2015 Caribbean Series
The 2015 Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was the forty-fifth edition of the second stage of the Caribbean Series. It was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico from February 2-8, 2015. The series featured five teams from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Venezuela. Two teams were making their Series debut, one was playing for only the second time and one was making its first trip in 15 years. Cuba won their first Series in 55 years as the Vegueros de Pinar del Río defeated the Tomateros de Culiacán in the finale. Frederich Cepeda was named Caribbean Series MVP.
|Vegueros de Pinar del Río||Cuban Serie Nacional||6||3||3||.500||Alfonso Urquiola|
|Tomateros de Culiacán||Mexican Pacific League||6||3||3||.500||Benji Gil|
|Caribes de Anzoátegui||Venezuelan League||5||4||1||.800||Omar López|
|Gigantes del Cibao||Dominican League||5||2||3||.400||Audo Vicente|
|Cangrejeros de Santurce||Puerto Rican League||4||1||3||.250||Eduardo Pérez|
- The Vegueros de Pinar del Río were in their first Caribbean Series after winning the 2013-2014 Cuban Serie Nacional, though 17 of their 26 players came from other Cuban teams.
- The Tomateros de Culiacán took their 10th Mexican Pacific League pennant. They won the 1996 Caribbean Series and 2002 Caribbean Series.
- The Cangrejeros de Santurce had won 13 Puerto Rican League championships and five Caribbean Series, their most recent Caribbean Series title coming in 2000 - which had also been their last pennant prior to 2000.
- The Caribes de Anzoátegui captured their second Venezuelan League title. They had also appeared in the 2011 Caribbean Series.
- Batting Average: .533 - Leury García, Cibao
- Home Runs: Nine players tied with one apiece
- Runs Batted In: 7 - Frederich Cepeda, Pinar del Río
- Wins: 2 - Terance Marin, Culiacán
- C: Carlos Paulino, Cibao (.385/.467/.385)
- 1B: Balbino Fuenmayor, Anzoátegui (.368/.429/.579)
- 2B: Yulieski Gourriel, Pinar del Río (.333/.360/.458, 5 R)
- SS: Héctor Gómez, Cibao (.444/.544/.556)
- 3B: Luis La O, Pinar del Río (.438/.471/.500)
- RF: Elián Herrera, Villa Clara (.316/.333/.526)
- CF: Rico Noel, Culiacán (.250/.400/.300, 5 R)
- LF: Leury García, Cibao (.533/.563/.667)
- DH: Frederich Cepeda, Pinar del Río (.471/.471/.706, 7 RBI)
- SP: Terance Marin, Culiacán (2-0, 0 R in 8 2/3 IP)
- Reliever: Héctor Mendoza, Pinar del Río (1-0, Sv, 0 R in 6 IP)
- Manager: Benji Gil, Culiacán
|Pinar del Río||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||6||0|
|Win: Marin (1-0) Loss: Jon. Martínez (0-1) Save: Villarreal (1)|
After finishing last in its return to the Series in 2014, Cuba started off with a loss here. They did score first - in the 4th, 2B Yulieski Gourriel was hit by an Anthony Vasquez pitch, stole second and scored on a hit by DH Frederich Cepeda. Freddy Asiel Álvarez was cruising, meanwhile, allowing two hits and no runs through five. In the bottom of the 6th, though, he hit CF Rico Noel, who advanced on a grounder and a fielder's choice then scored on a grounder by 1B Joey Meneses.
Jonder Martínez relieved Álvarez in the 7th and walked SS Issmael Salas. DH Dave Sappelt bunted Salas over, then Livan Moinelo came in to pitch. PH Walter Ibarra greeted him with a run-scoring single that would be the winning hit. Terance Marin, Daniel Rodríguez and Oscar Villarreal combined for four innings of one-hit shutout ball of relief for the Tomateros.
|Win: Thompson (1-0) Loss: Soto (0-1)|
Venezuela cruised to victory over the host Puerto Ricans. Giovanni Soto had been second in the Puerto Rican League in ERA in 2014-2015 but ran into trouble in the third. He walked CF Gorkys Hernández, then C Jose Gil singled. 3B Niuman Romero bunted the runners over and 2B Ehire Adrianza singled in a run. LF Alexi Amarista then smacked a two-run triple. Santurce got one run back in the bottom of the third off Daryl Thompson on a walk to CF Reymond Fuentes and a RBI single by RF Jorge Padilla, who was out trying for second.
