Caribe 2021: Águilas Cibaeñas from DR won undefeated in Mazatlán

After recovering in two consecutive playoffs to win the championship in the Dominican Republic, the Águilas Cibaeñas put together a great machine that swept their rivals en route to winning the 2021 Caribbean Series with a perfect mark, which was held at the renovated Teodoro Mariscal stadium in Mazatlán, in the Mexican Pacific.

The 63rd edition of the tournament organized by the Caribbean Professional Baseball Confederation (CBPC) faced the Quisquean monarch with his counterparts from Colombia (Caimanes de Barranquilla), Mexico (Tomateros de Culiacán), Panama (Federales de Chiriquí), Puerto Rico ( Criollos de Caguas) and Venezuela (Caribes de Anzoátegui).

The coronavirus pandemic, which forced the organizers of the Caribbean Series to create a health and safety bubble and limit attendance to 45% of Teodoro Mariscal’s capacity (7,000 out of 15,000), canceled the Panamanian tournament, but the CBPC allowed the Central American country to bring to the “Pearl of the Pacific” a selection of the best players in their league, with the Chiriquí uniform.

The Eagles won all five of their regular round matches, defeating the Federales in the semifinals and Caguas in the final to conclude the tournament with a 7-0 record and their sixth Caribbean title, behind only their hated rivals Tigres del Licey (10). on the list of the most winning clubs in the almost nine decades of existence of the “Latin American World Series”.

For the thirteenth time, and the first time since 2016 (the Venados de Mazatlán finished 6-0 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic), the Caribbean Series monarch remained undefeated. The Eagles tied for second place with Puerto Ricans Cangrejeros de Santurce, 2-0, in sweeps in the tournament. Licey (3) is the one who has won the championship the most times without losing a game.

For the Dominican Republic it was their 21st victory in the Caribbean Series, moving away from Puerto Rico (16), the second-highest winner. Mexico (9), Cuba (8), Venezuela (7) and Panama (2) share the rest of the crowns.

The Eagles recovered from being down 0-2 in the semifinal to eliminate the champions Toros del Este and subsequently rose from 1-3 in the final against the Gigantes del Cibao, capturing their 22nd Dominican league title and drawing. with Licey at the top of the championship leadership.

The Dominican Republic earned seven of the 12 spots on the All-Star Team, including center fielder Juan Lagares, who won the Most Valuable Player award, after hitting .316 with two home runs and eight RBIs. Lagares was also the MVP in his country’s final series.

Lagares and Melky Cabrera in the outfield, pitchers Carlos Martínez (starter) and Jumbo Díaz (closer), first baseman Ronald Guzmán and second baseman Robinson Canó were the Quisqueyan players in the All Stars.

Puerto Rican catcher Yadier Molina, Venezuelan third baseman Yordan Díaz, Panamanian shortstop Jonathan Arauz, North American Caguas outfielder Jarren Durán and Mexican designated hitter Jesse Castillo completed the ideal squad.

The All Stars manager was Félix Fermín, who scored his fourth series won, the all-time leader. With six titles, Fermín is also the winner of the Dominican ball.

Cano hit .368 and walked six and Cabrera walked .333 with five runs scored and five RBIs to accompany Lagares on the attack, but it was actually the pitching that led the Eagles to victory.

The harrier pitching staff posted a 1.29 ERA in all seven series games. Martinez allowed only one run and struck out 15 batters in 11.1 innings in two starts and Cesar Valdez allowed one run in 11.0 innings in two trips to the box. Martinez shut out Panama for 5.2 innings in the semifinal and Valdez left Puerto Rico in one round for five acts in the final. Joe Van Meter (6.0 IL) and Andy Otero (5.1 IL) did not allow a touchdown in one out each.