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V.I. All-Stars Self-Destruct in 7-3 Loss to Panama

July 10, 2007 — The Virgin Islands lost its third consecutive game of the 2007 Latin American Big League Baseball Tournament Monday, falling 7-3 to Panama.
Three unearned runs in the third inning and three in the fourth proved the team’s undoing. V.I. starter Odingo Davila pitched a very good game, but his defense let him down. The only earned run against Davila came in the bottom of the fifth, when he gave up a solo home run.
Panama starter David Gutierrez was not overpowering, but he was very effective in keeping the ball down and coercing a plethora of easy ground-ball and pop-fly outs from the local squad. He would keep the hosts off the board until the fifth inning.
After scoreless first and second innings, Panama got on the board first, plating three unearned runs in the third to take the lead for good. They would add the second set of three unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth to lead 6-0 at the end of four innings.
The hometown boys finally got on the board in the top of the fifth when Brandon Biggs drilled a two-out RBI double over the head of the left fielder to score Eric Perez from second base. Perez had also lined a two-out double to left ahead of Biggs. But Panama answered with a run on a solo homer off the bat of clean-up hitter Jose Bravo to lead 7-1 at the end of five innings.
The V.I. team finally gave the hometown fans something to cheer about in the top of the sixth when they staged a mini rally. They scored the final two runs of the game on an RBI double by Charles Bollings and an error by the Panama second baseman to set the final score at 7-3.
Gutierrez went six innings to pick up the win for Panama. Davila went the distance but got saddled with the loss. Top hitters for Panama were Bravo, 2 for 3 with a home run and one RBI; and Gutierrez and Ovidio Dias, both 1 for 3. For the Virgin Islands, Bollings and Biggs both went 1 for 3 with one RBI.
Puerto Rico 4, Venezuela 3
In the early game, Puerto Rico outlasted Venezuela 4-3 in the tournament’s most exciting game so far. After trailing most of the game, the Puerto Ricans managed to pull out the win with one run in the fifth and three in the sixth, to the delight of their fans who made the 90-mile trip to St. Croix. Juan Burgos got the win on the hill for Puerto Rico, while Hernan Luzado got the loss for Panama. Top hitters for Puerto Rico were Fernando Garcia, 2 for 4 with one RBI, and Daniel Ortiz, 3 for 4 with one RBI. For Venezuela, Ruben Bravo went 2 for 2 and Elwis Gotera went 1 for 3.
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