Mexico’s premier baseball winter league kicked off this week.
Ten teams will battle it out over 68 regular season games. After the play-offs, and we have our champion, they will take part in the Carribean Series.
Cañeros de Los Mochis are the current champions, waiting two decades to lift their fourth Liga Mexicana del Pacifico championship.
The season’s first match-ups got underway on 14th October, with the champions experiencing a rough start to the campaign.
Mayos de Navojoa V Cañeros de Los Mochis (4-2), 14.10.23
The excitement of the Mexican Pacific League arrived at “Ciclón” Echeverría, ending the 8-month drought of professional baseball in the region.
With a brief but emotional ceremony, the municipal authorities, led by President Jorge Elías Retes, officially inaugurated yet another season in Navojoa.
The current champions visited the spirited Mayos, who had won the previous day by defeating the green team 9-4 in Los Mochis, Sinaloa.
It was the scarlet offense that opened the scoring in this game, right in the first inning, managing to score twice against the pitches of starting pitcher Zach Matson, who exited the game in the top of the sixth inning. Damián Mendoza took over on the mound.
Erick Filia’s home run brought Isaac Rodríguez home for the runs.
Navojoa cut the deficit in the fourth inning when Matt Lloyd crossed home plate on a disputed play.
The tying run came in the seventh inning, as Braxton Davidson launched a solo home run (his second of the season) to level the score.
The go-ahead runs came in the same inning when Luis Juárez and Sam Dexter hit singles, and a wild pitch by Vicente Valenzuela allowed the runners to advance. Alan Espinoza took advantage and hit a two-run single, giving the tribe a 4-2 lead.
Sean Rackoski sealed the victory for the Mayos in the ninth inning and completed the sweep in the opening series. The final score was 4-2.
Ciudad Obregón Yaquis V Hermosillo Naranjeros (5-12), 14.10.23
The Hermosillo Naranjeros started strong in the 2023-2024 Liga Mexicana del Pacifico, defeating the Ciudad Obregón Yaquis 12-5 in the opening game held at Estadio Yaquis.
In the early stages of the game, Naranjeros took the lead by attacking the pitching of Cuban pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne.
José Cardona and Alfonso Rivas hit singles. Sean Bouchard grounded to third base, with Rivas forced out at second, leaving runners on the corners for Carter Kieboom. Kieboom punished Despaigne with a home run over the left-field fence, giving Hermosillo a 3-0 lead.
The Orange Team attacked Despaigne again in the third inning.
With one out, Alfonso Rivas hit a triple to right field and scored on a double by Sean Bouchard, extending Naranjeros’ lead to four runs.
Carter Kieboom was hit by a pitch, and with runners on base, Irving López hit a triple to center field, furthering the Orange Team’s lead to 6-0.
Despaigne exited the game, and Jorge Sauceda came in for relief. Agustín Murillo continued the onslaught with a single to center field, bringing Irving López home for the seventh run charged to Despaigne.
Naranjeros’ starting pitcher, Juan Pablo Oramas, kept the Tribe from Ciudad Obregón scoreless for two innings.
It wasn’t until the end of the third inning when Francisco Córdoba hit a solo home run to left field, breaking the shutout and making it 7-1.
In the fifth inning, the Orange Team scored again against reliever Alberto Leyva.
Irving López hit a double and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice by Agustín Murillo. Later, Julián León hit a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing López to score the eighth run for Naranjeros.
Naranjeros continued their offensive in the top of the sixth inning against reliever Jesús Rodolfo García. Carter Kieboom hit a two-run double, scoring Ángel Camacho and Sean Bouchard, making it 10-1 in favor of Hermosillo.
Juan Pablo Oramas left the game with a lead after pitching five innings, allowing one run, three hits, walking two, and striking out four.
He was relieved by Aníbal Cervantes, a native of Hermosillo, who allowed a three-run home run by Henry Gatewood, making it 10-4.
Obregón added another run to their tally, credited to Aníbal Cervantes, as Samad Taylor hit an RBI single off left-hander Ozzie Méndez, reducing the deficit to five runs.
The Orange Team struck again in the eighth inning, with Jimmy Herron pinch-running for Sean Bouchard. Bouchard hit a two-run home run to left field off the pitches of Miguel Aguilar, extending the lead to 12-4 in favor of Hermosillo.
In the bottom of the eighth, American pitcher Jake Jewell came in relief for Naranjeros and retired the three batters he faced in order.
Looking to finish the game, Raúl Barrón took the mound and retired the Yaquis’ offense in three consecutive at-bats, concluding the game.
Algodoneros V Tomateros (3-2), 14.10.23
Orlando Piña’s heroic display by hitting a single to left field in the bottom of the tenth inning was the deciding factor in Algodoneros de Guasave’s tight victory against Tomateros de Culiacá.
For Algodoneros, Nico Tellache pitched a stellar game, going six innings with two hits, six strikeouts, two walks, and one run.
Algodoneros took the lead in the very first inning when Rainel Rosario, down 0-2 in the count, hit a towering home run to center field with no one on base.
Moments earlier, they had advanced Yoelkis Guibert to second base on a steal attempt.
Connor Owings tied the score with a solo home run to center field in the second inning.
Algodoneros regained the lead in the sixth inning when Yadir Drake hit a triple to center field, a hit that Mallex Smith almost caught with a spectacular leap, but he collided with the wall and lost the ball, allowing Jesse Castillo to score.
The Guindas (Tomateros) once again tied the game with a run in the eighth inning, in an inning that proved challenging for Algodoneros’ pitching.
With the score tied 2-2, JC Escarra, who had been the final out of the ninth inning, was waiting for the opportune hit, and it came off Piña’s bat.
Despite being down in the count 0-2, he hit a ground ball to third that found its way past the left fielder, declaring Guasave’s first victory of the season.