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Jun '21 24

Spanish Baseball League Week 6: Three Meléndez Homers Keep Marlins Deadlocked with Astros

News - Spanish Baseball Leagues Comments Off on Spanish Baseball League Week 6: Three Meléndez Homers Keep Marlins Deadlocked with Astros

Another week of play meant another pair of sweeps for Tenerife and Valencia, with Viladecans keeping pace in third. Five of the six series ended in two wins for one side, but the only split was an exciting one that saw former heavyweight Barcelona moved out of the cellar for the first time this year. Offense was the story of the weekend, led by a three-homer day for the Marlins’ Jose Meléndez and a pair of dingers for Barcelona’s Wander Encarnación in a game that featured longballs from the two sides.

Tenerife Marlins vs. CBS Rivas (21-8, 12-0)
The Tenerife Marlins continue to outperform rivals in their fight for the championship. In this case, it was Rivas de Madrid’s turn to put up with the Portuense steamroller. The Canaries managed to win both games by run difference against a Ripense team that, although it was very forceful at bat in the first game, was lacking in resources against the SBL co-leader.

The first match started in a favorable way for Madrid thanks to an aggressive first Rivas at bat, which was not intimidated by the powerful pitching of Tenerife’s Antonio Noguera. The Madrileños scored two runs in the first, holding the Marlins to one in return. However, in the second, a three-run shot by Eduardo Moredo and a two-run homer by Jesús Ustariz were unmatched by a zero from Madrid.

From that point on, it was all Tenerife, which added José Manuel Meléndez longballs in the third and fourth. In the fourth, seven runners touched home after seven hits in the frame. The icing on the cake was a third home run by Meléndez in the fifth, as the Marlins’ third baseman went 4-for-4, adding a double, walks, and five runs to his home run hat trick and six RBIs. Ustariz was 3-for-3 and a triple shy of the cycle, also drawing a pair of free passes.

The second game between Marlins and Rivas had a completely different development. Leslie Nacar , Eduardo Milani and Andrés Pérez managed to keep the Ripense attack at bay, which only managed to connect three hits throughout the game, among which a double by Edel Heredia stands out.

For their part, the Canaries maintained a constant batting rhythm, scoring four runs in the first inning, two in the second on a home run by Yancarlo Franco, three in the fourth, and the final three runs in the seventh. Ustariz and Joel Borges each had a two-bagger and a pair of singles, while five other Tenerife hitters had a pair of hits in a 33-for-69 (.478) day. Nacar (6-0) permitted only three hits in five innings, striking out five.

CBS Sant Boi vs. CB Astros Valencia (2-9, 1-6)
The Valencia Astros won both games against CBS Sant Boi on a day in which the Catalans held up very well the attacks of the current champions and managed to play a very solid baseball. Sant Boi, together with San Inazio and Viladecans, became the teams that so far have achieved solid results against the co-leaders.

However, the first meeting was dominated by the Astros from the beginning. Edison Valerio put the Astros ahead in the first with a solo shot and his batting mates added more runs in each of the next four frames. Sant Boi woke up at bat in the seventh against the previously dominant Yulman Ribeiro on the mound. In the sixth inning, a double by Daniel Matías and two singles by Marcos Amador and Hugo León allowed the Catalans to score two runs. Los Astros would cruise to a 9-2 after surviving the frame, though, as Michel Rodríguez and Blake Ochoa went back-to-back to lead off the seventh. Ribeiro (3-0) went seven, striking out seven.

The second match between Valencia and Sant Boi was tighter than the first. Ángel Williams, Yeison Sisneros, and Eric Izquierdo were more effective against the Valencian offense than virtually any other pitchers this year, but it was not enough for the Catalonians. On the other side, Yosbany Torres and Lowuin Sacramento were a two-headed monster that stifled Sant Boi’s bats.

Only 1-0 to Valencia through three, the ‘Stros plated single runs in the fourth and fifth before falling silent in the next two frames. Truly tested for the first time in late innings this year, veteran Ochoa ripped a two-run bomb in the eighth. Although Daniel Matías would homer for Sant Boi, the 6-1 lead would hold.

Torres (3-0) was excellent, punching out eight in seven shutout innings and scattering five hits and a freebie.

