2012 Caribbean Series
From BR Bullpen
The 2012 Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was the forty-second edition of the second stage of the Caribbean Series. It was held in Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from February 2-7, 2012. The series featured four teams from Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Venezuela. Attendance was disappointing, but this may have been due in large part to ticket costs that were very high for a poor country like the Dominican Republic.
The Leones del Escogido, representing the Dominican League clinched their fourth Caribbean Series title after winning their first four games, while two teams were 2-3 and the other 1-3 after the first game of Day 5, making it impossible for any other team to finish with more than 3 wins.
The Caribbean Series Most Valuable Player was Escogido reliever Jairo Asencio, who tossed 3 hitless, walkless, scoreless innings and fanned 3. He saved three games. He became the second reliever ever to win Series MVP honors, following 2009's Francisco Butto.
- The Leones del Escogido won the Dominican League title. They most recently won the 2010 Caribbean Series, their third Series title.
- The Tigres de Aragua took the Venezuelan League title, their 9th. They last appeared in the 2009 Caribbean Series, which they won (their first Series title).
- The Indios de Mayagüez claimed their 17th Puerto Rican League title, the most in that circuit's annals, despite a cumulative 20-21 regular season record. They last played in the 2010 Caribbean Series. They have won four Series, the last one coming in 1998.
- The Yaquis de Obregón won their 6th Mexican Pacific League title in 2011-2012. They were the defending champions, having won the 2011 Caribbean Series (their first Series title).
 Final Standings
|Leones del Escogido||Dominican League||6||4||2||.667||Ken Oberkfell|
|Tigres de Aragua||Venezuelan League||6||3||3||.500||Buddy Bell|
|Indios de Mayagüez||Puerto Rican League||6||3||3||.500||Dave Miley|
|Yaquis de Obregón||Mexican Pacific League||6||2||4||.333||Eddy Díaz|
- Batting Average: .421 - Pablo Ozuna, Escogido
- Home Runs: 1 - Hector Gimenez, Aragua; Luis Jimenez, Aragua; Cesar Suarez, Aragua
- Runs Batted In: 4 - Andy Dirks, Escogido; Luis Jimenez, Aragua; Cesar Suarez, Aragua
- Wins: 12 tied with one apiece
 All-Star Team
- C: Iker Franco, Obregón (.267/.294/.333)
- 1B: Hector Gimenez, Aragua (.278/.350/.500)
- 2B: Pablo Ozuna, Escogido (.421/.476/.421)
- SS: Miguel Rojas, Aragua (.389/.500/.444)
- 3B: Luis Figueroa, Mayagüez (.368/.368/.421)
- RF: Andy Dirks, Escogido (.250/.296/.333)
- CF: Adonis García, Aragua (.346/.370/.385)
- LF: Jesus Feliciano, Mayagüez (.353/.476/.471)
- DH: Luis Jimenez, Aragua (.278/.316/.444)
- RHSP: Nelson Figueroa, Mayagüez (1-0, 2.57)
- LHSP: Raúl Valdés, Escogido (1-0, 0.00)
- RP: Jairo Asencio, Escogido (3 Sv, 0.00)
- Mgr: Ken Oberkfell, Escogido
 The Games
 February 2
|Win: Figueroa (1-0) Loss: Etherton (0-1) Save: Rivera (1)|
Aragua got four hits in the first but failed to produce the rest of the way in a loss.
RF Jorge Cortés opened the game with a single, then LF Cesar Suarez singled. With one out, CF Adonis García singled in Cortés. Nelson Figueroa recovered to fan DH Luis Jimenez. 3B Luis Maza singled to left but Mayagüez LF Luis Jimenez threw out Suarez trying to score. After that, the 37-year-old Figueroa tossed shutout ball for 5 2/3 innings, allowing only 3 more hits while finishing his day with 8 whiffs. Nelvin Fuentes, Ryan Kussmaul and Saul Rivera provided scoreless relief.
