The Big "O"
Mexico's Oscar Garza homers
again in win over Saipan
By Mark Rogoff
Oscar Garza barely had
enough time to brush his teeth, catch a few hours of sleep and
head back out to the field Monday morning following his dramatic
walk-off home run against Saudi Arabia Sunday night.
But no worries. The
quick turnaround was no problem at all.
Garza went deep in a
critical spot again, this time crushing a three-run opposite-field
homer that gave his mates a 6-1 advantage and proved to be the
game-winner as Mexico (2-1) notched a 6-3 win over Saipan (0-2)
before 7,703 at Howard J. Lamade Stadium.
The blast hit the base
of ESPN's boom camera that is stationed a dozen feet beyond the
outfield fence, and gave starting pitcher Alan Camarillo some
breathing room in his first outing of the tournament.
"I kept my eye on the
ball and just made good contact," Garza said through interpreter
Micah Hughes. "The turnaround time was not that big of a deal."
Garza said the
majority of his home runs have been to the opposite field,
including his game-ending shot Sunday night.
Camarillo, who paced
Mexico to the victory and a final pool play record of 2-1, was
dazzling in his Series debut, allowing three runs (one earned) on
three hits while striking out nine.
Not bad for a kid who
didn't know he was going to pitch until a few hours before the
"I feel good about my
performance," Camarillo said through Hughes. "I'm glad I got the
opportunity to pitch. I didn't know I was going to pitch."
His lone, big mistake
came in the fourth, when Antonio Rogolifoi Jr. cracked a solo home
run to center field.
The right-hander did
have to work out of trouble in the sixth, allowing a two-out RBI
single to Alexander Benavente before facing Elijah Aughenbaugh
with runners on first and second. Camarillo induced Aughenbaugh to
ground into a fielder's choice to third baseman Victor Gonzalez,
who stepped on the third base bag to force out Eric Tenorio.
"I am very happy with
the way things have turned out so far," manager Gerardo Leal said
through Hughes. "I hope the next round brings us even more luck."
Garcia put Saipan in an early 2-0 hole when he cranked a two-run
homer in the bottom of the first.
Saipan came right back
to cut the lead in half when Tenorio, who led off the inning by
reaching on a throwing error, scored all the way from second on a
fielding error by Mexico second baseman Daniel Lozano.
Mexico then responded
by plating four runs in their half of the second inning. Saipan
starter Cameron Nicholas was chased from the game after loading
the bases with a one-out walk to Lozano. Justin Alexander came on
in relief to try and put out the fire.
With Garza at the
plate, Ricardo Barragan scored from third on an errant throw from
catcher Ike Aldan to Alexander on the hill. Later in the at-bat,
Garza cleared the bases with his opposite-field long ball.
"The more we play, the
better we're going to hit," Leal said.
Saipan, which fell to
0-2 in pool play, hopes to salvage a win in its final pool play
game Tuesday vs. Curacao.
"We wanted this (win),
but it just didn't work out," said manager Anthony Benavente. "So
we hope to come away with one win at this Series."
for box scores