CB Viladecans vs. CBS Miralbueno (11-1, 10-7)
In the first match “El Vila” dominated all the time. Alejandro Martín and Manel Baena were aces on the mound and the Catalan team attacked constantly and forcefully at the dish. After a run in the first, Viladecans added four in the second—on a Aderly Grullón dinger, three walks, three wild pitches, and an error—and another five runs in the fourth in easing to an 11-1 win. Javier Monzón went yard in the outburst, which featured another Miralbueno’s six errors, plus two more base on balls. Martín (2-1) was effectively wild (six hits, three wild pitches, but only two hits) in his five frames.

The Zaragozans began Game Two on the right foot, scoring a run in the first and second inning. In the fourth inning, Viladecans turned the game around with four runs, motivated once more by walks. Two more runs in each of the next two frames created a seemingly insurmountable lead. Miralbueno made things interesting in the seventh, however, bashing five hits and scoring four runs. Although the Zaragozan club rallied for one in the ninth (unearned), Joaquín Castaño (SV, 1) slammed the door for the sweep. Vila remained firmly in third and ready to pounce if either Tenerife or Valencia slip.

Jorge Balboa (5-1) was solid in six frames, allowing only two runs. Four Catalonian hitters had two hits, including Monzón, who had five for the day. Robert Guzmán was 3-for-5 with two doubles and a swipe in the defeat after being one of the two hitters to hit safely against Martín and Baena in Game One.

Navarra vs. CBS Barcelona (14-9, 8-11)
A pair of slugfests led to the weekend’s only sweep. Both sides launched three homers in Game One, combining for 45 hits, 34 walks, four hit batters, and 12 errors in the twinbill. The first game started in a favorable way for the Navarrese, who went ahead on the scoreboard thanks to a two-run dinger by David Arza in the second inning. In the third inning, Barcelona responded with four hits and four runs, including a two-run roundtripper by Wander Encarnación. Its momentary victory was of little use to them as two errors in defense and several walks gave its rival four runs of its own in the bottom half.

The fourth saw Cristopher Nuñez go yard for the Catalonians with a man on base, but Navarra once more quickly erased the runs, this time on a Jon San Martín big fly, the first of the year for the role player. The two sides continued to swap homers, with Encarnación homering again in the top of the seventh and Jhon García equalling the feat in the latter half. In the eighth, however, Navarra plated a pair for a 14-9 lead, holding on for the win.

The game began with a face for the Barcelonans who went ahead in the first inning with one run and in the second with four more. In the fourth, Navarra pounded out five hits, including a Victor Reyes home run, which allowed them to score four runs, versus the two scored by Barça in the same inning.

The Pamplonans drew within one in the fifth, starting with two free runs on a plunking, two walks, and two errant throws, bringing Jesús da Silva out of the ‘pen with the bases loaded and no outs. Barça’s new moundsman was exceptional, inducing four straight groundballs. The first went for an out at home, while the next led to an unearned run, but the defence buckled down to preserve the 8-7 advantage. Barcelona added three more in the seventh to ice the game.

Da Silva earned his first win with five superb relief innings in which he surrendered only four hits, one free pass, and a single run. Encarnación had another three hits and four ribbies on his behalf as part of a 6-for-9 day with nine RBI. Ander Albes was 4-for-9 in the doubleheader, driving in four out of the leadoff spot and stealing two bags.

San Inazio vs. CBS Toros (10-0, 12-5)
Elio Silva tossed a gem for San Inazio in Game One and the Pamplonan bats delivered on offence. Daniel Moreno left the park with two men on base in the first, the only blemish against Elvis Gómez until Kreisber Auciello ripped a two-run double in the fourth. After a bullpen meltdown in the eighth, San Inazio claimed a 10-0 walkoff.

The two starters went the distance, with Gómez (3-3) allowing 10 hits and four walks in 7.2, whiffing seven. Silva (4-2) kept the Toros off-balance, sending down 12 on strikes and working around seven hits without issuing a free pass.

The second match between Los Toros and San Inazio also meant a comfortable victory for Bilbao, though the method was quite different. Sani collected 14 hits in the contest, while Los Toros notched 13. However, the locals were more timely in their attacks and pulled out a victory in the final innings.

Up 2-1 in the third, the Toros plated two more after an Okaury Montero double, but the three-run lead was erased with five Sani runs from only four hits in the sixth.

