Tiburones de la Guaira rallies past Curaçao Suns advancing to final

Tiburones Guaira Curaçao Suns

(Foto: Luis Gutierrez /NortePhoto.com/Prensa CBPC)


Miami, Florida – The Caribbean Series championship is now set as Tiburones de la Guaira defeated the Curaçao Suns 6-2 on Thursday’s second semi-final. Scoring all of their runs with two outs split within two innings, Venezuela advances ending a historic run by the Suns a day after Ángel Padrón threw the second no-hitter in the Caribbean Series. Finishing the round-robin 3-3, Curaçao upset Criollos de Caguas of Puerto Rico 2-0 the day prior. Not only did they eliminate the Puerto Ricans, but they also ensured their first appearance ever in the semi-finals.

Ramón Flores went two-for-two with a walk recording a double and knocking in a pair of runs. Wilson Ramos also had a productive night going two-for-four and scoring twice. Luis Torrens and Leonardo Reginatto made their sole hits count by driving in deuces. Torrens’ clutch play gave his team the lead, one they would never relinquish.

Before Thursday night’s game, the Dominican Republic defeated Panama 4-1 in the afternoon battle reserving their spot in the first-place game.

From cruisin’ to a bruisin’

Fans were treated to an early duel between southpaw Nelmerson Angela and right-handed hurler Miguel Romero. The former kept the Tiburones de la Guaira hitless through nearly four innings of work while the offense provided some early run support.

Curaçao went on the attack during their first trip to the plate. Roger Bernadina led off with a double to right field followed by a Jurickson Profar RBI single. Pressing the advantage, the Suns extended their lead at the top of the fourth. With one out Ademar Rifaela singled to get himself aboard. Juremi Profar doubled in his at-bat lining one to left fielder Yasiel Puig. Rifaela motored his way home for the 2-0 lead.

Angela was cruising until the fourth frame. The inning started off smoothly retiring both Wilfredo Tovar and Hernan Perez. Then Wilson Ramos came to the plate. The 36-year-old shortstop reached base on a single deflected by third baseman Didi Gregorius. Puig drew the walk prompting a mound visit. Angela was unable to regain control of the situation as Ramon Flores singled on a line drive to center field scoring Ramos thereby ending his night. Kevin Kelly was brought in to stem the tide, however, Luis Torrens managed the two-run single capping off the three-run effort and giving Venezuela the lead. Romero, meanwhile, lasted five and a third innings holding the opposition to six hits.

Guaira struck again at the bottom of the sixth. With Ramos in scoring position, Flores collected his second hit of the night, a double to center making it 4-2 Venezuela. Wanting to put this game out of reach, Leonardo Reginatto drove in two more on a line drive down the left-field line. The score remained the same for the rest of the evening thanks to a combination of effective pitching and great defense from the Tiburones.

Impressions

Hats off to Curaçao. Before the start of the tournament, I had them as a dark horse but I never imagined them sending off Puerto Rico. The Suns’ performance is a refreshing surprise. The roster had significant amounts of talent. They had Jonathan Schoop, Andrelton Simmons, Jurickson Profar, his brother Juremi Profar, Roger Bernadina, and  Didi Gregorius. Although they didn’t reach the final, the guys have a lot to celebrate. Hopefully, this is not their last appearance this deep into the Caribbean Series.

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