The Caribes padded their lead in the 4th using a similar formula. With two outs, Hernández again walked and Gil again singled to right. Romero then delivered a two-run double; it was Venezuela's last hit as Puerto Rico's bullpen was superb but they had a solid 5-1 cushion. Santurce got just one run back, in the bottom of the 9th, when DH Rene Rivera drove home 3B Neftali Soto.
|Pinar del Río||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||12||0|
|Win: Perez (1-0) Loss: Ruiz (0-1)|
Cibao won in their first Caribbean Series game, aided by four double plays to erase Cuban baserunners. In the bottom of the second, CF Willy Garcia, 1B Jonathan Villar and C Carlos Paulino had three straight singles off Norge Luis Ruiz for a 1-0 lead. It remained 1-0 until the 6th. RF Elian Herrera led off with a double and DH Audy Ciriaco singled him in. Jonder Martínez relieved Ruiz but served up a two-run homer to Willy Garcia. With one out, Paulino walked and LF Leury Garcia singled, then 2B Alexi Casilla hit into a run-scoring force for a 5-0 edge.
Cuba got their lone run in the 7th. PH William Saavedra tripled off Robert Carson; Tony Pena Jr. relieved and allowed a RBI single to SS Dainer Moreira. The Dominicans got the run back in the bottom of the frame on a two-out single by Ciriaco, a double by Willy Garcia and a wild pitch.
Willy Garcia finished with three hits, falling a triple shy of the cycle, while 3B Luis La O had three hits for Pinar del Río. Rafael Perez got the win with 5 1/3 scoreless innings, though he allowed six hits.
|Win: Delgadillo (1-0) Loss: Fuentes (0-1) Save: Villarreal (2)|
The Mexican squad won another one-run game, while the host country fell to 0-2. Mexican veteran Francisco Campos, MVP of the 2005 Series, walked 1B Rubén Gotay, then 2B Enrique Hernández singled. With one out, RF Jorge Padilla hit a sacrifice fly. Puerto Rican League batting champ Ozzie Martínez (SS) singled to put men on the corners. Marco Camarena relieved Campos, who got the early hook, and escaped the jam.
In the bottom of the third, Culiacán came back against Joel Piñeiro, who won over 100 games in the majors. CF Rico Noel singled and advanced on a wild pitch, then scored on a single by LF Maxwell León. RF Eric Farris singled and an error on the play by CF Reymond Fuentes advanced the runners. 1B Joey Meneses then delivered a sacrifice fly for a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the 6th, Enrique Hernández hit a two-run homer off Juan Delgadillo, the only run Delgadillo allowed in four innings of relief. In the top of the 7th, Padilla remained hot from the 9th spot of the order with a leadoff double, but was stranded at third as Delgadillo retired the next three batters.
Nelvin Fuentes relieved Piñeiro in the bottom of the 7th. PH Dave Sappelt greeted him with a single and SS Walter Ibarra bunted into a Fuentes error. C Alí Solís bunted the runners into scoring position against reliever Andres Santiago, then Noel was intentionally walked. The move did not work as León hit a sacrifice fly for the winning blow to make it 3-2.
|Win: Toledo (1-0) Loss: Pimentel (0-1) Save: P. Rodríguez (1)|
The two 1-0 teams squared off and got into a slugfest early, with a 6-5 score after two - then proceeded to put up goose eggs for the next seven innings. In the top of the first, LF Leury Garcia opened with a single off Yeiper Castillo and stole second. 2B Alexi Casilla singled. With one out, 1B Luis Jimenez hit a sacrifice fly, with Casilla moving to third on the play. RF Elian Herrera followed with another sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
In the bottom of the first, the Caribes went ahead. 3B Niuman Romero reached second as both P Edward Valdez and Casilla made errors on the same play. SS Ehire Adrianza singled, then 2B Alexi Amarista grounded in Romero. With two outs, RF Félix Pérez walked. LF Jose Castillo singled in Adrianza, then DH Oscar Salazar hit a two-run double. Carlos Pimentel replaced Valdez, who had not lasted a full inning.
