Puerto Rico Gigantes 4, So. Maryland 3
By Jeff McGaw
|35+ Wood Bat Division Champs, the Puerto Rico Gigantes|
Mario Greenaway had four hits and stole home in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Puerto Rico Gigantes a win in the 35 American Division championship at the MSBL Fall Classic at Roger Dean Stadium — the spring training home of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals.
Greenaway singled to start the bottom of the 11th, moved to second base on an error, then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by tournament MVP shortstop Omar Figueroa. With one out Bill Deatley issued an intentional walk to Jim O’Farrill to set up the double play.
What happened next was a shock to no one who had played the speedy Puerto Rico team.
O’Farrill took off and Greenaway crept off third looking for the right moment to break for home. It was over in a matter of seconds. Greenaway slid head first into home and the Bobby Cuevas’ Gigantes had their first Fall Classic title.
Puerto Rico carried a 3-2 lead into the top of the ninth inning when Jean Diaz relieved starter Harry Carrion. After a fly ball out, Diaz walked Mike Foster, hit Nick Renault, then gave up a game-tying single to Maryland extra hitter Will Drakeford. Luis Rodriguez entered for Diaz and recorded a strikeout and a flyout to end the threat.
Both teams went quietly in the 10th inning.
Renault singled with two out in the top of the 11th, stole second, and was balked to third base, but Drakeford, the hero two innings earlier, struck out to end the inning.
Carrion threw eight strong innings for the Gigantes yielding five hits and an earned run while striking out five batters. Rodriguez closed out the last two and two-third innings and earned the win in relief.
Bill Deatley went the distance for Southern Maryland scattering four runs, three earned, on 13 hits in a gutsy effort.
Figueroa played well offensively but was a game changer on defense showing amazing range, sure hands and a powerful arm, according to Cuevas.
|Southern Maryland Rodeo||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||0||0||3||7||3|
|Puerto Rico Gigantes||0||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||4||13||1|
|Deatley and Leynor. Carrion, Diaz (9), L. Rodriguez (9) and Ocasio. W-Rodriguez. L-Deatley.|
|2B — Greenaway. Top Hitters — (S. Maryland) Klopfer 2×5, RBI, Leynor 2×4. (PRico) Greenaway 4×6, Jim O’Farrill 2×4, Jr. O’Farril 2 runs, Mangual 2×4, RBI. SB– Renault (SM) 2. HBP-Renault (by Carrion). SAC — Messina (SM); Figueroa (PR) 2. LOB — S. Maryland 8; Puerto Rico 9|