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Caribbean Play-Offs 2002
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Caribbean Play-Offs
Dominican Republic
Mexico
Puerto Rico
Venezuela
Recaps Caribbean World Series

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Caribbean Play-Offs: Dominican Republic
Recaps Play-Off Semi-Finals 2001-2002 Season
On Wednesday, January 2, the four-team round-robin Play-Offs started in the Dominican Professional Winter League with all teams playing a six-game series against each other in a 20-day period.

RECAPS PLAY-OFFS

DAY 1 (January 2)
On the Opening Day of the Dominican Play-Offs, Tigres del Licey won 9-3 vs. Azucareros del Este, as Israel Alcantara homered twice and scored three runs. Trailing 2-1, Tigres scored twice in the fourth, then added four runs in the fifth.
Águilas Cibaeños opened with a 13-3 victory vs. Estrellas de Oriente. The team, which had (former) Major League-players like Luis Polonia, Stan Javier and Raúl Mondesí on its roster, scored five runs in the fifth.

DAY 2 (January 3)
Tigres del Licey won its second game on Thursday, beating Estrellas de Oriente, 6-5. In the sixth, Israel Alcántara hit a two-run homerun, then the team added three runs in the seventh, before Estrellas scored four in the eighth.
Águilas Cibaeños defeated Azucareros del Este, 8-1.

DAY 3 (January 4)
On Friday, Águilas Cibaeños won its third game, handing Tigres del Licey its first loss win a 2-1 victory. Stan Javier had an RBI and scored the other.
Azucareros del Este shutout Estrellas de Oriente, 2-0, which now has lost all thrre games. Winning pitcher Brian Sweeney allowed only two hits in eight innings. In the ninth, veteran Julio Solano earned a save.

DAY 4 (January 5)
On Saturday, Águilas Cibaeños remained unbeaten, winning 8-3 vs. Tigres del Licey, which is now 2-2.
Estrellas de Oriente won its first game after three losses, winning 7-3 vs. Azucareros del Este, whose record is now 1-3.

DAY 5 (January 6)
On Sunday, Águilas Cibaeños won its fifth game, beating Azucareros del Este. Trailing 3-0, Águilas scored four runs in the fifth, including a homerun by Luis Polonia.
Estrellas de Oriente won 10-5 vs. Tigres del Licey. Estrellas broke a 5-5 tie in the seventh, with a three-run rally and added two runs in the ninth. Vladimir Guerrero contributed in those innings with four RBI's.

DAY 6 (January 8)
On Tuesday, Estrellas de Oriente stopped the five-game winning streak of Águilas Cibaeños by winning 6-4. Estrellas rallied for four runs in the fourth inning. In the fifth Vladimir Guerrero added a homerun.
Tigres del Licey won its third game, defeating Azucareros del Este, 5-2. Tigres broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth with a three-run homerun by DH Aramis Ramirez.

DAY 7 (January 9)
On Wednesday, Tigres del Licey won a spectacular game in Santo Domingo vs. Azucareros del Este, 9-8. After three innings, Licey led 7-1, but after scoring in the fourth and seventh inning, trailed 8-7 in the middle of the seventh. In its seventh at bat, Licey tied the score when pinch-hitter Willis Otañez doubled and scored. In the eighth, Eric Almonte hit a towering homerun for a dramatic comeback victory.
In Santiago, Estrellas de Oriente shutout Águilas Cibaeños 8-0, which now lost its second consecutive game after winning the first five. Winning pitcher Odalís Pérez dominated and allowed only three hits in six-plus innings. Félix José had four hits, including a homerun, while Julio César Franco had two doubles.

DAY 8 (January 10)
On Thursday, Águilas Cibaeños won again, beating Azucareros del Este, 9-1. Winning pitcher Fernando Hernández gave up only two hits in seven innings.
Estrellas de Oriente won big vs. Tigres del Licey, 16-1 on 15 hits, scoring ten runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by a three-run homer by Abraham Nuñez.

DAY 9 (January 11)
On Friday, leader Águilas Cibaeños won its seventh game, beating Tigres del Licey, 10-1. Águilas had a five-run rally in the fifth, highlighted by a two-run homerun by Stanley Javier. Bernie Castro doubled and had three singles with two RBI's, while scoring twice. The lone Licey-run was a homerun by Aramis Ramírez.
In La Romana, Estrellas de Oriente won its sixth game, winning 8-3 vs. Azucareros del Este, which lost its eighth game. The big hit came from Alfonso Soriano, who tripled and had two singles, and Félix José, who had three singles.

Saturday was a day-off. The Play-Offs continue on Sunday.

DAY 10 (January 13)
On Sunday, Águilas Cibaeños won again, beating Azucareros del Este, 5-3. In the third, Azucareros took a 3-2 lead on a three-run homerun by Eddy Garabito, but in the home third, an error, wild pitch, sac-fly and a single led to three Águilas-runs and the win.
Tigres del Licey nipped Estrellas de Oriente, 10-9. Estrellas led 7-3 after four innings, then, in the fifth, Licey scored four runs on three consecutive hits. Estrellas re-took the lead, scoring twice in the sixth on a two-run error, but again failed to hold onto it. In the eighth, Licey scored three runs on a two-run pinch-hit single by Manny Martínez and a game-winning single by Luis Castillo.

DAY 11 (January 14)
On Monday, Tigres del Licey handed leader Águilas Cibaeños only its third loss in the Play-Offs, winning 5-4 in ten innings. In the third, Águilas took a 3-2 lead on a double by Raúl Mondesí and a triple by Félix Martínez, but in the homer fourth Chad Moeller homered to tie the score. Later, both teams added one run each. In the tenth, Licey scored the winning run when Ronnie Belliard scored on an error.
In San Pedro de Macoris, Estrellas de Oriente won 5-3 vs. Azucareros del Este, which now had lost ten games. Estrellas won on solo-homeruns by Alfonso Soriano, Félix José and Vladimir Guerrero.

DAY 12 (January 15)
Play-Off leader Águilas Cibaeños lost its second consecutive game, as Estrellas de Oriente won 2-1 to tie for first place. The winning run was scored in the home ninth, when reliever Martín Vargas threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded, giving Vladimir Guerrero the chance to score. Guerrero also scored the first run, both times getting on base on a double. Before the game, Ramón Hipólito Mejia, the son of Dominican President Hipólito Mejia, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Along with other dignitaries, the President attended the game.
At La Romana, Tigers del Licey won 5-2 vs. Azucareros del Este. Leading 3-1, Licey improved the score when Carlos Peña and Ronnie Belliard hit back-to-back homeruns in the sixth.

