By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Jan. 12, 2023
Roenis Elias, a possible No. 1 starter for Cuba in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, threw 5.1 solid inning for Aguilas Cibaenas against Estrellas Orientales Wednesday night, but it wasn’t enough to stave off elimination.
Aguilas, needing a win, fell 3-2 to Estrellas, who advanced to the best-of-seven LIDOM championship series, where they will face Tigres del Licey.
Estrellas got on the board first when Gustavo Nunez drove a home run over the left field fence for a 1-0 lead. A few batters later, Jeimer Candelario laced a solo home run over left field to go up 2-0.
Elias settled down, holding off the Estrellas’ bats until the sixth inning, when Junior Lake ripped a line drive home run over the left field for a 3-0 lead.
Elias exited the game after giving up three home runs, throwing 5.1 innings, allowing five hits, walking one batter, and striking out four.
Aguilas threatened in the eighth inning, when Geraldo Perdomo drove a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Johan Camargo to get Cibaenas on the board. The next batter, Johnathan Villar, placed a ground ball single to right field scoring Eliezer Alvarez as Aguilas cut the deficit to one at 3-2.
Estrellas relief pitcher Ronel Blanco entered the game in the bottom of the ninth inning and retired the first two batters of the inning. Blanco issued Melky Cabrera a two-out walk, bringing the winning run of the game to the plate in Johan Camargo, who flew out to right to end the game.
Both teams have two remaining games left until the end of round robin play. Estrellas (10-6) will travel back home to San Pedro de Macoris to face Gigantes del Cibao (6-10) at 6:30 p.m. EST. Aguilas will host Tigres del Licey (10-6) at 6:30 p.m. EST.