The LMB playoffs are in full swing and the Tijuana Toros played the first game of their playoff series against Rieleros de Aguascalientes on Wednesday, May 30, at the Estadio Gasmart.
The clash proved to be a contested pitching duel as expected from the first game of the series between the two sides. Both Roy Merritt and Carlos Hernandez had solid outings and were able to keep the encounter as a low-scoring contest.
Merritt allowed just two runs through four and a third innings, while Carlos Hernandez also allowed just two runs, but in five and two-thirds innings of labor. Both bullpens were also nearly flawless in the clash, and Tijuana’s was especially impressive as they did not allow a hit through three and a third innings.
The offense on the day was kick-started by Jorge Cantu, who drove in Isaac Rodriguez with a sacrifice fly in the first inning. Miguel Torrero provided the second run of the night for the Border City Bulls with a single that drove in Roberto Lopez from second base in the second inning.
The encounter was intense as it was tied after the fifth inning and the score stayed at 2-2 up until the final inning of the duel. Maxwell Leon came on as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth and drove in Dustin Martin with a double to end the game and give the Toros a 3-2 win.
The final play of the game was controversial as the ball seemed to be stuck in the tarp on the field, but it was ruled as playable by the umpires. At one point it even seemed like the umpire was yelling at Aguascalientes’ outfielder Cristhian Presichi that the ball was indeed playable.
The Rieleros’ players were very upset after the call and lashed out against the umpires and even threw chairs from within the dugout onto the field. The local fans were upset with the visiting players and started to chant profanities, and some even went on to throw their drinks at the Aguascalientes’ players.
— Jorge Camacho Arias (@CamachoJorge23) May 31, 2018
A brawl eventually broke out after the game between the visiting players and the Tijuana fans, which was very unfortunate to see. There was a lot of drinks spilled and pushing as well, and there could be some repercussions because of the incident.
Game 2 of this series should be very intense as the Toros will try to take a 2-0 lead in the series heading to Aguascalientes.