Elmer Reyes drives in game-winning run in 14th inning for the Indios; Three-game regular-season series marks first time Robert Clemente League teams compete in the continental US; Ballgames part of festival celebrating Latin American culture
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 20, 2015) – Indios shortstop Elmer Reyes hit a game-winning RBI single in the top of the 14th inning Friday night to edge the Cangrejeros 2-1 in the opening game of the inaugural Latin Baseball Festival at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
First basemen Kenny Vargas hit an RBI single inthe 5th inning, driving in second basemen Jesmuel Valentinand pulling the Indios into a 1-1 tie. The game stayed that way until Reyes’ heroics in the 14th.
The historic game, featuring two marquee Puerto Rican professional baseball teams, marked the first time Roberto Clemente League teams competed in the continental US. The league last played outside of Puerto Rico in the Inter-League Series in 2009 against the Dominican Republic Professional Baseball League.
The ballgames at Walt Disney World Resort, which featured Major League Baseballplayers on both teams, are part of a weekend-long festival that celebrates Latin culture. The festival combines food and entertainment with three regular-season games at Champion Stadium. The entertainment includes a variety of Latin musical artists before each game, including Ventana Al Jazz Orlando artists Fusion Beat and the Leslie Cartaya Quartet, as well as children’s musical group Atención-Atención. The festival cuisine is also Latin-themed and includes dishes such as arroz con pollo, habichuelas rojas guisadas and carne frita.
The Cangrejeros are the reigning champions of the Roberto Clemente League, while the Indios de Mayaguez claimed the league title in 2013. Major League stars such as Roberto Alomar, Bobby Bonilla, Ivan Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, Juan Gonzalez, Bernie Williams, Ruben Sierra and Roberto Clemente himself have come up through the Puerto Rican Baseball League during its rich 75-year history.
The Latin Baseball Festival builds on the tradition of professional baseball at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The complex is the long-time home of Atlanta Braves spring training and was a host site during the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006. In addition, the complex hosts a variety of youth and adult baseball events, including national elite-level youth tournaments, and international amateur events. Among the key youth baseball events are the Disney International Salute to Baseball, Disney College & High School Spring Training, Disney New Year’s Baseball Classic, Disney Turn Back the Clock Weekend and Disney Sun & Surf Baseball Bash.