By Luisja Álvarez
The best-of-five Spanish Series is set to begin this weekend in Valencia, with a familiar duo competing for the Spanish title. The Valencia Astros and Tenerife Marlins, who between them have won every Spanish championship since 2013, will play a doubleheader on Saturday, Aug 13, before meeting up again on Friday, Aug 19, under the floodlights on Tenerife. Game 4 and Game 5, if necessary, are scheduled for the following afternoon.
The Astros, like the Marlins, finished the regular season with a 23-4 record, and qualified for the Spanish Series after defeating San Inazio in the best-of-three semifinal played on Jul 30-31. The Marlins, on the other hand, qualified after their opponent, CB Viladecans, was unable to travel to Tenerife and thus forced to forfeit.
Valencia v. San Inazio
Game 1 (box score)
The Astros started strong in Game 1, with a run in the first inning, scored by Roibert Decena, with the RBI by Edison Valerio. But San Inazio managed to turn the score around, first with a run by Yoel Caballero, with the RBI by Eduardo Blanco, in the fourth inning and then with a solo home run by José Noroña in the seventh. San Inazo took the 2-1 lead into the bottom of ninth only for Edison Valerio to connect on a walk-off, two-run homer to give Valencia the victory.
From the mound, Ricardo Hernandez pitched a complete game for the Astros, scattering eight hits and allowing just two runs, while striking out seven. For San Inazio, starter Elio Silva allowed just four hits in seven shutout innings, with reliever Royd Hernández ultimately taking the loss after allowing the two-run homer to Valerio. Game 2 (box score
In the second game, San Inazio was the home team and started the game as the Astros did in the first, scoring in the first inning, this time with a two-run home run by Leopoldo Correa, and in the fifth inning, they extended their advantage with a Yoel Caballero RBI.
Edison Valerio closed the gap for the Astros with another two-run home run in the sixth, but San Inazio took a decisive lead in the eighth inning after four runners rounded the bases. Eduardo Blanco brought the first run home on a single, with José Noroña later clearing the bases with a three-run double.
Trailing 7-2 in the ninth inning, the Astros managed a two-out rally and loaded the bases themselves but only managed one run, on a walk, for the 7-3 final result.
San Inazio’s Royd Hernández was awarded the W after recovering from the defeat suffered in Game 1. In eight innings of work, he allowed just five hits and two runs. Armando Duenas came in to close the game in the ninth, wobbling but ultimately allowing just the one run. For the Astros, Lowuin Sacramento took the loss after allowing 10 hits and seven runs in 7.1 innings.
Game 3 (box score)
The decisive Game 3 started thirty minutes after Game 2’s conclusion, with the Astros waiting no time to respond to Game 2’s defeat. An Edgar Rondon triple was followed by a balk by Ruben Gonzalez, giving the Astros the 1-0 lead, with an Emmaunuel Febles double expanding the lead to 2-0 later in the inning. The Astros did not look back from there, adding another five runs in the fourth (three of them on a Blake Ochoa homer) and two runs in the fifth for a comfortable lead that San Inazio never threatened. The visitors tacked on one run in the ninth for the 9-1 final result.
Valencia’s Yosbany Torres struck out five batters in six shutout innings before giving way to the youngster Justin Luna, who pitched the final three innings, with the lone run allowed unearned. For San Inazio, Ruben Gonzalez took the loss after allowing five runs in three innings of work.
Tenerife v. CB Viladecans
In the second semi-final series, the Tenerife Marlins’ path to the Spanish Series was cleared after the forfeit of the rival team, CB Viladecans. According to a Viladecans statement published on several social media platforms, the club’s planned flight to the Canary Islands was canceled, and the high prices of alternative flights resulted in the Catalan club not being able to travel. In line with Royal Spanish Baseball and Softball Federation regulations, Viladecan’s failure to get a team on the field in Tenerife was ruled a forfeit and therefore the victory was awarded to the Tenerife Marlins, with a score of 9-0 for the two scheduled matches. Therefore, the Canary Islands team will travel to Valencia on Aug 13 to face the Astros. The two clubs have split the last nine Spanish titles, with the Marlins claiming seven of those nine championships for themselves.
The Marlins needed all five games to claim last year’s title, with the decisive victory coming in Valencia.
2022 Spanish Series Schedule Games 1 & 2 (Valencia): Aug 13, 11 am. The second match will start 30 minutes after the end of Game 1.
Game 3 (Tenerife): Aug 19, 7pm.
Games 4 & 5 (if necessary, Tenerife): Aug 20, 10:30. Game 5 would start 30 minutes after the end of Game 4.
Luisja Álvarez is a long-time follower of and commentator on all things Spanish baseball and softball. He is the force behind the Béisbol y Sófbol Español YouTube channel with highlights and analysis of Spanish national teams and domestic competitions.