Related Stories

FARMINGTON — The Carolina Vaqueros ended a three-year drought for Puerto Rico in dramatic fashion.

Second baseman Jose Carrasquillo ripped a double to right field, scoring Rodney Figueroa from first base in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Bill Hood 3-2 on Tuesday at Ricketts Park.

The victory was the first for the Puerto Rico region in the Connie Mack World Series since 2011.

"I was thinking about a fastball," Carrasquillo said through his translator. "In the last tournament, the pitcher threw a fastball toward that outside corner, and I put it in the gap."

Figueroa led off with a walk, but after two quick outs, the game appeared to be headed for extra innings before Carrasquillo's blast off Bill Hood reliever Tyler Pigott set off the Vaqueros' celebration, eliminating the South East Regional champs.

Carolina Vaqueros’ José A. Carrasquillo celebrates with teammates on Tuesday after driving in the winning run against Bill Hood in Game 11 of the
Carolina Vaqueros' José A. Carrasquillo celebrates with teammates on Tuesday after driving in the winning run against Bill Hood in Game 11 of the Connie Mack World Series at Ricketts Park in Farmington. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)

"I definitely feel a little pride to get the winning run and the victory for Puerto Rico," Carrasquillo said.

Bill Hood had a chance in the top of the seventh to take a lead of its own but failed to capitalize.

Runners for the team out of Mandeville, La., reached second and third with just one out with the No. 3 and 4 hole hitters waiting in the wings.

The Vaqueros went to relief pitcher Joshua Colon, who got home run derby champ Zach Clark to bloop out to the first baseman and then struck out clean-up hitter Scottie Sanders to end the Bill Hood threat.

"We got one timely hit the whole tournament," Bill Hood manager Chris Westcott said. "We came up here flat. We hadn't been here in a while, and it felt like we were just happy to be here. We showed nothing of what we're capable of this week."

Colon said he wasn't nervous about entering the game in the difficult situation and was just focused on executing his pitches.

"Mindset was to get all the pitches on the corners. My change-up, my cutter, whatever the coach sent to me," the Carolina pitcher said.

Bill Hood broke the 0-0 deadlock in the top of the third inning.

Daniel Lahare ripped a lead-off double to the gap in left-center and then came around to score when Carolina first baseman Bryan Guzman threw the ball away after fielding a grounder.

Bill Hood had a chance to tack on another run in the inning, but Brennan Breaud was thrown out at home on a ground ball to Vaqueros' third baseman Brandon Marrero.

Bill Hood added another run in the fourth after Breaud reached on a hit by pitch.

Breaud stole second, took third on a wild pitch and then scored on fielding error by Marrero.

Carolina fought back in the bottom of the fifth to erase the Bill Hood advantage.

Bill Hood starter Mac Sceroler was removed after a lead-off walk to Gamalier Gonzalez.

Gonzalez came around to score on an RBI single by Brandon Marrero, which chased reliever Payton Caddou from the game.

Two batters later, Esdras Navarro tied the game with a single to left field, scoring Angel Lopez.

Sceroler went four innings, allowing one run on four hits.

Puerto Rico starter Arvin Ayala went six solid inning in a no decision, allowing two unearned runs on four hits while striking out seven.

Colon got the win for the Vaqueros after two-thirds of an inning in relief.

The Vaqueros will advance to face D-BAT Leach at 5:15 today.

"Whatever the team is, we're ready," Colon said.

Joshua Perry is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and Follow him @jperrysuu on Twitter.