DAY 13 (January 16)
Águilas Cibaeños won 11-3 vs. Estrellas de Oriente in a game between the Play-Off leaders. Mendy López, Jr. went 4-for-4, including two homeruns and collected five RBI's, while Julián Tavárez won his third game, pitching six innings.
At Santo Domingo, Tigres del Licey tied for second place, after shutting out Azucareros del Este, 3-0 in a pitching duel between Kevin Foster (Licey), who allowed three hits in seven innings, and Brian Sweeney (Azucareros), who did the same and struckout seven. Licey scored once in the first, followed bu six scoreless innings, before adding two runs in the eighth.

DAY 14 (January 17)
On Thursday, leader Águilas Cibaeños beat already eliminated Azucareros del Este, 4-3. Águilas led 2-0 in the sixth, when Azucareros tied the game in the sixth, then took the lead in the eighth on an RBI-double by Ramón Moreta. In the ninth, Stanley Javier and Miguel Tejeda hit runscoring singles to give Águilas its tenth win.
Tigres del Licey also won with a one-run margin, beating Estrellas de Oriente, 3-2, taking over second place. Alfonso Soriano powered Estrellas to a 2-0 lead with a two-run homerun in the third, but Licey turned around the game in the end. After scoring once in the seventh, Licey scored twice in the eighth on three singles, highlighted by a two-run single off the bat of Israel Alcántara, who scored the first run himself.
The Play-Offs continue on Saturday.

DAY 15 (January 19)
On Saturday, Águilas Cibaeños won again, beating Tigres del Licey 6-1. Winning pitcher Aaron Fultz gave up a lead-off homerun to Luis Castillo, but then silenced the Licey-attack. Águilas took command of the game in the bottom of the first when Miguel Tejada delivered a two-run double.
At La Romana, the game between Estrellas de Oriente and Azucareros del Este was suspended after six innings because of rain. The score at Estadio Francisco Micheli was tied, 2-2, and will be official. Estrellas took the lead in the top of the sixth, when the game was interrupted by rain for eleven minutes. In the bottom sixth, a wild pitch led to a runner in scoring position, who reached homeplate on a single by Francis Alfonseca.

DAY 16 (January 20)
Águilas Cibaenos on Sunday became the first team to clinch, shutting out Azucareros del Este, 12-0. Tony Batista hit a grand slam homerun in a five-run second. In the fourth, Rush Johnson added a homerun.
Estrellas de Oriente shutout second place Tigres del Licey, 5-0. Estrellas scored four runs in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Alfonso Soriano, a two-run single by Vladimir Guerrero and a double by Félix José.

DAY 17 (January 21)
The day after clinching, Águilas Cibaeños was beaten 5-4 by Tigres del Licey, to keep the race for second place alive. Trailing 3-0, Licey scored twice in the fourth on a two-run double by Carlos Peña. In the eighth, they added three runs to take over the lead. Israel Alcántara hit an important two-run double, followed by a runscoring single by Willis Otanñez.
Also on Monday, Estrellas de Oriente won 8-4 vs. Azucareros del Este, which led 4-3 after four innings. In the fifth, Estrellas rallied for five runs, highlighted by a two-run double by Mike Rivera and an RBI-single by Manny Alexander.
On Tuesday, the Round Robin Play-Offs will be concluded.

DAY 18 (January 22)
At Romana, on the last day of the Round Robin, Tigres del Licey became the second finalist, beating Azucareros del Este, 5-4. Israel Alcántara homered in the third, increasing the Tigres-lead to 4-0. In the sixth he added a run after reaching base on a walk.
Also on Tuesday, leader Águilas Cibaeños won 8-3 vs. Estrellas de Oriente. Damon Minor homered in the second and Jimmy González highlighted a five-run third with a grand slam homerun. He had five RBI's in the game.

FINAL STANDINGS AFTER EIGHTEEN DAYS
Águilas 13-5; Tigres 11-7; Estrellas 10-7; Azucareros 1-16.

RECAPS BEST-OF-SEVEN FINAL

Thursday, January 24: GAME ONE
SANTIAGO - Defending champion Águilas Cibaeños won the opening game of the final series vs. Tigres del Licey, 4-3. Águilas was leading after three innings, 3-0, as Mendy López had opened the score with a solo-homerun in the second. In the eighth, Israel Alcántara homered for Licey, which added two runs in the ninth to tied the score. But in the home tenth, Águilas recovered as Raúl Mondesí delivered the game-winning hit.

Friday, January 25: GAME TWO
SANTO DOMINGO - Licey del Tigres tied the Series with a 4-3 win on Friday. Águilas Cibaeños tied the score, 1-1, in the fifth on a homerun by Alberto Castillo, but in the home fifth, Licey scored twice on a double by D'Angelo Jiménez and single by Israel Alcántara. But Águilas tied the score again, scoring once in the sixth and seventh inning. Licey finally scored the winning run in the home ninth. Cristian Guzmán doubled and later scored on a basesloaded sacrifice fly by Andy Abad.

Saturday, January 26: GAME THREE
SANTIAGO - In front of 14.000 spectators, Águilas Cibaeños won its second game vs. Licey, 9-6. Tony Batista homered Águilas to a 3-0 lead in the first, but that wasn't enough. After three innings, Águilas led 5-3, then Licey scored three runs in the fourth, highlighted by a triple by Henry Mateo. In the fifth, Águilas came on top again on a three-run homerun by Raúl Mondesí. Águilas now leads, 2-1.

Sunday, January 27: GAME FOUR
SANTO DOMINGO - For the second time, Licey tied the Series, winning 4-2. Raúl Mondesí homered in the second for Águilas, but Licey tied the score in the fifth on an RBI-double by Luis Castillo. In the seventh, Águilas again took the lead on a double by by Mendy López, but once more, Licey came back, rallying for three runs in the eighth. An error resulted in a 2-2 score, then Cristian Gúzman hit a two-run triple to give Licey its win.