In the meantime, Puerto Rico's offense gave the pitchers the support they needed. Against 35-year-old Seth Etherton, 1B Jeffrey Domínguez led off the second with a single. After an out, CF Jesus Feliciano hit a ground-rule double. 3B Rubén Gotay hit a two-run single to give his team the lead for good. The only other run came in the 8th when SS Irving Falu reached on a Maza error and wound up scoring on hit by Domínguez.
|Win: Johnson (1-0) Loss: Mendoza (0-1) Save: Asencio (1)|
The defending champions didn't put together enough offense to defend their championship, only mustering three hits, no walks and one run against the Escogido combination of Kris Johnson (5 IP, all 3 H), Ramon Garcia (2 IP), Jerry Gil (1 IP) and Jairo Asencio (1 IP).
The Mexicans did get the first run, in the second inning. 37-year-old 1B Bárbaro Cañizares singled. LF Doug Clark laid down a bunt to third and Fernando Tatis made an error, putting Cañizares on third. Johnson struck out DH Humberto Cota and 2B Carlos Valencia but a wild pitch let the veteran Cuban come home with a run. In the bottom of the inning, Escogido tied it against 2011 PCL ERA leader Luis Mendoza. C Wilkin Castillo and Tatis both singled, then LF Julio Borbon bunted them over. A slow grounder to second by SS Pedro Florimon tied the game.
Mexico got their last baserunner in the top of the third. In the bottom of the third, Escogido took the lead. DH Pablo Ozuna and RF Andy Dirks provided back-to-back singles off Mendoza, then 1B Mauro Gomez drew a walk. 2B Julio Lugo then hit into a run-scoring double play to provide the final margin.
 February 3
|Win: Keisler (1-0) Loss: DeSalvo (0-1) Save: Ayala (1)|
Mexico's offense was only marginally better than in game one, but their pitching carried them past Puerto Rico. Randy Keisler tossed 7 innings of four-hit shutout ball; Dan Serafini and Luis Ayala completed the shutout with two hitless innings.
Obregón got all the game's offense in the 4th. DH Bárbaro Cañizares drew a one-out walk from Matt DeSalvo. C Johnny Monell Jr. tried to pick off Cañizares but made a two-base error. LF Doug Clark then walked. 2B Jose Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly. Clark stole second, then scored on a hit by C Iker Franco. The only player with multiple hits in the pitcher-dominated affair was RF Karim Garcia, who was 2 for 4 for the Mexicans.
|Win: Valdéz (1-0) Loss: Hunton (0-1) Save: Asencio (2)|
In a battle of the big cats, the Leones took out the Tigres in extra innings.
In the 4th, Escogido scored first, off Tyson Brummett. RF Andy Dirks singled with one out, stole second and scored on a two-out hit by 3B Erick Almonte. The next inning, they again got a two-out run off Brummett. With one away, SS Pedro Florimon doubled. He advanced on a grounder and scored on a single by DH Pablo Ozuna.
Escogido starter Lorenzo Barcelo shut out Aragua for five innings on six hits, no walks and six strikeouts but was then yanked by Ken Oberkfell. Aragua tied it in the 7th. 3B Luis Maza drew a one-out walk from Juan Pérez and SS Miguel Rojas singled. After another out, José Cabrera came in for "relief" but the 39-year-old provided little of that. Facing 38-year-old pinch-hitter Edgardo Alfonzo, he gave up a RBI single. LF Cesar Suarez singled as well to tie the score. Nelson Payano was summoned and got 1B Hector Gimenez on a fly to end the rally.
Venezuela had a great chance in the 8th. With one out, DH Luis Jimenez reached on a miscue by Escogido 2B Julio Lugo. C Gustavo Molina walked. Maza struck out, then #8 hitter Rojas drew a walk to load the bases. That brought up 2B Luis Hernandez, who flew out. In the 10th, Escogido got a shot at Victor Moreno, who walked two, but CF Jose Constanza hit into an inning-ending double play.