Cibao came back in the second. CF Willy Garcia and SS Jonathan Villar walked. Facing reliever Eric Niesen with one out, Leury Garcia doubled in Willy Garcia (one of three hits in three at-bats for Leury today). Casilla hit into a two-run, three-base throwing error by Niesen that put the Dominicans in front by a 5-4 margin. Jean Toledo relieved and would combine with six other relievers to shut out Cibao the rest of the way (despite 7 hits and 2 walks).
Anzoátegui charged right back in the bottom of the second. With one out, Romero homered off Pimentel to tie it. With two away, Amarista walked. 1B Balbino Fuenmayor cracked a double to center to score Amarista with the game's last run. Each team had numerous chances after that. In the top of the 4th, the Dominicans got two men in scoring position but Kendy Batista fanned 3B Maikel Franco (who stranded 8 overall). In the bottom of the 4th, Venezuela got two men in scoring position but Félix Pérez popped up. In the top of the 6th, Yefri Perez reached third for Cibao with one out but Casilla grounded out against Brazilian Tiago Da Silva and Franco grounded out against Amalio Diaz.
|Pinar del Río||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||7||1|
|Win: Mendoza (1-0) Loss: Cabrera (0-1)|
In a match-up of winless squads, Cuba won an extra-inning contest. CF Reymond Fuentes drew a a leadoff walk from Yosvani Torres, then SS Ozzie Martínez hit into a force at second. 2B Enrique Hernández and 1B Neftali Soto walked as well to load the bases. LF Anthony García, the Puerto Rican League MVP of 2014-2015, singled in Martínez, but C Rene Rivera hit into a double play to hold them to one run.
In the bottom of the first, 3B Luis La O doubled with one out off Iván Maldonado and scored on a single by 2B Yulieski Gourriel to tie it. In the second, LF Yadiel Hernández drew a walk from Maldonado and RF Alexei Bell was hit by a pitch. Maldonado, who had set a Puerto Rican League ERA record this season, got the quick hook in favor of Andres Santiago. SS Luis Alberto Valdés bunted the runners over, then 1B William Saavedra singled in a run fore a 2-1 lead.
Santurce had a shot in the third; Fuentes singled and advanced on a grounder. With two outs, Soto singled to left and Fuentes tried to score, but Hernández nailed him at the plate. In the top of the 5th, RF Jorge Padilla was hit by a Torres pitch and Fuentes bunted him over. After Martínez walked, Soto again had a single, this time scoring the run. Erlis Casanova relieved Torres to end the inning.
The Crabbers had two men in scoring position in the 7th with two outs but García was retired by Héctor Mendoza. In the top of the 8th, Rene Rivera doubled off Mendoza and Yadiel Rivera pinch-ran. DH Rubén Gotay laid down a sacrifice. PH Luis Figueroa walked, but Padilla lined into a double play, Valdés to Saavedra to end the rally.
Fuentes walked to open the 9th and was bunted over. With two outs, Cuba decided to intentionally walk Soto, who had been harming them to that point. Anthony García was hit by Mendoza to load the bases, but Yadiel Rivera (who had stayed in at 3B) struck out. In the bottom of the 10th, facing Fernando Cabrera, C Frank Morejón hit into a two-base error by Yadiel Rivera. Yosvani Alarcón pinch-ran, then CF Roel Santos singled to center to score Alarcón with the game-winner.
|Pinar del Río||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||2||9||1|
|Win: C. Valdéz (1-0) Loss: Yera (0-1)|
The Caribes remained unbeaten thanks to one big inning. The Vequeros went ahead in the bottom of the second when 1B Alexander Malleta took César Valdéz deep. In the third, though, Yoanni Yera struggled. C Jose Gil singled. With one out, CF Gorkys Hernández tripled in Gil. SS Orlando Arcia had a RBI single, stole second and took third on a wild pitch. DH Balbino Fuenmayor then singled him in. Livan Moinelo relieved Yera at that point, but the damage had been done.