Monday, January 28: GAME FIVE
SANTIAGO - With a 6-5 win, Águilas Cibaeños took the lead for the third time in the final series vs. Tigres del Licey. Playing at home, Águilas opened the score in the first on a double by Miguel Tejada. In the second, Israel Alcántara's homerun resulted in a 1-1 score. Licey then took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on a double by Andy Ahad and a single by Manny Martínez. However, Águilas rallied for three runs in the fifth, highlighted by a double by Stanley Javier and a triple by MigueL Tejada. Licey tied the score again in the sixth on a two-out double by Manny Martínez, but again Águilas rallied in its sixth at bat. Raúl Mondesí and scored on the homerun by Mendy López. Licey scored its last run in the eighth on a homerun by Chad Moeller.

Tuesday, January 29: GAME SIX
SANTO DOMINGO - Licey forced a seventh and deciding game by winning, 5-2. In the third, D'Angelo Jiménez tripled in two runs to give Licey the lead, but Águilas tied the score on a hit by Rontrez Johnson in the fourth and a sac-fly by Alberto Castillo in the seventh. In its seventh, Licey added two runs with two outs on the second triple by Jiménez and a single by Andy Ahad. In the eighth, Ronnie Belliard homered to make it 5-2.

Wednesday, January 30: GAME SEVEN
SANTIAGO - Licey del Tigres won an exciting seventh game, 9-8, dethroning Águilas Cibaeños and claiming its 17th national title. Águilas took the lead in the fifth, scoring three runs, highlighted by a two-run triple by Rontrez Johnson. In the sixth, Licey scored twice on a single by D'Angelo Jiménez off of pitcher Bartolo Colón, who pitched five hitless innings. Then it was Licey's turn to take the lead after a four-run rally in the seventh. Consecutive runscoring singles by Chad Moeller, Luis Castillo and D'Angelo Jiménez and an error gave Licey its 6-3 lead. But, Águilas turned the game around again in the eighth, also scoring four runs, highlighted by a two-run triple by Stanley Javier. The ninth inning resulted in a dramatic and spectacular finish of the game. With Chad Moeller and Luis Castillo on base, Andy Abad hit a three-run homerun to power Licey to a 9-7 lead. In its ninth, Águilas managed to add another run, but failed to re-gain the lead.
With the victory, Licey became the fourth and final team to qualify for the Caribbean Series, which opens next Saturday.

CARIBBEAN WORLD SERIES


Caribbean Play-Offs: Mexico
Recaps First Round Play-Offs 2001-2002 Season
On Saturday, January 12, the semi-finals opened in the Mexican League, with Naranjeros de Hermosillo meeting Tomateros de Culiacán in one series and Aguilas de Mexicali facing Venados de Mazatlán.
On Wednesday, January 2, the six-team Play-Offs in the Liga del Pacifico in Mexico started with its three series.

RECAPS PLAY-OFFS

YAQUIS vs. TOMATEROS SERIES
Yaquis de Ciudad Obregón opened their Series vs. Tomateros de Culiacán with a 6-4 victory. Trailing 2-0, Culiacán scored four runs in the sixth to take the lead. Brian Banks homered twice for the Tomateros, while Adan Amezcua added one, but that wasn't enough to win. Fausto Cruz homered for Obregón with Ben Broussard going 3-for-3 with 3 RBI's. (Jan. 2)

On Thursday, Culiacán tied the Series, winning Game Two, 10-1. (Jan. 3)

Culiacán scored four runs in the ninth on Saturday to win Game 3, 9-7, and take the lead in their Series. The four-run rally was highlighted by a three-run homerun by Kit Pellow, his second homerun of the game. (Jan. 5)

On Sunday, Culiacán won its third game, winning 14-1 on 18 hits, including homeruns by Chris Latham, Roberto Vizcarra, Kit Pellow and Carlos Gastélum. (Jan. 6)

On Monday, Culiacán won their Play-Off Series, 4-1, beating Obregón 7-5. Kit Pellow helped with his fourth homerun of the Series. (Jan. 7)

NARANJEROS vs. VENADOS SERIES
Venados de Mazatlán scored three runs in the ninth to beat Naranjeros de Hermosillo 6-5 in their Series opener. It spoiled a good game for Hermosillo's Vinicio Castillo, who went 3-for-4 with two homeruns and four RBI's. (Jan.2)

Venados also won Game Two on Thursday, winning 10-1 with winning pitcher Francisco Campos allowing only two hits in seven innings and striking out eight, while retiring 20 in a row after giving up a run the first. (Jan. 3)

Hermosillo won its first game on Saturday, winning 7-1. Six of the runs were scored on three homeruns. (Jan. 5)

On Sunday, Mazatlán took a 3-1 lead, winning 3-1. In the third, Hermosillo tied the score, 1-1, on Trenidad Hubbard, but Mazatlán scored twice in the fifth. (Jan. 6)

On Monday, Hermosillo won 6-4 on homeruns by Trenidad Hubbard and Mauricio Zazueta. Game six is Wednesday. (Jan. 7)

On Wednesday, Hermosillo tied their Series, winning 4-1 to force a seventh and deciding game to be played on Thursday. 41-year old former Major League-pitcher Fernando Valenzuela will start for Hermosillo, which scored twice in the second to take a 3-0 lead in Game Six on an error, a double and a single. (Jan. 9)

On Thursday, Mazatlán became the last team to clinch, beating Hermosillo and pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, 7-2. Valenzuela pitched only the first inning, giving up one hit and two runs. Hermosillo led 1-0, when Valenzuela walked two with two outs in the home first. A single by Brooks Kieschnick and an error resulted in two runs. In the third, Jacob Cruz added a two-run homerun. In the sixth, Kieschnick homered. Hermosillo also advanced to the semi-finals. (Jan. 10)

AGUILAS vs. CAÑEROS SERIES
Cañeros de Los Mochis won the Series opener vs. Aguilas de Mexicali, 3-1 in a game where all runs were scored through homeruns. Rontrez Johnson hit two for the Cañeros, with Manuel Cazarin connecting once. Bubba Smith homered for the Aguilas. Los Mochis broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth with two homeruns. (Jan. 2)

Aguilas tied the Series on Thursday, winning 8-5 on homeruns by Scott Samuels, Bubba Smith and Ray Martinez. (Jan. 3)

Mexicali beat Los Mochis, 5-3, on Saturday to re-take the lead. A homerun by Chris Prieta helped the Aguilas. (Jan. 5)

