2018 Caribbean Collection: Puerto Rico wins second straight title

Puerto Rico celebrates.
Puerto Rico celebrates. (Getty Photographs)

Jonathan Morales’ three-run residence run capped a 5-run seventh inning and propelled Puerto Rico to a 9-four victory over the Dominican Republic within the Caribbean Collection championship recreation late Thursday in Guadalajara, Mexico. 

The Criollos de Caguas devoted their second consecutive title and the island’s sixteenth Caribbean championship general to their homeland, devastated in September by Hurricane Maria and persevering with to get well.

“This victory means so much for me and my nation of Puerto Rico as a result of it has been exhausting and it has been a troublesome state of affairs due to the hurricane,” Morales stated (by way of MLB.com). “However it does not matter as a result of when you have got God in your coronary heart, you play and also you get that W. I really feel blessed.”

It marks the primary time Puerto Rico has gained again-to-again titles since 1992-ninety three, and Puerto Rico supervisor Luis Matos turned the primary skipper to win consecutive Caribbean Collection titles since Cuba’s Napoleon Reyes means again in 1957-fifty eight.

“I do know we have been capable of give some pleasure and pleasure for every week,” Matos stated, alluding to the persevering with struggles in his hurricane-ravaged homeland. “Puerto Rico goes via plenty of issues, however I do know Puerto Rico could be very completely happy for this and they’re having fun with it proper now.”

Morales, a catcher drafted by the Braves in 2015 out of Miami-Dade School in Florida, began 2017 in Superior Single-A and completed at Double-A. His seventh-inning homer turned a four-three deficit right into a 6-four lead, and Puerto Rico tacked on three extra runs within the eighth to place away the championship.