In the top of the 6th, 2014 Independent League Player of the Year Fuenmayor struck again, this time with a solo shot off Moinelo. In the bottom of the 7th, SS Luis Alberto Valdés hit a solo homer against Valdéz to make it 5-2. In the top of the 9th, Hernández again drove in Gil, this time on a single plus an error by 3B Donald Duarte. In the bottom of the 9th, CF Giorvis Duvergel and Malleta singled off Pedro Rodríguez to start a rally. Rodríguez recovered to fan Valdés and retire PH Frederich Cepeda and RF Roel Santos to end it.
|Win: Lueke (1-0) Loss: Villarreal (0-1)|
Mexico failed to stay in the unbeaten standings alongside Venezuela thanks to some poor defense and relief work today. In the third, the Tomateros went ahead. CF Rico Noel singled off Parker Frazier; an error by Frazier on a pick-off attempt sent Noel to third, then LF Maxwell León singled him home.
Cibao had a chance in the bottom of the 5th with two men in scoring position and no outs, but starter Amikar Gaxiola whiffed LF Leury Garcia, 2B Alexi Casilla and 1B Maikel Franco in a display of clutch pitching. In the top of the 7th, Mexico padded their lead. 2B Jose Rodriguez drew a walk from Jandel Gustave. Juan Pérez relieved. SS Walter Ibarra laid down a sacrifice and PH Marquez Smith struck out, but C Alí Solís hit into an error by CF Yefri Perez to make it 2-0.
In the bottom of the 8th, Culiacán turned to their 4th pitcher to try to maintain the shutout, Jesus Castillo. PH Héctor Gómez drew a walk. Franco hit an error by Smith (who had stayed in to man third). 3B Audy Ciriaco then bunted into a Castillo error to load the bases. Castillo threw a wild pitch and Cibao was within a run. He composed himself and whiffed both RF Elian Herrera and CF Willy Garcia. Gary Majewski relieved and retired PH Luis Jimenez.
The Tomateros got a leadoff single in the 9th from DH Russell Branyan against Josh Lueke and Ibarra drew a one-out walk but both were stranded. Then, in the bottom of the 9th, Oscar Villarreal entered to look for his third save of the Series. C Carlos Paulino greeted him with a single and was bunted over by SS Jonathan Villar. Leury Garcia singled in Paulino to tie it. Gómez (who had stayed in at 2B) singled. Franco struck out, with Gómez stealing second. Ciriaco walked to load the bases with two outs. Jay Jackson came out of the bullpen as Mexico's 7th hurler. Herrera delivered the winning blow, a RBI single, to give the Gigantes the win.
|Win: Diaz (1-0) Loss: Barreda (0-1) Save: H. Peña (1)|
The Caribes finished the first round unbeaten with a come-from-behind victory. The Tomateros got on the board early. CF Rico Noel led off with a single off Junior Guerra. With one out, he stole second and took third on a throwing error by C Jesús Flores. 2B Eric Farris singled in Noel. In the top of the third, Mexico had another shot at Guerra, loading the bases with two away but RF Joey Meneses struck out.
In the top of the 6th, Carlos Silva relieved Guerra but allowed a Farris single, Flores had a passed ball and Meneses hit into an error by SS Orlando Arcia. DH Russell Branyan singled to load the bases. Jean Toledo replaced Silva and SS Jose Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead. 1B Marquez Smith hit into a 4-3 double play, though, to end the rally.