On Sunday, Mexicali won its third game, beating Los Mochis, 10-8 in a high-hitting game. Mexicali had sixteen hits, including three homeruns, while Los Mochis had fourteen hits, including four homers. Mexicali rallied for eight runs in the fifth, when Chris Prieta and Ray Martinez both homered. Mexicali leads, 3-1. (Jan. 6)

On Monday, Mexicali clinched after shutting Los Mochis out, 4-0 on a three-hitter by Alejandro Romero. Mexicali scored three runs in the fifth on an error by the catcher and two wild pitches. Mexicali won four in a row after dropping the opening game. (Jan. 7)

RECAPS SEMI-FINALS

MAZATLÁN vs. MEXICALI SERIES
On Saturday, Venados de Mazatlán opened its semi-final series vs. Aguilas de Mexicali with a 6-3 victory. Brooks Kieschnick homered for Mazatlán, which rallied for three runs in the fourth. (Jan. 12)

On Sunday, Venados de Mazatlán took a 2-0 lead, winning 3-1, highlighted by a homerun by Derrick White. Mazatlán-pitchers Alberto Manrique and Todd Revening gave up five hits, including a homerun by Chris Prieto. Next game is Tuesday. (Jan. 13)

On Tuesday, Mexicali won its first game, shutting out Mazatlán convincingly, 9-0. Homeruns by Bubba Smith (2-run) and Ernie Young (solo) highlighted a four-run third, while Scott Samuel and Ricardo Sáenz homered to power another four-run rally in the fifth. Winning pitcher Oscar Villarreal gave up only two hits in seven inning. (Jan. 15)

On Wednesday, Mexicali tied the Series vs. Mazatlán, winning 7-1, as Claudio Moreno gave up three hits in eight innings, retiring 18 batters in a row. Ernie Young accounted for six runs with two homeruns and two singles. (Jan. 16)

On Thursday, Mexicali won again, 6-1, vs. Mazatlán, taking a 3-2 Series lead. Mexicali took an early 3-0 lead in the first on homeruns by Bubba Smith and Ernie Young. Pitcher Rafael Piña dominated, throwing seven perfect innings. The Series continues on Saturday. (Jan. 17)

On Saturday, Venados de Mazatlán won 6-3, tying their Series vs. Mexicali, after losing three straight games. With the score tied, 1-1, Mazatlán rallied for five runs in the second on a two-run double by Heber Gómez and a three-run homerun by Jacob Cruz. (Jan. 19)

On Sunday, Mazatlán won the decisive seventh game, 11-4 to clinch the final. In the Series, all games were won by the home teams. Steve Sisco had a two-run double in a three-run second, followed by a four-run third and a three-run fourth. Mazatlán will face Culiacán in the final, starting on Tuesday. (Jan. 20)

CULIACÁN vs. HERMOSILLO SERIES
At Culiacán, Tomateros de Culiacán beat Naranjeros de Hermosillo, 1-0. The lone run was scored in the third by Chris Latham, when batter Liu Rodriguez walked with the bases loaded. The walk was the only issued by losing pitcher Tom Driskill, who struckout nine. Winning pitcher Rodrigo López allowed only two hits in eight innings. (Jan. 12)

Tomateros de Culiacán also won Game Two on Sunday, winning 9-2. Darrell Sherman hit a three-run homerun and scored twice, while Liu Rodriguez and Mario Valdez also homered and had two RBI's. Nicaraguan-pitcher Vicente Padilla gave up only two hits in eight innings. Next game is Tuesday. (Jan. 13)

Culiacán took a 3-0 lead, winning 4-1 vs. Hermosillo on Tuesday. Chris Latham lifted the Tomateros to its victory with a three-run homerun in the second. (Jan. 15)

Hermosillo avoided a four-game sweep, winning 7-1 vs. Culiacán on Wednesday. Winning pitcher Javier de la Hoya struckout eight in eight innings, while Vinicio Castilla contributed with two doubles. (Jan. 16)

Culiacán became the first team to clinch the final, beating Hermosillo, 10-5, on Thursday and winning their Series, 4-1. Adán Amezuca powered his team to victory with two homeruns and accounted for four runs. (Jan. 17)

RECAPS BEST-OF-SEVEN FINAL

Tuesday, January 22: GAME ONE
CULIACÁN - Tomateros de Culiacán opened the Mexican Series with a 9-5 victory vs. Venados de Mazatlán on Tuesday. In the fourth, Miguel Ojeda hit a grand slam homerun, powering Mazatlán to a 5-0 lead, but in the home fourth, Culiacán scored three runs on a homerun by Mario Valdes. After scoring once in the sixth, Culicán rallied for four runs in the seventh inning to take the lead. Brian Banks also homered for the Tomateros.

Wednesday, January 23: GAME TWO
CULIACÁN - Culiacán also took Game Two, winning convincingly 10-4 vs. Mazatlán, whose runs were all scored by homeruns as Derrick White and Brooks Kieschnick each homered twice. Leading 2-1, Culiacán improved its lead to 6-1 in the sicth when Benjamín Gil hit a grand slam homerun. Venezuelan powerhitter Liu Rodríguez went 2-for-3 with four RBI's and scored twice, while Nicaraguan winning pitcher Vicente Padilla allowed only four hits in seven innings.

Friday, January 25: GAME THREE
MAZATLÁN - Venados de Mazatlán won its first game, beating Tomateros de Culiacán, 6-3 as winning pitcher Alberto Manrique allowed only three hits in 6 2/3 innings. Mazatlán took a 2-0 lead in the second on a two-run triple by Miguel Ojeda. After adding two runs in the third, Ramón Valdez homered in the fifth to make it 5-0 for the hometeam. Derrick White went 2-for-3 with two RBI's and two runs scored. Culiacán's Adán Amezcua hit a two-run single in the eighth to make it 6-3.

Saturday, January 26: GAME FOUR
MAZATLÁN - Mazatlán tied the Series with a 6-0 shutout in a game which was dominated by winning pitcher Francisco Campos, who struckout eighteen in 8 2/3 innings, setting a Play-Off record. He gave up only three hits. Todd Revening completed the game in relief. A double by Jacob Cruz and a sacrifice by Steve Sisco gave Mazatlán an early 2-0 lead in the first. After scoring once in the fourth and fifth inning, the team added two in the eighth on singles by Heber Gómez and Ramón Valdez, who went 3-for-5.

