By Leif Skodnick
World Baseball Network
Jan. 20, 2023
Braden Webb came to the mound at Estadio Roberto Clemente needing to get three outs to secure a 4-3 victory for Indios de Mayaguez and a 2-1 final series lead.
He was only able to get one, however, as the Gigantes de Carolina came back from a four-run deficit to walk off a 5-4 winner in game three of the Liga Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente final series on a two-run double in the bottom of the ninth by Jan Hernandez.
Fielding errors on two consecutive batters helped stake Mayaguez to a lead in the top of the second. After reaching on a single, Danny Ortiz advanced to third when Carolina second baseman Anderson Feliz threw the ball wide of first base. Ortiz scored when the next batter, Blaine Crim, ripped a shot to third base that was mishandled by Carolina’s Osvaldo Martinez.
Mayaguez kept pouring on the offense in the third. After Richie Palacios led off with a single to left, Chavez Young was hit by a pitch, and then Emmanuel Rivera doubled to left, scoring Palacios. The next batter, Josh Palacios, drove in Young with a fielder’s choice, and then Danny Ortiz singled to left, scoring Rivera for a 4-0 lead.
Carolina battled back in the bottom of the sixth, starting off the rally when Delvin Perez singled to center field off Mayaguez starter Rob Whalen, who then walked the next batter, Bryan Torres, on four straight pitches. The walk prompted Whalen’s replacement by Dereck Rodriguez, and Rodriguez immediately gave up a double to Brian Navarreto, scoring Perez. Two batters later, Gabriel Cancel looped a single to shallow center, scoring Torres and Navarreto and cutting the Mayaguez lead to 4-3.
Whalen went five innings and two batters, allowing five hits and four runs (three earned), striking out three and walking two.
With one out and runners on first and second in the bottom of the ninth, Jan Hernandez ripped Webb’s fastball high in the air to the right center field, where it eluded the outstretched glove of right fielder Henry Ramos and bounced off the wall. Aldemar Burgos scored from second, and with Burgos signaling for trailing runner Alexis Pantoja to slide, the well-timed relay throw from the outfield was off the mark and clattered to the backstop as Pantoja’s left hand touched the plate, giving Carolina the win.
Game four of the Liga Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente final series is tomorrow at 8:10 p.m. ET.