Arcia's HR rallies Venezuela past Mexico in Caribbean Series
Semifinals to be played Saturday; championship on Sunday
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia hit a game-winning two-run home run in the eighth inning on Friday to propel Venezuela to a 4-2 victory against Mexico and a perfect 4-0 record in Caribbean Series qualifier play.
Venezuela's Caribe Anzoategui will now take on Cuba's Pinar del Rio (1-3) in the second semifinal on Saturday night at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. Mexico's Tomateros de Culiacan will face the Dominican Republic's Gigante del Cibao team in the first semifinal in the afternoon. The Caribbean Series championship game is scheduled for Sunday night.
Arcia, who joined the team on Thursday, finished 1-for-4 in his first game.
"I was waiting for a good pitch, something in the middle of the plate, the entire game," Arcia said. "At 3-1, he threw me a fastball and I was able to hit it. I was a little anxious at first, but I was able to calm down and put the ball in play."
Center fielder Rico Noel scored Mexico's first run in the first inning, scoring on a single by second baseman Eric Farris. Mexico would not score again until the sixth, when Farris charged home from third on a sacrifice by shortstop Jose Manuel Rodriguez to increase the lead to 2-0.
But the resilient Venezuelan team rallied for two runs in the bottom of the frame, the first coming on a double by Padres shortstop Alexi Amarista that scored Orlando Arcia. Amarista scored on a double by right fielder Felix Perez to tie the game at 2.
First baseman Balbino Fuenmayor led off the bottom of the eighth with a single. Two outs later, Oswaldo Arcia's heroics proved to be too much for Mexico to overcome.