Sunday, January 27: GAME FIVE
MAZATLÁN - Culiacán shutout Mazatlán, 2-0, taking home a 3-2 Series lead. Culiacán had only five hits, including three by Darrell Sherman, who homered in the first and scored the second run in the eighth on a double by Liu Rodríguez. Rodrigo López went the distance, pitching five perfect innings and settled for a three-hitter, while striking out seven.

Tuesday, January 29: GAME SIX
CULIACÁN - Tomateros de Culiacán became the second team to qualify for the Caribbean Series, beating Mazatlán, 3-2 to win the Mexican championship.
Tomateros had only six hits, including one important one, a three-run homerun by Adán Amezcua (pictured right). In the third, trailing 1-0, Chris Latham singled and Brian Banks reached base on an error, before the 27-year old catcher hit his homerun, which was to be the gamewinner. In the sixth, Mazatlán added its second run on a single by Kevin Grijak. The title is the eighth for Culiacán.
Culiacán plays its first game on the Caribbean Series on Sunday vs. Venezuelan champion Navegantes de Magallanes.

CARIBBEAN WORLD SERIES


Caribbean Play-Offs: Puerto Rico
Santurce and Bayamon clinch
On Wednesday, January 9, the four-team Play-Offs opened in the Liga Beisbol Profesional Puerto Rico with two best-of-seven series.
On Saturday, January 19, the best-of-nine final started. The League champion qualifies for the Caribbean World Series to be played early February in Caracas, Venezuela.

RECAPS PLAY-OFFS

SANTURCE vs. CAGUAS SERIES
On Wednesday, Santurce Cangrejeros won the first game of their Play-Offs vs. Caguas Criollos. Winning pitcher was Japanese Hideki Irabu, who got homerun-help from Eduardo Perez. The lone Caguas-run was a homerun by Miguel Negrón. (Jan. 9)

On Thursday, Caguas won, 2-1, breaking a 1-1 tie in the seventh on a double by Miguel Negrón. (Jan. 10)

Santurce re-took the series lead, winning 7-4 on nine hits, including homeruns by José Flores, Angel Echevarria, Ramon Castro and Edwin Diaz. (Jan. 12)

On Sunday, Santurce improved its lead to 3-1, winning 8-3. Eduardo Perez went 3-for-4, including a homerun, scored two runs and had two RBI's, while Ed Gorman added three RBI's. Next game is Tuesday. (Jan. 13)

Caguas narrowed their Series with Santurce to 3-2, as the team won 8-2 on Tuesday, scoring all runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by a grand slam homerun by Andrew Tracy. (Jan. 15)

Santurce clinched, after defeating Caguas, 6-2. Edwin Diaz went 3-for-4 with a homerun, scoring three runs and having two RBI's, while Melvin Nieves homered and had three RBI's. Javier Cardona also homered. Both Caguas-run came on a homerun by Hector Villanueva. Santurce broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning and added three runs in the sixth. (Jan. 16)

BAYAMON vs. PONCE SERIES
On Wednesday, Bayamon Vaqueros opened with a 5-1, eleven-hit, victory vs. Ponce Leones. Three pitchers allowed only three hits. (Jan. 9)

Bayamon also took Game Two on Thursday, 5-4. Trailing 3-1, Bayamon scored three runs in the seventh, but then Ponce tied the score in the eighth. Bayamon scored the decisive run in the ninth with one out on a pinch-hit homerun by Joel Chimelis. (Jan. 10)

On Saturday, Bayamon won its third game, winning 9-3. At Ponce, Bayamon rallied for four runs in the first inning and three in the fourth. Joel Chimelis homered to highlight the 12-hit attack. (Jan. 12)

Ponce on Sunday avoided a four-game sweep, winning 2-1, as both runs were scored by Michael Warner. Bayamon's run was a homerun by Carlos Beltran. Next game is Tuesday. (Jan. 13)

On Tuesday, Ponce won again, 3-2, breaking a 1-1 tie in the fifth with two runs. Former New York Yankee Ricky Ledee and José Leon homered to give Bayamon its two runs, but it didn't result in a win. (Jan. 15)

Bayamon won its Series vs. Ponce, winning Game Six, 6-3. Trailing 3-0, Ponce tied the score in the fifth, but Bayamon re-took the lead after a three-run seventh. Ricky Ledee went 3-for-3, while Carlos Beltran (2 runs, 3 RBI's) and Raul Gonzalez homered. (Jan. 16)

BEST-OF-NINE FINAL

Saturday, January 19: GAME ONE
SANTURCE - Bayamon Vaqueros won the opening game of the best-of-nine Puerto Rican final on Saturday, beating Santurce Cangrejeros 6-4 in ten innings.
Bayamon took an early 4-2 lead after two innings, but Santurce tied the score with a two-run ninth. Ed Guzman and Ramón Castro homered for the home-team, while Islay Molina hit one for Bayamon. In the tenth, Bayamon scored two runs on a single by Omar García and a triple by Carlos Baerga.

Sunday, January 20: GAME TWO
BAYAMON - Bayamon also won Game Two, beating Santurce, 3-1, as Carlos Baerga went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Losing pitcher was Japanese Hideki Irabu, who gave up four hits in seven innings.

Tuesday, January 22: GAME THREE
SANTURCE - Santurce won its first game of the series, beating Bayamon 11-4 on fourteen hits, including a homerun by Eduardo Perez. Ricky Ledee homered for Bayamon. Santurce saw three of its players being ejected in the seventh. Trailing 2-0, Santurce tied the game in the fourth, took the lead in the fifth and added three runs in the sixth and seventh inning.

Wednesday, January 23: GAME FOUR
BAYAMON - Santurce tied the best-of-nine series at 2-2, winning 4-2 vs. Bayamon in Game Four, which was stopped in the eighth due to rain. Santurce had eleven hits, including homeruns by Eduardo Perez and Melvin Nieves.

Friday, January 25: GAME FIVE
SANTURCE - Bayamon won its third game to take the lead again, beating Santurce, 8-7. Bayamon rallied for seven runs in the three middle innings to turn-around the game. Bayamon trailed 3-0 after three innings, but then scored two runs in the fourth, three in the fith and two again in the sixth. Carlos Baerga went 3-for-5 with two RBI's and scored twice, while Joel Chimelis homered. Eduardo Perez and Jesus Feliciano hit 'quadrangulars' for the hometeam.