Suarez led off the bottom of the 12th with a hit off Merkin Valdéz and was bunted over by Gimenez. CF Adonis García was walked intentionally. PH Alex Nunez stepped in but struck out. Valdéz retired Molina on a ground out to end that inning.
In the top of the 13th, the Leones more than doubled their offense of the first 12 innings. Florimon drew a leadoff walk from Jon Hunton, and was bunted over by Constanza. Ozuna walked, then Dirks singled to right to score Florimon. 1B Mauro Gomez drew an intentional walk, then Francisco Butto relieved. Almonte drove a 2-run double for a 5-2 lead to end the scoring. Jairo Asencio went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 13th as the 7th Dominican hurler to notch his second save of the Series.
 February 4
|Win: Rolando Valdez (1-0) Loss: Sweeney (0-1) Save: Ayala (2)|
Bad defense was the theme of the game as the Yaquis stayed in the race. Only one of the six runs today was earned.
Venezuela scored first. With two outs in the first, LF Cesar Suarez bunted one back to pitcher Rolando Valdez for a hit; a throwing error by Valdes put Suarez on second. He scored on a single by CF Adonis García. International veteran Brian Sweeney blanked Mexico for four innings. In the 5th, they tied it with the game's lone earned run. C Iker Franco doubled with two outs and 1B Sergio Contreras brought him in with a hit.
In the top of the 6th, the Tigres retook the lead. C Guillermo Rodriguez singled and was bunted over by RF Jonel Pacheco. SS Miguel Rojas hit into an error by his Mexican counterpart, Alfredo Amezaga. Suarez then grounded in Rodriguez. In the bottom of the 6th, Obregón went ahead for good. CF Chris Roberson bunted his way aboard and an error on the play by 1B Hector Gimenez sent Roberson to second. Amezaga also bunted into an error, this one by Sweeney. RF Karim Garcia grounded home Roberson. DH Bárbaro Cañizares hit into a third error in four plays, this one by 3B Luis Maza. LF Doug Clark drew a walk to load the bags. Pedro Rodriguez was summoned from the bullpen, but he did not stop the bleeding. 2B Carlos Valencia doubled to left to drive in two and make it 4-2. Franco flew to Pacheco, who threw home to get Clark for a double play, an Aragua defensive highlight in an abysmal defensive frame for the club.
|Win: Raúl Valdés (1-0) Loss: Livingston (0-1) Save: Ramon Garcia (1)|
The Leones remained unbeaten at the halfway point. They went ahead in the 4th, after three scoreless innings by both Escogido's Raúl Valdés and Mayagüez's Bobby Livingston. RF Andy Dirks drew a leadoff walk. 1B Erick Almonte and 2B Julio Lugo both singled to center, making it 1-0; an error by Jesus Feliciano on Lugo's hit advanced Almonte to third. LF Denis Phipps hit into a run-scoring force. 3B Fernando Tatis hit into a force at second, then C Francisco Pena doubled. Eddy Ramos relieved Livingston and escaped further harm by retiring SS Pedro Florimon on a grounder.
In the bottom of the 4th, the Indios got their lone score. An error by Florimon put DH Luis Figueroa aboard. LF Edgardo Baez walked. 1B Jeffrey Domínguez sacrificed the runners over, then RF Jorge Padilla plated Figueroa with a single. In the 5th, the Dominicans got back that run. CF Jose Constanza walked and stole second. DH Pablo Ozuna bunted a single and an error by Ramos let Constanza score.
In the 6th, the Leones doubled their score. Against Jose de la Torre, Tatis drew a walk. Pena hit into an error by 3B Andy González. Nelvin Fuentes relieved de la Torre and promptly walked both Florimon and Constanza. Trying a third pitcher, Puerto Rico went to John Lujan. He served up a RBI single to Ozuna then Dirks hit a sacrifice fly to cap the scoring.