Kreisber Auciello added two more in the seventh on a dinger and, from that moment, San Inazio took charge. Although Édgar Rondón—the SBL’s No. 2 hitter—homered in the bottom of the seventh, Sani then posted two more markers runs in the eighth and ninth innings. A two-run rally by the Bilbaoans in the ninth fell well short, moving San Inazio all the way up to fourth in the SBL table. Yoel Caballero and Leopoldo Correa each had three hits, with the latter walking three times and collecting a double.

CBS Antorcha vs. CBS Gavà (14-4, 8-7)
Antorcha also had a big weekend in its placement in the standings as it continued its helium-fuelled run from the previous week. After a 2-6 start, Valencia’s second team is now tied for fifth in the standings. In the first game the Valencian team totally dominated, so much so that the game was practically sentenced from the second inning. The Torch posted one run in the first, but followed with eight in the second.

That number could have been higher as the Valencians left the sacks jammed after five hits and three costly errors. From this point on, the game was fairly even, with Antorcha claiming a 14-4 decision. Infante reached base in all five plate appearances, going 4-for-4 with a walk, with two of his hits coming in the second. Gavà left 11 on base.

The second game was more of a level match. Engelbert Álvarez (Antorcha) and Miguel Ángel Muñoz (Gavà) hung zeroes until the fourth inning, when the Valencians had a golden opportunity to jump ahead. After a leadoff walk, Edgar Aineto crossed home quickly and Antorcha filled the bases. Muñoz’ resolve, however, held the Torch added only one run.

Three runs in the fifth made it appear that Gavà had no chance at victory, but the sixth made for an exciting conclusion to the game. Taking advantage of a Henry Paulino leadoff triple and a couple of walks, the Catalonians scored four runs in the sixth inning, tying a game that was more than exciting.

In the seventh, Gavá struck again, making good use again of several free passes and, in this case, an error. Three runs came around, giving the Catalan club a 7-4 advantage. Gavá’s joy would not last long, though, as Antorcha blazed its own comeback trail in the eighth. Four hits, including a double by Javier Sánchez, gave the Valencians four more runs, and the 8-7 margin.

Gavá tried to come back in the ninth and had a great opportunity after Eric Giménez roped a one-out double to right field, but Javier Sánchez buckled down for the next two outs. Sánchez earned his first save with 1.2 scoreless, while Álvarez had a no decision despite five shutout innings and only two hits. Aineto had three hits for the victors, while Infante drove in four more on two hits, give him seven RBI and five hits for the day.

By Gabriel Fidler. Many thanks to RFEBS for providing a daily recap, portions of which have been translated and adapted herein.


Team W L Pct. GB RF RA +/- Str
Tenerife Marlins PC 12 0 1.000 165 39 126 W12
CB Astros Valencia 12 0 1.000 136 19 117 W12
CB Viladecans 10 2 0.833 2 120 55 65 W4
San Inazio 7 5 0.583 5 96 80 16 W2
Navarra 6 6 0.500 6 107 108 -1 L2
CBS Antorcha 6 6 0.500 6 84 95 –11 W4
CBS Miralbueno 3 7 0.429 8 55 99 -44 L4
CBS Toros 4 8 0.333 8 55 106 -51 L5
CBS Gavà 3 9 0.250 9 79 137 -58 L4
CBS Sant Boi 3 9 0.250 9 76 115 -39 L3
CBS Barcelona 2 8 0.200 9 44 75 -31 W1
CBS Rivas 2 10 0.167   10 77 166 -89 L5

Week 6 Results (May 15-16)
Tenerife 21 – Rivas 8 [Box]
Rivas 0 – Tenerife 12 [Box]
Navarra 14 – Barcelona 9 [Box]
Barcelona 11 – Navarra 8 [Box]
Sant Boi 2 – Valencia 9 [Box]
Valencia 6 – Sant Boi 1 [Box]
San Inazio 10 – Toros 0 [Box]
Toros 5 – San Inazio 12 [Box]
Viladecans 11 – Miralbueno 1 [Box]
Miralbueno 7 – Viladecans 10 [Box]
Antorcha 14 – Gavà 4 [Box]
Gavà 7 – Antorcha 8 [Box]

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