The Tigres del Licey crowned their great season in 2022-23 by winning of the Caribbean Series, with a shutout defeat against Venezuela.
César Valdez pitched superbly during 6.1 innings; Kelvin Gutiérrez drove in one with a sacrifice fly, Yamaico Navarro hit a single that brought up another, and the Dominicans blanked the Leones de Caracas 3-0 in packed La Rinconada stadium.
Once again, Valdez exalted himself as the great pitcher that he has been in recent years, with a superb performance on the mound in which, for the second straight appearance, he did not allow the Venezuelans any chances.
CARIBBEAN SERIES CHAMPIONS. 🇩🇴pic.twitter.com/so653nGq1P
— Shawn Spradling (@Shawn_Spradling) February 11, 2023
The right-hander worked the first 6.1 innings in which he was tagged with three hits, no run, no walk, and fanned out six. His performance received the support of Jonathan Aro, Fernando Abad, and Jairo Asencio, who scored the rescue after removing the opposition without problems in the ninth. For the historic reliever, it was his third save in the Series.
Valdez left the match after 6.1, after suffering an elbow injury, and was replaced by Aro. The Dominican was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the contest after his work of 12.1 innings in which he did not allow a single round.
The success gives Licey the 11th trophy in its Caribbean Series history and just the first in the last 14 years when they won the crown at the Cibao stadium in Santiago.
By winning the Clásico del Caribe, the Dominican Republic as a country had obtained it for the 22nd time since they began participating in these events in 1970 and three in the past four years when the Bulls conquered it in 2020, and the Aguilas did it a year later. Last year, the Giants lost 4-1 to Colombia in the final game.
@TigresdelLicey campeón pic.twitter.com/pzikCjLZfs
— Enrique Rojas/ESPN (@Enrique_Rojas1) February 11, 2023
Venezuela, the team with the highest offense in the Series, was unable to hit against the Dominicans in any of the games and left again empty-handed on their stage. The last time they were crowned was in 2009 in Mexicali, when the Tigres de Aragua won.
This time the Tigers were able to score against Erick Leal, who had two rounds scored, one of which was undeserved. He stayed in the box for 4.2 episodes.
Once again, it was a low-scoring clash between these two teams since in the first, the first nine innings with no runs, and it was not until episode 12 that the outcome of it occurred, which was 3-2.
El Licey waited quickly and scored an early return against Erick Leal, the starter for Venezuela. Henry Urrutia received a walk in the second inning, Mel Rojas Jr. singled, and Kelvin Gutiérrez produced a sacrifice fly.
In the fifth, the quisqueyanos scored one more round; Bonifacio hit a single, Robinson Canó crawled around the pitcher’s property, who made a bad shot to first base, and Yamaico Navarro connected a long single towards the left field wall, which brought the second run.