World Baseball Network
The Indios de Mayaguez are headed to the Caribbean Series as the representative of Puerto Rico’s Liga Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente.
Mayaguez topped the Gigantes de Carolina 2-1 in a decisive game seven of the LBPRC championship series that nearly went extra innings to capture the crown for the third time. They previously won in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
The Indios got out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. With the bases loaded, Jeremy Rivera grounded out to short, allowing Blaine Crim to score from third. They’d add another run in the fourth on Richie Palacios’ RBI double that scored Anthony Garcia.
Starter Eduardo Rivera went six innings for Carolina, allowing three hits, two earned runs, and three walks, striking out four. The Gigantes’ bullpen threw three scoreless innings, the only blemish being a seventh inning single by Chavez Young.
Former Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners pitcher Rob Whalen went 6.1 innings for Mayaguez, earning the win, allowing four hits, one walk, and striking out seven.
In the bottom of the ninth, Braden Webb came on in a save situation for the Indios and promptly gave up a leadoff single to Carolina’s Juan Hernandez. The next batter, Ruben Castro, doubled to left field, and Hernandez advanced to third.
Webb struck out Jose Sermo, then got Delvin Perez to ground out to second. Hernandez scored, cutting the Indios lead to 2-1.
But that was as close as Carolina would get.
Osvaldo Martinez watched three straight strikes go by, and the Indios poured out of the dugout to celebrate.
They’ll head to Venezuela to represent Puerto Rico in the 2023 Caribbean Series February 2-10, opening the biggest event in Caribbean baseball against Colombia at Estadio Forum La Guaira at 2 p.m. on February 2.