Padilla and Ozuna each got 3 hits.
 February 5
|Win: Pino (1-0) Loss: Burgos (0-1) Save: Moreno (1)|
The Indios continued to struggle, getting blown out by the Tigres today as both teams went to 1-3.
Puerto Rico did look good at the very start as SS Irving Falu and 2B Sergio Miranda began with back-to-back singles off Yohan Pino, but Pino allowed no more hits in six innings. Marcos Tabata and Victor Moreno completed the shutout.
In the bottom of the first, Aragua scored one run. RF Jorge Cortés walked, then SS Miguel Rojas singled. LF Cesar Suarez bunted them over. Hiram Burgos got a second out. DH Luis Jimenez then singled to right, scoring Cortés, but Rojas was thrown out at home by RF Jorge Padilla.
From there, the game remained 1-0 until the bottom of the 7th. Against Juan Padilla, C Gustavo Molina walked. He was bunted over, then Cortés singled, but Jorge Padilla again came up with a big play on defense, throwing out Molina at the plate. Rojas followed with a single to left and Edgardo Baez did not look as good with the glove as the other Puerto Rican corner outfielder, making an error that let both Cortés and Rojas score.
In the 8th, Venezuela padded their lead against Saul Rivera. With one out, Jimenez singled. 1B Edgardo Alfonzo doubled and 3B Luis Maza drew a walk to load the bases. PH Alex Nunez hit into a force at home, but 2B Luis Hernandez cracked a bases-clearing triple, then scored on a wild pitch by Rivera for the final 7-0 score.
|Win: Liriano (1-0) Loss: González (0-1) Save: Asencio (3)|
Escogido clinched at least a share of the title by beating the Yaquis to go to 4-0 while the Mexicans fell to 2-2 and remained in second place. The Mexican offense (or lack thereof) again was the story, though their pitching was again sharp.
The Leones got a run in the top of the first. CF Jose Constanza drew a leadoff walk and stole second. 2B Pablo Ozuna hit into an error by 1B Bárbaro Cañizares to put runners on the corners, then also stole second. RF Andy Dirks grounded home Constanza. In the bottom of the first, Escogido's Francisco Liriano walked three of the first four hitters but 2B Carlos Valencia hit into a rally-killing twin killing. Liriano (5 IP), Jerry Gil (2 IP), Nelson Payano (2/3 IP), Merkin Valdéz (1/3 IP) and Jairo Asencio (1 IP) combined on a shutout for the Dominicans.
The Leones got the game's other run in the 9th to get a little breathing room. DH Mauro Gomez drew a walk from Mario Mendoza Jr. Freddy Guzmán pinch-ran and stole second. 1B Erick Almonte grounded Guzmán over and 3B Fernando Tatis drove him in on a grounder. Neither of the game's runs had involved a single hit.
 February 6
|Win: Fuentes (1-0) Loss: Ayala (0-1)|
Escogido clinched the title outright, thanks to the loss by the defending champions here. The Yaquis held the lead until late before folding.
In the top of the first, CF Chris Roberson led off with a single against Nelson Figueroa. He advanced on an out then scored on a single by RF Karim Garcia. In the third, Mexico went up 3-0 on a single by SS Alfredo Amezaga, a triple by Garcia and a sacrifice fly by DH Bárbaro Cañizares. From then on, they failed to score another run off Figueroa and reliever Nelvin Fuentes, while Mayagüez would rally.
In the bottom of the third, C Rene Rivera led off with a single. CF Jesus Feliciano doubled, then 3B Luis Figueroa cracked a 2-run single to make it 3-2. The game remained 3-2 until the bottom of the 8th. In that inning, Puerto Rico tied it against Dan Serafini. Feliciano led off with a walk, then Figueroa bunted into an error by 1B Humberto Cota (Figueroa, Cota and Serafini had all played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a side note). Mexican skipper Eddy Diaz turned to closer Luis Ayala, who had fared well so far in the Series. Pinch-hitter Danny Gonzalez laid down a sacrifice hit. 1B Jeffrey Domínguez was walked intentionally to load the bases. RF Jorge Padilla grounded in Feliciano to tie it.