Saturday, January 26: GAME SIX
BAYAMON - With a convincing 14-2 victory, Santurce tied the Series again. Santurce had seventeen hits, including three by Ramon Castro, who doubled and homered and had five RBI's. Pinch-hitter Francisco Lebron homered for Bayamon. Winning pitcher was Hideki Irabu, who gave up six hits in six innings.

Sunday, January 27: GAME SEVEN
SANTURCE - For the third time, Bayamon took the lead in the Series, winning 4-3. Winning pitcher Ray Davis gave up only two hits in five innings, both homeruns, hit by José Flores and Angel Santos, resulting in the three Santurce-runs. Bayamon scored once in the first inning, added three in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead, before Santurce hit its two homeruns.

Tuesday, January 29: GAME EIGHT
BAYAMON - Bayamon Vaqueros claimed the Puerto Rican title with a 4-3 victory, qualifying for next weeks Caribbean Series. Bayamon took an early 2-0 lead in the second, but Santurce tied the score with runs in the third and fifth. In the home fifth, Bayamond added two runs to take the lead again. Bayamon's offense was led by a two-run homerun by Raul Gonzalez, while Ramón Castro and Edwin Diaz homered for Santurce.
Bayamon opens the Caribbean Series, to be played in Caracas (Venezuela) next Saturday vs. the Dominican champion.

CARIBBEAN WORLD SERIES


Caribbean Play-Offs: Venezuela
Recaps First Round Play-Offs 2001-2002 Season
On Wednesday, January 2, the Liga Venezola de Béisbol Profesional started its five team, round-robin Play-Offs series, which is played in three parts and continues until January 21.

RECAPS PLAY-OFFS

DAY 1 (January 2)
At Puerto La Cruz, Navegantes del Magallanes nipped Caribes de Oriente, 5-4 in the Venezuelan Play-Offs Opener. Navegantes broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth on an RBI-double by Robert Machado.
In another first day game, Cardenales de Lara shutout Tigres de Aragua, 7-0. Leading only 1-0, Lara scored six runs in the eighth inning off of pitcher Jason Simontacchi, who was a member of the Italian national team in 2000. The big hit in the inning was a grand slam homerun by Robert Perez.

DAY 2 (January 3)
On Day Two, Pastora de Los Llanos beat Tigres de Aragua, 10-4, scoring three runs in the third and sixth inning. Pastora had fifteen hits, including three by Marco Scutaro, who also scored three runs and a homerun by Kevin Robertson. Tigres used seven pitchers.
Navegantes del Magallanes won its second game, beating Caribes de Oriente, 2-1 on Thursday, scoring its two runs in the fourth on a two-run triple by Derek Nicholson. Winning pitcher Geremi González struckout eight in five-plus innings.

DAY 3 (January 4)
On Friday, Tigres de Aragua won its first game after two losses, as it won 6-2 vs. unbeaten Navegantes del Magallanes, which used eight pitchers. José Miguel Cabrera contributed with a two-run homerun.
Cardenales de Lara won its second game, defeating Pastora de Los Llanos, 2-1. Both Cardenal-runs were scored by Jesús 'Bam Bam' González, who homered twice. The lone Pastora-run was a homerun by Ramón Hernández.

DAY 4 (January 5)
On Sasturday, Caribes de Oriente won its first games, beating Pastora de Los Llanos, 9-2. Caribes scored five runs in the second and was offensively helped by a homerun by Chris Wakeland.
Cardenales de Lara won its third game, winning 8-4 vs. Tigres de Aragua, which is now 1-3.

DAY 5 (January 6)
On Sunday, Cardenales de Lara stayed unbeaten, winning 3-2 vs. Caribes de Oriente. Winning pitcher Juan Rincón pitched five perfect innings, before giving up a lead-off homerun to Henry Blanco in the sixth.
In a spectacular game in Estadio José Bernardo Pérez in Valencia, Navegantes del Magallanes won 7-6 vs. Pastora de Los Llanos. Trailing 4-0, Pastora tied the game with two runs in the fourth and fifth inning, then took a 5-4 lead in the eighth, but Magallanes scored three runs in its eighth inning. Endy Chávez contributed with four RBI's.

DAY 6 (January 7)
On Monday, Tigres de Aragua shutout Caribes de Oriente, 12-0, scoring five runs in the third and adding a four-run fifth. Tigres had twelve hits, including three each by Juan Rivera and Pedro Castellano, who went 3-for-3 and scored three runs. Derrick Gibson and Miguel Cabrera both hit grand slam homeruns, with Cabrera collecting five RBI's in the game. Winning pitcher Jason Simontacchi gave up only two hits in seven innings.
Navegantes del Magallanes ended the four-game winning streak of Cardenales de Lara by winning 9-1. Navegantes third baseman Carlos Guillén hit two homeruns to highlight the game, while winning pitcher Rubén Quevedo went the distance, giving up only three hits.

DAY 7 (January 8)
On Tuesday, Navegantes del Magallanes beat Caribes de Oriente, 3-2 in ten innings to win its fifth game. The game started as a pitching duel with Roger Luque (Caribes) allowing one walk in five innings before giving up his first hit in the sixth. Geremi González (Navegantes) pitched four-one third perfect inning before giving up a double. Caribes took a 2-0 lead in the fifth, but Navegantes tied the score in the sixth. In the tenth, Caribes committed three errors, including two consecutively by reliever Nelson Cañas, before Carlos Guillén delivered a game-winning single.
At Araure, Tigres de Aragua won 5-1 vs. Pastora de Los Llanos, scoring three runs in the eighth and two in the ninth. Losing pitcher Julio Mañón from the Dominican Republic struckout nine in 7 2/3 innings, before giving up three unearned runs, including two on a two-out homerun by Juan Rivera.

DAY 8 (January 9)
On Wednesday, Navegantes del Magallanes won its sixth game, defeating Pastora de Los Llanos, 3-1. Trailing 1-0, the team scored three runs in the second, highlighted by a two-run homerun by Luis Landaeta. Winning pitcher Johan Santana threw seven innings, striking out nine.
At Maracay, Tigres de Aragua won 6-5 vs. second-place Cardenales de Lara, which outhit Tigres 13-9. Juan Rivera, Derrick Gibson and Roberto Zambrano all homered for Tigres, with Zambrano hitting the gamewinner in the eighth, breaking a 5-5 tie. Earlier, Tigres had a 5-3 lead after four innings, but Cardenales tied the score in the top of the eighth, before Zambrano hit his decisive homerun.

