreless inning for hold number six.
Aragua kept winning on Saturday as they beat Anzoategui 6-5 in 10 innings for their fourth straight. Third base continued to be the spot for Gioskar Amaya as he was 1-for-3 with a run scored.
The Tigres had their win streak snapped on Sunday as they lost to Magallanes 4-3. Gioskar Amaya was once again at third base and went 1-for-4 with an RBI in the loss.
News and Notes
The Australian Baseball League will begin season play on November 17.