By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Jan. 20, 2023
On Saturday night, Caneros de Los Mochis and Algodoneros de Guasave will face off in the Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico best-of-seven championship series, each team having won their semifinal series in six games.
In addition to the league championship, Caneros de Los Mochis and Algodoneros de Guasave will square off in the Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico Championship Series for the opportunity represent Mexico in Caracas, Venezuela at the 2023 Caribbean Series. Los Mochis finished second during the 2022-23 regular season at 41-27, while Algodoneros finished fourth at 36-32 during the regular season before a magical playoff run.
Algodoneros de Guasave hasn’t made it to the Caribbean Series since 1972 at Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, which is their only appearance. They finished at 1-4 in last place. Caneros de Los Mochis has made two Caribbean Series appearances, the first in 1984 in San Juan, Puerto Rico at Hiram Bithorn Stadium, where they finished 4-2 in second place, and again in 2003 at Carolina, P.R.’s Roberto Clemente Stadium, where they were winless in six games.
Caneros manager Jose Moreno will have his work cut out for a scrappy Algodeneros offense during the best of seven series. Algodernos manager Salvador Sepulveda will look to have his offense bring a ton of spark by veteran players Jesse Castillo and Julian Ornelas.
Algodoneros took the best-of-seven semifinal series over Naranjeros de Hermosillo to march into the Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico Championship final. Castillo’s bat has continued to make its mark during the playoffs, where he batting .292 in 13 games with 48 at bats, driving two home runs, 14 hits, drawing six walks, and picking up five RBI. Outfielder Julian Ornelas played in 13 games with 49 at bats, hitting one home run and 16 hits, drawing seven walks, and having five RBI.
Relief pitcher Rafael Cordova has been outstanding for Algodoneros out of the bullpen. In nine games, he hasn’t allowed an earned run and struck out 12, recording two saves, allowing five hits, and no walks during the playoffs. Starting pitcher Matt Poberekyo has pitched in a solid role during playoffs going 1-1 striking out 23 batters with 3.13 earned run average, allowing 13 hits, eight earned runs, and walking four batters. Pitching coach Roberto Espinoza will have to seek a way of managing through some of his starters once the series sets to begin.
Caneros is coming off a tremendous series against Yaquis de Obregon. Relief pitcher Daniel Duarte has starred for Caneros during the playoffs, appearing in seven games with a 2-0 record, striking out 11 batters, allowing six hits and four walks in the playoffs with a 2.08 ERA. Closer Juan Gamez has appeared in seven games, recording five saves out of the bullpen without surrendering any runs, allowing five hits, striking out 11 batters, and two walks.
Second basemen Isaac Rodriguez has been producing offensively during the playoffs for Caneros, where in 43 at-bats, he’s batting .326 with 14 hits and six walks, seven RBI, swiped three bases and clubbed one home run. Third basemen Rodolfo Amador is batting .302 in 43 playoff at-bats, recording three doubles, three RBI, and connecting for 13 hits while drawing two walks.
The last time Mochis and Algodoneros met was during a three-game regular season series December 27-29, where Mochis took two out of three.
Game 1 of the best-of-seven series championship final in Los Mochis at Estadio Emilio Ibarra Almada will start on Saturday at 8 p.m. EST.