DAY 9 (January 10)
On Thursday, Cardenales de Lara shutout Tigres de Aragua, 3-0. All runs were scored in the third inning on a three-run homerun by Robert Pérez.
Pastora de Los Llanos won 4-3 vs. Caribes de Oriente in 12 innings on a pinch-hit homerun by Lino Connell.

DAY 10 (January 11)
On Friday, Play-Off leader Navegantes del Magallanes won a crucial game at Caracas vs. Cardenales de Lara, winning 3-2 in eleven innings on an umpire's decision. With the game tied, 2-2, Navegantes had the bases loaded when pinch-hitter Luis Rivas was hit by a pitch, which was initially called foul by the home plate umpire. After protests and checking Rivas' arm, the call was reversed, resulting in a game-winning run by Carlos Guillén.
At Puerto La Cruz, Pastora de Los Llanos won 8-4 vs. Caribes de Oriente. In the seventh, Pastora broke a 3-3 tie when Danny Sandoval hit a three-run homerun.

DAY 11 (January 12)
On Saturday, the game between Navegantes del Magallanes and Cardenales de Lara at Barquisimeto was suspended in the tenth inning by the umpire crew, with Navegantes leading 4-3.
Lara tied the score in the ninth, 3-3, but in the tenth, Navegantes re-took the lead when Carlos Hernández doubled and scored on a single by Derek Nicholson. In the bottom of the tenth, with homeplaying Cardenales were hitting with one out, Navegantes-leftfielder Ender Chávez was hit by a stone on his back, thrown from the bleachers. Umpire crew chief Orlando Delgado immediately suspended the game to secure the safety for players, officials and umpires. Navegantes claimed it earned the victory, but the Venezuelan Professional League will decide the status of the game.
Also on Saturday, Tigres de Aragua beat Caribes de Oriente, 13-9 on fifteen hits, including homeruns by Juan Rivera, Wiklenman González, Pedro Castellano and José Miguel Cabrera. González also doubled and scored three runs, while registering four RBI's. Castellano went 3-for-5 with three RBI's. Caribes also had three homeruns. Winning pitcher Jason Simontacchi gave up five hits in six innings.

DAY 12 (January 13)
Navegantes del Magallanes won its eighth game, winning 8-6 vs. Pastora de Los Llanos in a game which saw three players and one manager being ejected and both teams using six pitchers each. Navegantes broke an 8-8 tie in the ninth, when John Cotton hit a two-run homerun. Earlier in the game, Richard Paz hit a solo-homerun in the sixth to give Magallanes a 5-3 lead, then Pastora scored once in the sixth, before taking a 6-5 lead in the seventh. Navegantes tied the score in the eighth, then Cotton hit the game-winner in the ninth.
In Puerto La Cruz, at the Alfonso Chico Carrasquel Stadium, Tigres de Aragua shutout Caribes de Oriente, 6-0, helped by homerun by Damon Smith and Derrick Gibson. Winning pitcher Douglas Silva gave up only two hits in seven innings, while striking out five.
No decision has been taken yet on Saturday's suspended game.

DAY 13 (January 14)
Leader Navegantes del Magallanes defeated Tigres de Aragua, 7-4 in thirteen innings, which lasted five-and-a-half-hours. In the thirteenth, Derek Nicholson, who had homered earlier, singled and Melvin Mota, who was 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in the game, hit a two-run double to power Navegantes to its victory. Tigres used nine pitchers in the game, who together struckout 18 batters, Magallaned used eighth pitchers, who struckout 13. On Monday, the Venezuelan Professional League announced that it has decided that the suspended game between Navegantes and Cardenales of last Saturday will be completed next Saturday from the moment it was stopped. Also, it fined the Cardenales-club for 5 million Venezuelan Bolivar for failing to secure the safety in the stadium.
Pastora de Los Llanos shutout Cardenales de Lara, 1-0. The lone run was scored in the fifth inning when Jésus Márquez singled and scored on a two out-hit by Marcos Scutaro.

DAY 14 (January 15)
Tigres de Aragua on Tuesday beat Caribes de Oriente, 2-1 with the winning run being scored in the home ninth, with one out, by Derrick Gibson. Winning pitcher Steve Randolph took a no-hit, nu-run game into the sixth, but settled for a two-hitter in eight innings, while striking out eight.
Pastora de Los Llanos won its fifth game, beating Cardenales de Lara, 8-2 on homeruns by Danny Sandoval, Ramón Hernández and lino Connell, who led the 14-hit attack.

DAY 15 (January 16)
Navegantes del Magallanes shutout Caribes de Oriente, 5-0, to win its tenth game, as winning pitcher Andrew Lorraine dominated, allowing only three hits in going the distance. Luis Landaeta went 2-for-3 with a homerun.
Cardenales de Lara won 4-2 vs. Pastora de Los Llanos, using seven pitchers, who got offensive help from Robert Pérez and Doug Jennings, who both homered. Alex Cabrera hit a two-run homerun for Pastora in the third.

DAY 16 (January 17)
Tigres de Aragua won an important game vs. leader Navegantes del Magallanes, 7-5, on Thursday, which was the only the second loss for Magallanes. Tigres trailed 3-0 in the third, as Richard Paz hit a two-run homerun for Magallanes, but then scored three runs to tie the game in its third, highlighted by a homerun by Juan Rivera, who went 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI's. Magallanes re-took the after scoring once in both the sixth and seventh inning. In the eighth, Tigres rallied again, scoring four runs on a two-run singles by Miguel Cabrera and Alejandro Freire.
Cardenales de Lara handed Caribes de Oriente its twelfth loss, winning 4-2 as Robert Pérez hit two homeruns, his fourth and fifth in the semi-finals. In the fifth, Cardenales broke a 2-2 tie when Selwyn Langaigne scored.