In the bottom of the 6th, starter Salvador Valdez flagged for the Tomateros. Orlando Arcia singled and Noel made an error on the play. 2B Alexi Amarista doubled to make it 2-1, then advanced on a grounder by 1B Balbino Funemayor. Carlos Vásquez relieved Valdez to face Venezuelan League finals MVP Félix Pérez (RF), who came through in the clutch, doubling in Amarista to tie it.
With the game still 2-2 in the bottom of the 8th, Fuenmayor singled off Manuel Barreda. With two outs, DH Oswaldo Arcia (Orlando's brother) came through with a big two-run homer to tie it. Hassan Peña went 1-2-3 in the 9th to save it.
|Win: Cabrera (1-1) Loss: T. Pena (0-1)|
Puerto Rico was already eliminated, as at best they could tie Cuba, but Cuba had the tiebreaker thanks to their head-to-head win. They did give the home crowd something to cheer about with a win in a close contest here. In the bottom of the third, veteran 3B Luis Figueroa doubled off Marlon Arias; with two away, 2B Enrique Hernández singled him home. The Dominicans tied it in the top of the fifth as 3B Maikel Franco hit a one-out dinger off Jorge Martínez, the lone hit he allowed in 6 1/3 IP.
Santurce retook the lead in the bottom of the inning. Figueroa again got it going with a single. SS Yadiel Rivera bunted him over and CF Reymond Fuentes singled him home. The 2-1 lead stood until the top of the 9th; Santurce closer Fernando Cabrera came in but allowed a two-out double to 2B Elian Herrera, then balked him over. Franco singled in a run and stole second but 1B Robinzon Díaz struck out. In the bottom of the 9th, C A.J. Jimenez drew a one-out walk from reliever Tony Pena Jr.; Ozzie Martínez pinch-ran. LF Daniel Ortiz then delivered a game-ending triple to close it in dramatic fashion.
|Win: Marin (2-0) Loss: Villanueva (0-1) Save: J. Jackson (1)|
In game 1 of the semifinals, Mexico controlled the early part of the game, then the Dominicans played better the last 3 1/2 innings before Mexico prevailed.
In the top of the second, Dominican starter Elih Villanueva ran into trouble. DH Russell Branyan drew a one-out walk, then 2B Jose Rodriguez and SS Walter Ibarra both singled. 3B Oscar Robles hit into a two-run error by Cibao 3B Héctor Gómez. C Alí Solís hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. CF Rico Noel singled to left but LF Leury García threw out Robles at home.
During the third, Mexico scored with two outs. 1B Joey Meneses singled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a Branyan single. 39-year-old Branyan (who had never stolen more than four bases in a season in his MLB career) then stole second. Rodriguez singled to knock out Villanueva. Edward Valdez relieved and retired Ibarra. They got more insurance in the 6th against Zach Jackson. Rodriguez singled for the third time today, then Ibarra bunted him over and Jackson tossed a wild pitch. After Robles grounded out, reliever Sandy Rosario gave up a RBI double to Solís, his lone hit of the Series. The Tomateros led 5-0.
The Gigantes started their comeback in the bottom of the 6th off Terance Marin. CF Yefri Perez had a leadoff single. With two outs, Gómez hit into a three-base error by Solís to cut it to 5-1, then LF Elián Herrera singled for a 5-2 score. In the 8th, Daniel Rodríguez was on the hill for the Tomateros when 2B Alexi Casilla singled. Gary Majewski relieved but allowed a single to 1B Maikel Franco and a double to Gómez and it was now a two-run game.
Mexico had a chance to add to their lead in the 9th against Josh Lueke. Solís hit into an error by Gómez in a reversal of what happened in the 6th. Noel walked and they pulled off a double steal. LF Maxwell León whiffed. Ramon Ramirez relieved and walked RF Eric Farris to load the bases, but Meneses flew out.
