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Caribbean Cup: Puerto Rico beats the United States Virgin Islands 6-0 

 Matt Tallarini  |    Dec 23rd, 2022 9:26am EST

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Five different Puerto Rico pitchers combined to throw a three-hit shutout to beat the United States Virgin Islands 6-0 on Wednesday night at the Caribbean Cup.

A night after Puerto Rico turned a night of stellar pitching into a 6-0 win against Cuba behind a great outing from Jose Burgos, Hector Quinones was in control on the bump Wednesday, throwing five innings while allowing two hits, no earned runs, no walks, and striking out four. 

“We’ve just been attacking the guys, the strike zone, trying not get behind in the count,” Quinones said of the Puerto Rican pitchers.

Ricardo de la Torre’s bases-loaded walk that pushed Luis Reynaldo over the plate in the bottom of the first was the only run Puerto Rico would need, but it was not the only one they would get. 

In the bottom of the second inning, Puerto Rico’s Kevin Luciano was hit by a pitch from Virgin Islands’ starter Roberto Soto with the bases loaded, scoring Pedro Diaz. The next batter, Ruben Castro, reached on an error by second baseman Dwayne Maduro, scoring Javier Vasquez, and Puerto Rico took a 3-0 lead. They’d add one more run in the seventh and two on top of that in the eighth.

Asked what advice Juan Gonzalez and his coaching staff gave the team, Quinones said, “They always tell us, ‘be you, do what you know to do,’ and so I just attack the zone and let the guys behind me do the work. That’s what we did, that was the plan.”

“We’ve been working for this our entire career,” Quinones said of himself and his teammates. “We came here to get the work done, and, praise God, we did it.”

Puerto Rico’s pitching staff has allowed just 11 hits combined over three games so far in pool play.Puerto Rico faces host nation Bahamas on Thursday at 7 p.m.

“It’s going to be one more day, another day for us, because in Puerto Rico, we play like that, a lot of fans, a lot of crowds. We’re going to be ready for it.”

NOTEBOOK: The United States Virgin Islands would have been eliminated from the semifinals had the Bahamas beaten Cuba. Should there be a tie for the final berth in the semifinals, the tiebreaker is the Total Quality Balance formula, which balances run production against runs allowed, normalized for innings played on both offense and defense, to calculate a run differential. The team with the better TQB run differential advances. Only games between the tied teams would be used for the calculation.