MÉRIDA, Yucatán, Mexico — Behind six shutdown innings from starting pitcher Tyler Grauer and an offensive hit parade, the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks defeated Caimanes de Barranquilla (Colombia) 8-0 on Sunday night at Parque Kukulcán Alamo to win the first-ever WBSC Baseball Champions League Americas.
Grauer, a two-time American Association All-Star and the 2022 AAPB Rookie Pitcher of the Year, struck out seven Barranquilla batters in his Champions League debut and allowed only four hits in six innings of work to earn the victory.
It wasn’t until the fifth inning when Grauer even allowed a runner to get as far as second base — the only one to get that far in his outing.
Fargo-Moorhead made Barranquilla pay for a walk and a hit-by-pitch in the second inning, bringing both runners around to score on an RBI single from Alec Olund and a two-run base knock for Roy Morales. A Dayson Croes RBI single to cap the inning made it 4-0 RedHawks after two frames.
The RedHawks added two more runs each in the fifth and sixth innings to extend the lead to eight runs. Max Murphy’s solo homer to right-center in the sixth inning was the first extra-base hit for either team in the game.
Garrett Alexander threw two scoreless innings in relief for Fargo-Moorhead to set up Alex DuBord in the ninth with an 8-0 lead. DuBord, a Fargo native who pitched the clinching innings of the RedHawks’ 2022 Miles Wolff Cup triumph, retired the Caimanes in order in the ninth to seal the Fargo-Moorhead victory.
— Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (@FMRedHawks) October 2, 2023
Roy Morales, who went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs in the Final, was named the tournament MVP. He hit .600 (9-for-15) with 4 RBIs and a home run in four BCL games.
The RedHawks finished tied atop the four-team round-robin standings with Barranquilla to advance to the championship, taking the top spot and the home-team designation for the Final via a head-to-head tiebreaker after defeating the Caimanes 10-6 on Saturday.
Fargo-Moorhead won three straight BCL games to seal the title after dropping the opener to Alazanes de Granma (Cuba).
WBSC Baseball Champions League Americas Results
Thursday, Sept. 28: Alazanes de Granma (Cuba) 3, RedHawks 1
Friday, Sept. 29: RedHawks 2, Leones de Yucatán (Mexico) 1
Saturday, Sept. 30: RedHawks 10, Caimanes de Barranquilla (Colombia) 6
Sunday, Oct. 1 (Final): RedHawks 8, Caimanes de Barranquilla (Colombia) 0
About the BCL: The inaugural international championship tournament features the 2022 Miles Wolff Cup Champion Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and three teams from leagues around the world: the Mexican League, Cuba’s Serie Nacional and the Colombia Professional Baseball League.
Featured Image Credit: 📸 WBSC