In the bottom of the 9th, Oscar Villarreal came on for Culiacán and hit SS Jonathan Villar. RF Willy Garcia singled and 3B Robles made an error on the play to put two men in scoring position, the potential tying run and potential winning run. Benji Gil summoned Jay Jackson from the bullpen. PH Robinzon Díaz grounded in one run. Luis Jimenez pinch-hit as well but was retired while Garcia held. Casilla then grounded out to end it.
|Pinar del Río||0||0||0||0||0||3||5||0||0||8||12||1|
|Win: Ruiz (1-1) Loss: Diaz (1-1)|
Unbeaten Venezuela faced off with 1-3 Cuba in the other semifinal; Venezuela got out to a 4-0 lead after 5 but Cuba then rallied for an upset win.
In the bottom of the third, DH Oswaldo Arcia drew a walk from Freddy Asiel Álvarez, then 3B Niuman Romero drew a two-out walk. SS Ehire Adrianza then singled in a run. In the 4th, 1B Balbino Fuenmayor singled. RF Félix Pérez doubled in Fuenmayor but was out trying for third. LF Jose Castillo singled and advanced on a wild pitch, then Arcia walked again. C Jose Gil singled to make it 3-0. Norge Luis Ruiz relieved Álvarez. Gil stole second and an error on the play by C Yosvani Alarcón let Arcia score. Ruiz settled down to pitch shutout ball over the next four innings, though he did allow five hits.
Caribes starter Daryl Thompson had blanked the Vequeros through five, but opened the 6th by allowing hits to 2B Yulieski Gourriel and LF Alfredo Despaigne. With one out, reliever Tiago Da Silva gave up a two-run triple to DH Frederich Cepeda and an error on the relay by SS Orlando Arcia let Cepeda score to close it to 4-3. In the bottom of the 6th, Venezuela had a chance for insurance when Fuenmayor singled, Castillo had a one-out single and Oswaldo Arcia drew his third walk, but Gil lined out and CF Gorkys Hernández hit into a force to end it.
The big inning was the top of the 7th. Amalio Diaz walked SS Luis Alberto Valdés. PH Yadiel Hernández bunted and Diaz went to second for the force. 3B Luis La O and Gourriel both singled to tie the game at four. Kendy Batista relieved Diaz; Despaigne greeted him by hitting into an error by Romero. Batista then plunked Alarcón to force in what would be the winning run. Richard Salazar became Venezuela's third hurler of the frame but Cepeda greeted him with a three-run double for a 4-hit, 5-RBI day.
|Pinar del Río||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||3||11||1|
|Win: Torres (1-0) Loss: Vasquez (0-1) Save: Mendoza (1)|
Cuba continued their strong work since the round-robin with a strong pitching effort to edge defending champion Mexico. In the top of the first, Cuba's heart of the order got rolling against Mexican Pacific League finals MVP Anthony Vasquez. 2B Yulieski Gourriel, LF Alfredo Despaigne and DH Frederich Cepeda (the three Cuban batters allowed to play in Japan in 2014) hit three straight one-out singles for a 1-0 lead. In the second, Cuba again got three straight singles, this time with one out - from 1B William Saavedra, SS Luis Alberto Valdés and 3B Luis La O.
Yosvani Torres, meanwhile, was working on a perfect game through four. In the bottom of the 5th, 1B Joey Meneses doubled to become Mexico's first baserunner. DH Russell Branyan grounded him to third then Torres plunked SS Jose Rodriguez. SS Walter Ibarra singled to make it 2-1. A grounder by 3B Oscar Robles put two men in scoring position but Torres whiffed C Alí Solís.
In the top of the 8th, Gourriel hit a solo shot off Juan Delgadillo for a 3-1 Cuban lead. In the bottom of the inning, though, Livan Moinelo walked CF Rico Noel with two outs and LF Maxwell León singled. Héctor Mendoza came in to try to stop the fire. RF Eric Farris singled to make it 3-2, then stole second to put the potential tying run on third and the potential go-ahead run on second. Cleanup man Meneses was retired to end that bid. In the 9th, Mendoza was 1-2-3, getting backup DH Issmael Salas on a fly, Rodriguez on a grounder and Ibarra on a whiff to save it and give Cuba their historic win.
|Serie del Caribe (Caribbean Series)
|Most Valuable Player | Serie Interamericana | Confederación de Béisbol del Caribe|
|Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame|