The Rieleros (Railroaders) of Aguascalientes entered this game one game out of the Mexican League playoffs. They played tonight like they want that playoff spot, but came up short in extra innings.
The starter for the Rieleros, Dominican Republican RHP Lorenzo Barcelo, has good credentials for playing in this league; he pitched 66 innings for the White Sox during 2000-02. He was upstaged by Acereros (Steelers) starter RHP Josh Lowey of Fort Walton Beach, FL, who played college ball at Mercer, then played several seasons of independent league ball before going to the Acereros last season. Lowey pitched six innings, allowed two runs on six hits, struck out nine. When he left the game, the Aceros had a 7-2 lead.
The lead didn't hold up. The first reliever for the Acereros, Juan Ramon Noriega, was charged with three runs on three hits, didn't record an out, and the Acereros lead was 7-5 after seven innings. (A sacrifice fly by 1B Jesus Castillo was just short of a three-run home run.) Rieleros relievers Emmanuel Torres and Jose Sanchez were able to keep the Acereos off the board in the top of the eighth. (The scoreboard in Estadio Alberto Romo Cavez doesn't show pitch speeds, but Torres was throwing some serious heat.) The Rieleros then took an 8-7 lead in the bottom of the eighth on a leadoff home run by 3B Danny Richar, followed by RBI singles by RF Carlos Ibarra and pinch-hittehr Omar Mendoza. Ibarra scored the go-ahead run, and it was the result of a defensive mistake. On his base hit, the Acereros threw home, even though the run had scored long before the throw. Ibarra was able to move to second on this throw, putting him in scoring position for Mendoza.