By Leif Skodnick
World Baseball Network
Jan. 17, 2022
The Tigres del Licey and Estrellas Orientales put on their uniforms to play game four of the LIDOM championship series, and the fans showed up at Estadio Tetelo Vargas in San Pedro de Macoris.
And then a bank of floodlights went out, delaying the game 38 minutes.
The delay, however, didn’t slow down Tigres del Licey, who rolled to a 3-1 win over Estrellas to take a commanding 3-1 series lead and earn them a chance to win their 23rd LIDOM championship at home on Wednesday night.
Nor did the delay slow Licey’s designated hitter Jorge Alfaro, who stroked a two-out solo homer eight pitches into the top of the first over the second row of advertisements on the wall in left-center for a 1-0 lead.
Alfaro, a native of Colombia who’s spent seven seasons in the Major Leagues primarily as a backup catcher, has been a revelation for Tigres in his first winter ball season in the Dominican Republic, and his hot bat earned him a minor-league contract with Boston for the upcoming season after being non-tendered by San Diego.
The right-handed hitting backstop, who joined Tigres with six games remaining in the LIDOM regular season, swung a hot bat through the round robin stage of the playoffs, batting .383/.471/.673 with two home runs, nine RBI and 10 of his 23 hits going for extra bases to get Licey into the finals against Estrellas.
And so far, Estrellas’ pitching has had no answer for him. In four games during the LIDOM final series, Alfaro has two home runs, four RBI, and is hitting .438/.438/.875, and went 2-for-4 Tuesday night.
Licey added another run in the top of the 4th when Dairon Blanco scored from second on a double by Sergio Alcantara.
Alfaro came up again in the top of the fifth and ripped the 1-0 offering from P. Valdez into the left field corner for a double, scoring Ronny Mauricio from first for a 3-0 Tigres lead.
Estrellas finally got a baserunner when Robinson Cano doubled to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Two batters later, Lewin Diaz doubled to score Cano and cut the Tigres’ lead to 3-1. After Christian Pache flew out to center, Junior Lake’s comebacker caromed off Licey starter Brooks Hall’s right foot for an infield single, advancing Diaz to third. Hall worked out of the jam when Gustavo Nunez popped out behind second base.
With Licey clinging to a 3-1 lead, Jairo Ascenscio came on to pitch the bottom of the ninth for Licey, allowing a two-out single to Lewin Diaz and then walking pinch hitter Sandber Pimentel before striking out Junior Lake to end the game.
Tigres starter Brooks Hall went 5.0 innings pitched, allowing three hits and an earned run, walking one and striking out six. For Estrellas, starter Edwin Uceta went four innings, allowing three hits and two earned runs, striking out three and walking one.
Game five of the LIDOM championship series is tomorrow at 6:15 p.m. at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal. The game will be streamed live on MLB.tv.