By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Jan. 21, 2023
The Liga de Beisbol Profesional Nacional in Nicaragua begins their final series today, with Gigantes de Rivas, who are attempting to win a third consecutive title, going up against Indios del Boer, who finished tied for first in the regular season with Tren del Norte Estelli at 18-14.
Indios del Boer hasn’t won a league championship since 2014-15. During the round robin for the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Nacional, both the Indios del Boer and the Gigantes de Rivas posted a 7-5 record to earn a berth in the league final.
Gigantes manager Lenin Pillory will have a solid lineup to put out during the league final. Second basemen Isaac Benard has produced quality numbers during the round robin, in 22 at bats, he batted .318 with seven hits, drawing five walks and seven RBI. Utility infielder Brandon Layton also has shown great offensive ability during the round robin. In 46 at bats, he batted .283 with 13 hits, two home runs, drawing one walk and eight RBI.
Starter Leonardo Crawford started in three games in the round robin, going 3-0, and posted a 1.96 ERA while allowing just 13 hits through 18.1 innings and striking at 18 batters.
Indios del Boer manager Joel Fuentes is looking to break the organization’s championship drought. The Boer offense scored 78 total runs during the league’s round robin. Catcher Melvin Novoa has been spectacular at the plate for the Indios. In the round robin, he batted .386 in 44 at bats with 17 hits, one home run, drawing six walks and three RBI. First basemen Edgar Montel has also been a big factor during the round robin for Boer, batting .371 in 35 at-bats with 13 hits, two home runs, drawing six walks and eight runs batted in.
Starting pitcher Juancarlos Sulbaran should have an impact on the pitching staff during the championship final. Starting in three games and appearing out of the bullpen in another, Sulbaran recorded a 2.78 ERA, going 2-1 in 22.2 innings while allowing 19 hits and striking out 16 batters during the round robin.
The Federacion Nicaraguense De Beisbol Asociada (FENIBA) will look at this tournament to build the roster for Nicaraguan team for the World Baseball Classic. Nicaragua will start in Miami at Loan Depot Park in Pool D against Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Israel March 11-15.
FENIBA has also started to prepare for the Pre-Selection roster of the Nacional Mayor Campeonato Centroamericano De Beisbol in Managua at Estadio Nacional Soberania from February 6-12. Nicaragua will have a chance to play for a spot in the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador, going up against Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Guatemala during the Nacional Mayor Campeonato Centroamericano De Beisbol event.
Game one of the championship series will be held today at Estadio Nacional Soberania at 5 p.m. EST.