Caribbean Series poised for exciting final day of pool play

February 8th, 2023

With just one day of pool play left in this year’s Caribbean Series, seven teams remain in contention for a spot in the semifinals.

Day 6 game action in Caracas, Venezuela, included a key blowout win for Colombia, yet another victory for Mexico and a potential make-or-break contest between Curaçao and Venezuela.

Here’s a recap of Tuesday’s games:

Puerto Rico 4, Cuba 3
Emmanuel Rivera’s ninth-inning walk-off single completed a critical comeback for Puerto Rico, still hanging on to the possibility of a trip to the semifinals.

After a rough outing for starter Daryl Thompson (1 2/3 innings, six hits, three runs), Luis Cruz and Braden Webb combined for 7 1/3 scoreless innings. Roby Enriquez put Puerto Rico on the board in the fifth with an RBI triple, scoring later in the inning on Bryan Torres’ RBI single.

The victory has Puerto Rico pulling even with a 3-3 record heading into its Day 7 matchup vs. first-place Mexico (5-1). Cuba, carrying a 1-5 record, will face Panama (2-4) on Wednesday. Box score >

Puerto Rico players celebrate their crucial win over the Dominican Republic. (Fernando Llano/AP)

Mexico 2, Panama 1
Braulio Torres-Perez led the way in the victory over Panama, striking out five over 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on five hits. Offense was at a premium for both clubs on Tuesday, with the only earned run against Panama pitching coming on a first-inning sac fly by Reynaldo Rodriguez. An errant throw on a stolen-base attempt by Jose Cardona brought in the winning run in the fifth. 

Mexico, now riding a four-game winning streak, holds onto its commanding lead in the Series standings, improving to 5-1. Panama, now 2-4, ranks seventh of eight ahead of its Wednesday afternoon game against last-place Cuba (1-5). Box score >

Mexico's Jose Cardona (right) celebrates with Reynaldo Rodriguez. (Ariana Cubillos/AP)

Colombia 11, Dominican Republic 0
A day after the Dominican Republic put up its own 10-run barrage, the team was on the receiving end of Colombia’s offensive outburst. The middle of the lineup led the charge for Colombia, with Andres Angulo (1-for-4, three RBIs), Dilson Herrera (1-for-5, two RBIs) and Jesus Marriaga (3-for-4, two RBIs) each driving in multiple runs. Starter Eduar Lopez tossed seven shutout innings, walking three and striking out two.

Colombia (4-2) will face Venezuela (4-2) on Day 7 of pool play. The Dominican Republic, needing a win to keep its semifinal hopes alive, will take on Curaçao (2-4). Box score >

Colombia's outfielders celebrate after defeating the Dominican Republic. (Fernando Llano/AP)

Venezuela 8, Curaçao 6
Venezuela jumped out ahead of Curaçao with a two-run first, then surrendered a run in the bottom of the first and another five in the second, setting the stage for the second thrilling comeback of the day.

Still down, 6-2, in the seventh inning, Venezuela strung together three runs on ’s RBI single, an RBI groundout by , and the bases-loaded walk of Isaias Tejada. The big blow came in the eighth, however, when after a wild pitch brought home the tying run, Danry Vasquez hit a ground-rule double, driving in a pair.

Venezuela, now tied for the second-best record in the first round (4-2), will take on Colombia, also 4-2, on Day 7. Curaçao (2-4) will wrap up pool play with a matchup against the Dominican Republic (3-3). Box Score >

David Ramos gave up six runs in one-plus inning, but Venezuela battled back. (Ariana Cubillos/AP)

Pool Play standings
Mexico: 5-1
Colombia: 4-2
Venezuela: 4-2
Dominican Republic: 3-3
Puerto Rico: 3-3
Curacao: 2-4
Panama: 2-4
Cuba: 1-5