By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Jan. 21, 2023
Sometimes, you’ve gotta cowboy up.
And that’s what the bullpen did for Vaqueros de Monteria, shutting the door in the late innings as the Vaqueros held on to beat the Tigres de Cartagena 5-4 at Estadio 18 de Junio in game three of the Liga Beisbol Profesional Colombiano final series Friday night.
The Vaqueros got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning when starting catcher Daniel Vellojin laced a double to center field, scoring Jordan Diaz. A few batters later, Brayan Buelvas drove a single through the left side of the infield and Vellojin came around to score to take a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Vaqueros extended the lead when Reynaldo Rodriguez cracked a two-run home run to left field, driving in Carlos Herrera and making it 4-0.
During the top of the fifth inning, Vaqueros went to their bullpen as starter Fernando Perez got taken out of the game, having thrown 4.1 innings, allowing two hits, one earned run, four walks and striking out three.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Tigres got on the board when Meibrys Viloria drove a two-run home run to right center field, scoring Roberto Caro and cutting the lead to 4-2.
Tigres starter Christian Alvarado pitched his way into the bottom of the fifth inning, but was lifted after walking the lead off hitter, Dayan Frias. Alvarado went four innings and one batter, allowing four hits, five earned runs, walking two batters and striking out two before being replaced by Francisco Jimenez.
A few batters later, Vaqueros added a cushion when Vellojin roped a single to left field, scoring Frias to make it 5-2.
In the top of the sixth, the Tigres rallied, as Harold Ramirez drove a single to right center field, scoring Jonathan Lozada and cutting the deficit to 5-3. The next batter, Adrian Sanchez, roped a single to right center field, scoring Viloria to make it 5-4.
But the Vaqueros bullpen was lights out the rest of the way, with Luis Pacheco going 1.2 innings while allowing no runs and no hits, walking one batter, and striking out three. Relief pitcher Francisco Carrillo came to the mound in the top of the eighth inning to record the final five outs of the game. While Tigres threatened in the top of the eighth, Carrillo got Ramirez to line out to shortstop for a 6-4 double play and no harm was done.
Carrillo shut the door in the top of the ninth, getting Victor Nova to ground out to second base on a fielders’ choice for the final out as Vaquero won the game 5-4 to take a 2-1 series lead in the Championship Series.
Game 4 of the Liga Profesional de Colombia is today at 5 p.m. EST.