Everything to know about the Caribbean Series

February 4th, 2022

The annual Caribbean Series crowned a new champion on Thursday, with Colombia defeating the Dominican Republic, 4-1, to stand above the field of six countries after a weeklong tournament. With their victory, the Caimanes de Barranquilla became the first Colombian team to win the Caribbean Series.

In the semifinals on Wednesday, Colombia ousted Venezuela and the D.R. denied Mexico to set the stage for the title game. The Gigantes del Cibao fell short in their bid to bring the title back to the Dominican Republic for a third consecutive year.

Group standings
y - Colombia: 5-2
e - Dominican Republic: 5-2
e - Mexico: 3-3
e - Venezuela: 3-3
e - Panama: 1-4
e - Puerto Rico: 1-4

y - tournament champion
e - eliminated from title contention

Game-by-game recaps


Colombia 4, Dominican Republic 1
A three-run second inning, a tremendous start from Elkin Alcala and 3 1/3 scoreless frames from the bullpen brought Colombia its first Caribbean Series title with a victory by the Caimanes de Barranquilla over the Gigantes del Cibao. Mauricio Ramos and Dilson Herrera delivered back-to-back RBI doubles in the third, and two batters later, Brayan Buelvas came through with an RBI single to give Alcala all the run support he'd need. The right-hander tossed 5 2/3 innings in which he gave up one run on four hits, walking one and striking out seven. From there, relievers Luis Moreno (one-third of an inning), Juan Diaz (1 1/3) and Rodrigo Benoit (1 2/3) silenced the D.R.'s bats to clinch the championship.


Colombia 8, Venezuela 1
Colombia continued its pursuit of its first Caribbean Series title with a dominant performance against Venezuela. Carlos Arroyo got the scoring started with a bases-clearing triple in the second, then raced home on a wild pitch to make it 4-0. Colombia pushed the lead to 8-0 by the third inning and cruised behind 6 2/3 innings of one-hit ball from starter Elniery García.

Dominican Republic 2, Mexico 1
Though the Dominican Republic entered the ninth inning with a two-run lead and looking to finish off a perfect game, it instead found itself battling just to hold on for a win. After retiring the first 24 batters of the game, the Dominican Republic allowed a double to start the ninth. Victor Mendoza then followed with a base hit to put runners on the corners with nobody out. The Dominican Republic managed to escape, however, forcing a lineout followed by a pair of groundouts to limit the damage to one run. Moises Sierra provided the offense, roping an RBI single in the second and adding what proved to be a crucial sacrifice fly in the eighth.


Puerto Rico 6, Colombia 2
Puerto Rico made the most of its opportunities to close out round-robin play with its first victory at the 2022 Caribbean Series. After scoring just seven runs in its first four games (all losses), Puerto Rico put up a six-spot to get into the win column. Despite the win, Puerto Rico had already been eliminated -- and Colombia had already clinched a spot in the semis -- when the day began.

Mexico 1, Panama 0
With the final spot in the semifinals on the line, Mexico blanked Panama in each team's final round-robin game. Mexico starter Javier Solano allowed just two hits over six scoreless innings, though he did not record a single strikeout. He then turned it over to the bullpen, with three relievers combining to put up three scoreless frames to shut the door. The game's lone run came on Esteban Quiroz's RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.

Dominican Republic 8, Venezuela 7 (10)
In a wild contest that the D.R. led, 6-0, as late as the seventh inning, Venezuela rallied for five runs in that frame and another pair of runs in the eighth to take a 7-6 lead. But in the bottom of the eighth, Hanser Alberto lifted a game-tying sacrifice fly, and he then delivered a game-winning sac fly in the bottom of the 10th to improve the D.R.'s tournament record to 4-1. A Juan Francisco RBI single, a Jose Siri RBI triple, a two-run double by Carlos Paulino and a Richard Ureña RBI single accounted for the rest of the D.R.'s scoring.


Colombia 2, Dominican Republic 1
Colombia held on for a huge 2-1 victory over the Dominican Republic behind a stellar team pitching performance. Starter Fernando Perez allowed one run over 5 1/3 innings before four relievers combined to toss 3 2/3 scoreless frames to shut the door. The win guarantees Colombia a spot in the top four following the conclusion of round-robin play Tuesday, and thus, clinches a spot in Wednesday's semifinals. Colombia is the only country competing that has never won the Caribbean Series.

