Rays Winter Ball Recap: Jeff Bennett Gives Guasave a Chance

By Robbie Knopf

Every great postseason comeback has to start somewhere. The Algodoneros de Guasave face long odds after getting down 2-0 in their best of 7 series with the Naranjeros de Hermosillo, but Jeff Bennett battled to give them some momentum and some hope that from here on out, everything could change.

Dominican Winter League Postseason: Gigantes del Cibao 4, Aguilas Cibaenas 3

Hector Luna‘s solo home run was not enough of the Aguilas lost to Cibao and dropped to 3-4 in the DWL’s playoff round-robin. Luna went 1 for 3 with the homer, a walk, and 2 runs scored, Joey Terdoslavich went 1 for 4 with a double, and Juan Sandoval tossed a scoreless inning of relief, but Cibaenas fell just short. Ray Olmedo went 1 for 4 for Cibao in their victory.

Mexican Pacific League Division Series: Algodoneros de Guasave 7, Naranjeros de Hermosillo 4

The Algodoneros entered this game down 2-0 in the best of 7 series to the No. 1 seed of the tournament, and as the game began, they must have said “here we go again”. Jeff Bennett allowed a 3-run home run to Luis Garcia, and they were down 3-0 right from the start. But then their offense responded, and Bennett hit his stride. Bennett went 7 innings allowing just those 3 runs on 4 hits, striking out just 4 while walking 5 but forcing a 14-2 groundout to flyout ratio. Not once during the regular season had Bennett walked as many as three batters–clearly he did not have his best control. But he did what a former big league pitcher is expected to do and fought through it to lead Guasave to victory. Now the Algodoneros have to make something of this second wind they just received.

Aguilas de Mexicali 13, Tomateros de Culiacan 6

The Aguilas kept rolling to take a 3-0 lead in their series with the Tomateros. Russell Branyan had a great game, going 2 for 5 with a walk and 2 runs scored, but we have to talk about Brad Snyder, the former big leaguer for the Cubs who slammed 3 home runs, driving in 6. What a game for Snyder and now the Aguilas are one game away from advancing to the next round.

Caneros de los Mochis 4, Mayos de Navojoa 1

The Mayos entered this game with a 2-0 lead in the series, but consistent failure with runners in scoring position and a bullpen collapse pulled the Caneros a game closer. Jon Weber did have a strong game, going 1 for 3 with a walk and an outfield assist, and Wes Bankston went 1 for 4 with the only run scored, but the Caneros showed that they are not going down without a fight. Jason Bourgeois went 2 for 4 with a run scored for los Mochis.