In Winter League action from today, Adelaide lost 4-3 in a game that came down to Quincy Latimore coming up empty in a big spot. Adelaide trailed 4-3 going into the bottom of the ninth. They staged a comeback, loading the bases with a one out single, followed by two walks with two outs, the first one coming from Stefan Welch. Latimore came up and worked the count to 2-0, then after a swinging strike and two foul balls, he popped out to first base to end the game.
In the game, Welch went 2-for-4, with a run scored and a walk. Latimore went 1-for-4 in his second game since returning to the ABL. He also drew a walk and struck out twice.
In the Dominican last night, both Felix Pie and Alex Valdez were benched and their Estrellas de Oriente team ended up winning their first playoff game. Coming into the game with losses in their first five games of the round robin tournament, Estrellas won 5-4 in 12 innings. Both Pie and Valdez remained on the bench for the entire game. The two Pirates farmhands had spent the whole year at the top of the batting order, but they are a combined 5-for-38 in the playoffs, with three RBI’s and one walk.
No other Pirates players played yesterday. Four of the five Winter leagues have a full schedule of games tonight. The Mexican League is off.
In Pirates-related news, Gorkys Hernandez ran away with the Venezuelan League batting title. Hernandez was quoted in mid-December as crediting his success to a change made by Marlins hitting coach Eduardo Perez. Hernandez said that “The Marlins taught him how to do the little things at the plate to try to reach base” and that Miami appreciates his potential, while Pittsburgh didn’t. Hernandez hit .367, with 28 walks and 15 stolen bases in 61 games. A distant second in the VWL batting race was former Pirates second baseman Jose Castillo, who has spent the last two regular seasons playing well in Mexico.