Venezuela 2, Panama 1
Angel Reyes hit a clutch two-run homer to lift Venezuela to a win that secured its spot in the semifinal. On the mound, Venezuela used six pitchers to hold Panama to just one run on a sixth-inning sacrifice fly. Venezuela improved to 3-1 with the win, guaranteeing it will have one of the top four records following the final day of round-robin play on Tuesday.

Mexico 5, Puerto Rico 0
After dropping its first two games in the Caribbean Series, Mexico rolled to its second straight win -- and second straight shutout. In leveling its record at 2-2, Mexico put itself in position to clinch a spot in the semifinals with a win over Panama on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico dropped to 0-4 and was eliminated from title contention.


Mexico 1, Colombia 0
Mexico picked up its first win and dealt Colombia its first loss of the round-robin stage behind an outstanding pitching performance from Wilmer Rios, who allowed just three hits with no walks and five strikeouts over 6 2/3 scoreless innings before handing it off to the bullpen for the final seven outs. Felix Perez’s second-inning homer stood up as the only run of the game.

Venezuela 4, Puerto Rico 2
With a two-run single by Francisco Arcia in the second inning and RBI doubles from Alberth Martinez and Danry Vasquez over the following two frames, Venezuela won its second straight game to improve to 2-1 in the tournament while dropping Puerto Rico to 0-3. The only runs Puerto Rico was able to manage came in the bottom of the third against Venezuela's starter, Cesar Jimenez -- the left-hander gave up a two-run single to Emmanuel Rivera. Overall, Jimenez yielded two hits, walked four and struck out four over 2 2/3 innings. Venezuela's bullpen then took over and the combination of Enderson Franco (2 1/3 innings), Vicente Campos (one), Wilking Rodriguez (one), Anthony Vizcaya (one) and Bruce Rondón (one) gave up only two hits while walking one and fanning eight.

Dominican Republic 7, Panama 3
The Dominican Republic remained undefeated in the tournament thanks in large part to a pair of three-run innings in the third and seventh. Hanser Alberto had a big night at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI doubles, and Jose Siri added an RBI triple. The D.R. took advantage of two bases-loaded walks in its three-run seventh, and Robinson Canó added an RBI double in the eighth for good measure. Starter Yunesky Maya gave his club five solid innings, yielding two runs on four hits while walking one and striking out three.


Colombia 6, Panama 5
In a back-and-forth contest, Colombia came back from deficits of 4-3 and 5-4 to defeat Panama in walk-off fashion. Panama trailed 3-1 through seven innings before rallying for three runs in the top of the eighth to take a one-run lead. Colombia tied it up on a Mauricio Ramos double in the bottom of the frame, but Edgar Figueroa was thrown out at the plate after a relay from left fielder Daniel Jimenez to shortstop Eduardo Thomas to catcher Christian Bethancourt, preventing the go-ahead run from scoring. Panama went up again in the top of the ninth, plating the go-ahead run when an inning-ending double play was overturned on review. But Colombia would not be denied, scoring twice in the bottom of the ninth to put the game away.

Venezuela 5, Mexico 0
Venezuela picked up its first win of the tournament thanks to a big third inning and a tremendous performance from starter Yohander Méndez and the bullpen. Danry Vasquez delivered a two-run double in the third as part of a 2-for-4 performance before Balbino Fuenmayor singled another run home later in the frame. Pablo Sandoval added a solo homer in the sixth inning to cap the day's scoring. Méndez tossed five strong innings, yielding just one hit while walking two and striking out five. The left-hander then turned things over to Venezuela's bullpen, from which Wilking Rodriguez (one-third of an inning), Silvino Bracho (1 2/3), Anthony Vizcaya (one) and Bruce Rondón polished off the shutout.

Dominican Republic 5, Puerto Rico 3
Robinson Canó delivered an RBI triple and a two-run single to drive in three of the Dominican Republic’s five runs, and starter Raul Valdes turned in 5 2/3 solid innings before turning the ball over to the bullpen. Despite surrendering a two-run homer to Puerto Rico’s David Vidal in the eighth, the Dominican Republic squad held on to improve its tournament record to 2-0.