In the bottom of the 9th, PH Johnny Monell Jr. led off with a walk from Ayala. SS Irving Falu bunted Monell over, then Feliciano was given an intentional walk. Figueroa then delivered in the clutch, with a single to center to score Monell.
The stars of the day were clearly Feliciano (3 for 3, 2B, 2 BB, 2 R) and Garcia (2 for 2, 2 BB, 3B, R, 2 RBI).
|Win: Bazardo (1-0) Loss: Rodriguez (0-1)|
Venezuela's offense, on the other hand, was rolling. They scored in the second on a double by 1B Hector Gimenez and an error by Escogido SS Pedro Florimon. In the third, RF Jorge Cortés tripled off Aneury Rodriguez and scored on a single by SS Miguel Rojas. Aragua had its big inning in the 5th against Edward Valdez. Cortés drew a one-out walk and was bunted over by Rojas. LF Cesar Suarez was plunked and CF Adonis García singled in a run. DH Luis Jimenez then crushed a 3-run homer, the first home run of the Series for any team. In the 8th, Gimenez capped the scoring with a homer of his own, off José Cabrera.
 February 7
|Win: Guerra (1-0) Loss: Martinez (0-1)|
Aragua finished the Series at 3-3 with a sound win over the defending champions, who fell into last. Mexico did hold the lead briefly. In the third, DH Jose Rodriguez singled and was bunted over. CF Chris Roberson singled, then 1B Sergio Contreras had a RBI double. After an intentional walk to RF Karim Garcia, C Iker Franco launched a sacrifice fly. Six Venezuelan relievers shut out Mexico the rest of the way.
In the bottom of the 4th, Aragua tied it against Marco Carrillo. LF Cesar Suarez homered, CF Adonis Garcia doubled, DH Luis Jimenez doubled and 1B Hector Gimenez singled to make it 2-2. In the 5th, Oswaldo Martinez relieved. 3B Luis Maza and 2B Luis Hernandez both drew walks, then were bunted over by RF Jorge Cortes. SS Miguel Rojas singled in Maza and Suarez singled in Hernandez. After a double steal, Adonis Garcia whiffed. Cesar Carrillo was brought in from the bullpen and served up a 2-run single to PH Edgardo Alfonzo to end the game's scoring.
|Win: De la Torre (1-0) Loss: Garcia (0-1) Save: Rivera (2)|
The hosts finished with another flat effort, while the Indios cruised into second place with a strong finish.
In the bottom of the first, Escogido scored quickly off Matt DeSalvo. CF Freddy Guzmán singled, 2B Pablo Ozuna singled as well then RF Andy Dirks doubled. DeSalvo would get a quick hook and five relievers (John Lujan, Jose de la Torre, Nelvin Fuentes, Ryan Kussmaul and Saul Rivera) held the Leones to 3 hits and no runs in 7 2/3 IP while whiffing ten.
Puerto Rico tied it in the second. 1B Jeffrey Dominguez drew a walk from Kris Johnson and scored two outs later on a double by LF Andy Gonzalez. That was their only score in five innings against Kris Johnson. In the 6th, Ken Oberkfell replaced Johnson with Ramon Garcia, but the minor league veteran would wind up taking the loss. With one out, he gave up a double to 3B Luis Figueroa and a run-scoring single to 1B Randy Ruiz. The last run came in the 9th against Merkin Valdez. With one away, Gonzalez walked. After an out, he stole second, then scored on a hit by SS Irving Falu (Falu's third hit of the contest).
 Related Sites
|Serie del Caribe (Caribbean Series)
| Most Valuable Player | Serie Interamericana | Confederación de Béisbol del Caribe|
|Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame|