Chris Kline will have more details later, but the Dominican Republic beat Venezuela 4-3 in 18 innings in a wild debut to the 2007 Caribbean Series. Tony Batista’s home run tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth. That was the last run scored until the top of the 18th, when Ronny Cedeno doubled in Luis Maza to give Venezuela a 3-2 lead.
Considering that the Venezeula bullpen had thrown 11 scoreless innings, that lead would have seemed to be pretty safe. And it might have been if it had not been for some sloppy fielding. Pitcher Francisco Butto threw away Alberto Castillo’s grounder to lead off the inning. Castillo, who reached second on the error, quickly advanced to third on Steve Torrealba’s errant pickoff attempt and scored on Bernie Castro’s single. After a strikeout, a single and an intentional walk to load the bases, Tony Batista’s sacrifice fly scored Castro to mercifully end the 6:13 game.
The 18-inning marathon meant the second game, scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. local time, did not begin until closer to 11 p.m.