Colombia holds off D.R. for Caribbean Series title

February 4th, 2022

The Dominican Republic’s Gigantes del Cibao entered the Caribbean Series final on Thursday night with a tournament-best 5-1 record while playing in their home country’s capital city, Santo Domingo. The Gigantes were also looking to make it three straight series championships for the D.R.

Despite facing the Gigantes and their home-field advantage, it was the Caimanes de Barranquilla who emerged as series champs with a 4-1 victory at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal, becoming the first Colombian team to win the Caribbean Series title.

The Caimanes used a three-run second inning, a stellar start from right-hander Elkin Alcala and a shutdown effort from the bullpen as the title-clinching formula.

Back-to-back doubles from Mauricio Ramos and Dilson Herrera, plus a Brayan Buelvas RBI single two batters later provided all the offense the Caimanes would need by the bottom of the third. The Caimanes got an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a Ramos ground ball that resulted in a double play.

Alcala gave his club 5 2/3 innings in which he yielded one run on four hits, walking one and striking out seven before turning things over to the bullpen. Luis Moreno worked around a hit to finish the sixth, Juan Diaz pitched an inning and a third, and Rodrigo Benoit got the game’s final five outs to clinch the title for Colombia.

The Caribbean Series is a six-team tournament featuring 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.

The Caimanes punched their ticket to the tournament for the second consecutive year by winning their 12th Colombian Professional Baseball League title. They finished the tournament with a 5-2 record and a championship after going winless in five games during the 2021 Caribbean Series.