Tainos Indians 6, Pensacola Royals 3
By Jeff McGaw, MSBLNational.com
Orlando, Fla. , — Tournament MVP Nathan Santiago tossed a complete game and Rico Carty Jr. had three hits and three RBI as the Tainos Indians beat the Pensacola Royals 6-3 to win the Holiday Classic at Disney MABL title.
Carty’s bases-loaded double in the four-run sixth inning broke a 2-2 tie and gave Tainos a lead they would not relinquish.
Santiago threw 20 tournament innings for Tainos and was 2-0. Teammate Ben Raimondi’s complete-game, five-hit win against top-seeded Venezuela in the opening round of the playoffs put the team into the finals.
Tainos limped into the playoffs with a 1-2 record including a 3-2 loss to Pensacola in the opening round, and a 7-0 loss to the Coral Gables Athletics. Their only victory was resounding – a 17-1 whitewashing of the Chicago Orioles. Pensacola knocked off the number two seeded Coral Gables Athletics 2-1 to send themselves to the finals.
In the finals Santiago got help from his defense. Pensacola loaded the bases in the fifth inning with the score 3-2 and none out, but thanks to a hard double play by Marcos Dominguez and Xavier Robles the Royals got turned a hard double play to get us out of the inning without giving out a run.
It was the first Disney victory for Tainos manager Ralph Garciaa former member of the Long Island MSBL dating back to 1995. Garcia moved to Georgia in 2005 where he founded the UAG Tainos Ball Club. At 51, Garcia still caught all but a few innings for the new Disney champions.
Tainos has attended every Disney tournament since 2009, but has been a regular at the MSBL’s Fall Classic since 1997.