Panama 3, Puerto Rico 2
Panama used a pair of late-game rallies to walk-off with a 3-2 win in the tournament opener. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth, Olmo Rosario hit a game-tying homer and Christian Bethancourt later added a go-ahead RBI single. Panama, however, let that lead slip away when it booted a potential game-ending double play in the top of the ninth, allowing the tying run to score from third. That set the stage for Edgar Munoz, who roped a walk-off RBI single to end it.

Colombia 6, Venezuela 1
Colombia scored four times in the top of the third inning, courtesy of three run-scoring singles, including a two-run single to right field by Reynaldo Rodriguez. Colombia added solo runs in the fourth and eighth innings to provide more than enough run support for the club's pitching staff -- Eduar Lopez (1 2/3 innings), Luis Moreno (1 1/3), Sugar Ray Marimon (one), Francisco Jimenez (two), Rodrigo Benoit (2/3), Ronald Ramirez (1 1/3) and Donald Goodson (one) combined to shut down Venezuela's bats, yielding just one run on four hits.

Dominican Republic 3, Mexico 2
A two-run seventh inning and an outstanding performance from the bullpen lifted the Dominican Republic past Mexico. Left-hander Tyler Alexander started and gave up two runs on five hits over three innings, but the D.R. relief corps rose to the occasion, with Frank Garces (two innings), Jenrry Mejia (2/3), Luis Castillo (1/3), Jhan Mariñez (2/3), Reymin Guduan (1/3), Fernando Abad (one) and Juan Minaya (one) combined to shut out Mexico on four hits the rest of the way.


What is the Caribbean Series?
The Caribbean Series is a six-team tournament that featured the champion from each of the four professional baseball leagues in the Caribbean Professional Baseball Confederation (Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Mexico), as well as one representative each from Panama and Colombia.

All of the teams played each other once in a round-robin format, then the four teams with the best record advanced to the semifinals. The top seed played the No. 4 seed, while the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds squared off, with the winners advancing to the winner-take-all tournament final.

Where did the tournament take place?
All games were played at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal in Santo Domingo.

Key facts about each team

Caimanes de Barranquilla (Colombia)
The Caimanes clinched their spot in the Caribbean Series by winning their 12th title in the Colombian Professional Baseball League. This was their second straight year in the Caribbean Series, though they went 0-5 in the round-robin phase of last year’s tournament.

Gigantes del Cibao (Dominican Republic)
The Gigantes were red-hot coming into the Caribbean Series after cruising to their second LIDOM championship -- and first in seven years. After dropping the Jan. 17 series opener, the Gigantes reeled off four straight wins to clinch the Dominican title. The Dominican Republic had produced the Caribbean Series champion in back-to-back seasons, with Aguilas Cibaenas taking the title in 2021 and Toros del Este winning it all in ’20.

Charros de Jalisco (Mexico)
The Charros competed in the Caribbean Series for the second time after winning the Mexican Pacific League. They also competed in 2019, when each team in their group went 2-2 in the round-robin stage, but the Charros were on the wrong end of the tiebreaker.

Mexico was seeking its first Caribbean Series champion since 2016, when Venados de Mazatlan raised the trophy.

Astronautas de Los Santos (Panama)
The Astronautas represented Panama for a second time after winning their second straight title in the Panamanian Professional Baseball League. They also won in their inaugural 2019-20 season, though they were based in Chiriquí at the time. The ensuing 2020-21 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Panama snapped a lengthy Caribbean Series drought in 2019, when Toros de Herrera claimed the country’s second title. The other came in 1950.

Criollos de Caguas (Puerto Rico)
The Criollos claimed their second straight title -- and fourth in the last six years -- in the Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente. Though they finished as the Caribbean Series runner-up last year, the Criollos have claimed the title five times, including back-to-back championships in 2017 and ‘18.

Navegantes del Magallanes (Venezuela)
The Navegantes claimed their first title in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League since winning back-to-back championships in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. They have won two Caribbean Series titles, though the last came in 1979.

Venezuela has not produced the Caribbean Series champion since 2009, when the Tigres de Aragua claimed the title.