Team fails to qualify for CAC Games
Team Bahamas gave a good effort on Sunday in the bronze medal game of the 4th Annual COCABE (Caribbean Baseball Confederation) Caribbean Baseball Cup at the Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium on Sunday, but just couldn’t get the key hits and outs when they needed them.
They fell to Curaçao, 4-2, thereby losing out on the bronze and an automatic qualifying spot for the 2023 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games.
For a good portion of the week-long tournament, The Bahamas struggled to get key hits when they needed them. It proved to be no different on Sunday, particularly in the later innings.
The Bahamas struck first, taking a 2-0 lead on D’Shawn Knowles’ two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning, but Curaçao scored four runs in the bottom half of that inning to surge ahead. Neither team cracked the scoreboard the rest of the way.
Curaçao pitcher Nelmerson Angela went the distance for the win, striking out 10 and spreading six hits. He retired his first 15 batters before yielding a single to New York Mets’ prospect Warren Saunders in the top of the sixth. Saunders came around to score on Knowles’ home run to give The Bahamas the lead and fire up the crowd at the stadium.
The Bahamas’ lead was short lived as Curaçao responded in the bottom of the sixth.
Darren Seferina led off the inning with a single, and after the next batter flied out, Seferina advanced to third on a single from Raysheandell Michel. Ortwin Pieternella Vargas brought both runners home on a double to left center field, tying the score at two. Aldair Daal singled and stole second, and Pieternella Vargas scored on a wild pitch to give Curaçao the lead. A
sacrifice fly brought Daal home and the next batter grounded out to end the inning.
The Bahamas stranded a base runner in both the eighth and ninth innings, leaving the runner at second base both times.
Relief pitcher Travis Ferguson suffered the loss for The Bahamas. Starting pitcher Giovante Tomlins pitched three innings of no-hit ball before being pulled in favor of Ferguson. McKell Bethel gave up a hit and an earned run in relief of Ferguson in the top of the sixth and Evan Sweeting pitched the final two innings for The Bahamas. Sweeting struck out two and walked one batter in two innings of no-hit ball for The Bahamas.
Offensively for The Bahamas, Saunders was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Lead-off batter Knowles had his two-run shot in four at-bats, and three other batters had a hit each.
The Bahamas out-hit Curaçao, 6-5, but failed to get the key and outs when they needed to.
Five batters had a hit each for Curaçao.
In the semifinals on Saturday, The Bahamas fell to Puerto Rico, 9-3, and finished the single round robin segment of the tournament with one win and three defeats. The Bahamas’ only win came over the U.S. Virgin
Islands on the opening night of the tournament.
Puerto Rico and Curaçao booked their spots to next year’s CAC Games in San Salvador, El Salvador, joining Cuba.
Cuba played Puerto Rico for the gold medal of the 4th Annual COCABE Caribbean Baseball Cup last evening, and had previously qualified for the 2023 CAC Games.