DAY 17 (January 18)
Navegantes del Magallanes became the first team to reach the Venezuelan final as it beat Tigres de Aragua 11-4 on Friday. It will be the third consecutive trip to the finals for Navegantes, who scored three runs in the third, fourth and seventh inning. Endy Chavez had an outstanding night, going 5-for-5 and scored two runs. Magallanes is managed by 64-year old veteran American coach Phil Regan, a former pitcher of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
At Araure, Pastora de Los Llanos shutout Caribes de Oriente, 7-0 on thirteen hits, including a third inning homerun by José Amado. Ramón Hernandez contributed with three RBI's. Dominican pitcher Julio Mañón gave up only three hits in seven innings.

DAY 18 (January 19)
A day after clinching, Navegantes del Magallanes was defeated 9-5 by Cardenales de Lara. Before the contest, both teams completed the game which was suspended last Saturday. Magallanes led that game 4-3 in the tenth inning and that score didn't change in the remainder of the inning. In the regular scheduled game, both teams played a 12-inning game. Cardenales led twice, but Magallanes came back, resulting in a 4-4 score after nine innings. In the top of the twelfth, Cardenales scored five runs, highlighted by a runscoring double by Alex Delgado and an three-run homerun by Jesús 'Bam Bam' González, who went 3-for-6 and also scored two runs.
At Araure, Tigres de Aragua won 5-3 vs. Pastora de Los Llanos, breaking a 1-1 tie with a seven-run seventh. In the inning, Luis Ordaz hit a basesloaded sacrifice fly, followed by a two-run double by Alex Diaz and an RBI-single by Ruben Salazar.

DAY 19 (January 20)
Tigres de Aragua won its tenth game, beating Pastora de Los Llanos, 4-1 on a three-run homerun by Robert Zambrano in the first inning. Winning pitcher Juan Carlos Pulido gave up only two hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Also on Sunday, Cardenales de Lara won big vs. Caribes de Oriente, 21-3 on 23 hits, including homeruns by Robert Pérez, Jésus 'Bam Bam' Gonzalez, Doug Jennings and Raymond Cabrera. Pérez had an outstanding evening, going 3-for-5 with eight RBI's, adding two doubles to his homeruns. Gonzalez and Cabrera had three RBI's each. Alex Delgado went 4-for-4, including two doubles.
The Play-Off conclude on Monday.

DAY 20 (January 21)
On the last day of the Round Robin Play-Offs, Tigres de Aragua became the second finalist whitout playing. Cardenales de Lara lost unexpectedly from last place Caribes de Oriente, 2-1. Because of the loss, Cardenales was eliminated, while Tigres clinched. The victory was only the second for Caribes in sixteen games. Miguel Cairo homered for Cardenales in the fifth to tie the score. In the sixth, Caribes took the lead when Omar Malavé hit an infield-single, followed by a perfect bunt by Mike Porzio. One out later, a single by Chris Wakeland resulted in the winning run.
Also on Monday, leader Navegantes del Magallanes was beaten 2-1 in sixteen innings by Pastora de Los Llanos. In the first, Magallanes took a 1-0 lead on a single by Ronald Acuña. The score was tied in the sixth, when Carlos Urquiola hit an infield-single and stole both second and third base. He scored on a single by Jorge Delgado. It the took ten additional innings to decide the game, which lasted five hours. Again, it was Urquiola who reached base on a lead-off single and scored on the following triple by Jonathan Prieto.
Tigres will meet Navegantes in the final, which opens on Wednesday.

FINAL STANDINGS AFTER TWENTY DAYS
Navegantes 12-4; Tigres 10-6; Cardenales 9-7; Pastora 7-9; Caribes 2-14.

BEST-OF-SEVEN FINAL

Wednesday, January 23: GAME ONE
VALENCIA - Robert Perez homered in the bottom of the ninth to hit Navegantes del Magallanes to a 3-2 victory vs. Tigres de Aragua in the opening game of the Venezuelan Series and the Copa Maltín Polar.
Magallanes got off to a good start, scoring twice in the first on a two-run triple by Derek Nicholson off of Jason Simontacchi, who recovered quickly and struckout eleven in 7 1/3 innings, giving up six hits. In the top of the seventh, Tigres tied the score on a two-run hit by Puerto Rican Miguel Correa. But in the ninth, Perez hit his gamewinning homerun.

Thursday, January 24: GAME TWO
VALENCIA - Tigres de Aragua tied the series with a 5-0 shutout vs. Navegantes, as winning pitcher Douglas Silva dominated, allowing only three hits in eight innings. Roberto Zambrano homered in the second to power Tigres to a 3-0 lead at Estadio José Bernardo Pérez. Luis Ordaz went 4-for-4 with two RBI's, while Miguel Correa added a homerun.

Saturday, January 26: GAME THREE
MARACAY - With a 6-1 victory, Navegantes took a 2-1 lead in the Series as winning pitcher Johan Santana gave up six hits in seven innings. In the fourth, he pitched himself out of a basesloaded, no outs, situation, striking out two batters. In the first, Dereck Nicholson delivered a two-run single, giving Magallanes a 2-0 lead.

Sunday, January 27: GAME FOUR
MARACAY - Navegantes is one win away from championship after beating Tigres, 10-4 in a high-hitting game. Navegantes had 14 hits, including four homeruns, while Tigres had 11, including two 'quadrangulars'. Endy Chávez went 3-for-5 for Navegantes, including a homerun and had three RBI's and two runs scored. Leading 1-0, a two-run homerun by Robert Machado highlighted a three-run second for Navegantes. Clemente Alvarez and Dereck Nicholson added solo-shots. Miguel Correa and Gabriel Torres homered for Tigres, which used eight pitchers.

Monday, January 28: GAME FIVE
MARACAY - Navegantes del Magallanes defeated Tigres de Aragua, 5-2 to win the Copa Maltín Polar and the championship to become the first team to qualify for the Caribbean Series, which opens next Saturday. Navegantes will play its first game on Sunday vs. the Mexican champion.
On Monday, Tigres took a 2-0 lead in the third on a two-out, two-run homerun by Juan Rivera. Navegantes came alongside in the fifth, then added two more runs in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Luis Landaeta and homerun by Robert Machado, taking a 4-2 lead. The fifth run was scored in the seventh. Winning pitcher Rubén Quevedo allowed only three hits in seven innings. Losing pitcher Jason Simontacchi gave up six hits in six innings.
Robert Pérez was voted the Series Most Valuable Player.

CARIBBEAN WORLD SERIES


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Last Update: February 14, 2002
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