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MVP Banditos Come Back To Win Winter Classic Championship

The 2016 HSBN Winter Classic champion MVP Banditos.

Championship Photo Gallery

Charles Perez delivered a big, two-out hit to lift the MVP Banditos to victory Sunday morning. Perez lined a single up the middle that drove in two runners and led MVP to a 3-2 win over the Fort Lauderdale Dirtags, in the HSBN Winter Classic championship at Floyd Hull Stadium.

After the first two batters went down in order in the fifth, MC Segaro and Donel Benitez both walked to put the go-ahead runner on base. A passed ball allowed both runners to advance into scoring position, and Perez then came through with a clean liner straight up the middle between the defense.

From there, the pitching staff took over to finish things off for the Banditos (3-0). Carlos Rodriguez worked around a single to Michael Pozo to throw a scoreless fifth, and Albert Hernandez picked up the save with two scoreless relief innings. Orlando Hernandez made the start, striking out six in three innings while allowing one earned run on three hits and a walk.

The Dirtbags were aggressive offensively, especially on the bases. This approach helped lead to both of their runs. Ray Santiago singled to left field to start off the game in the top of the first, and then raced from first to third when Dylan Harbinson dropped down a nice sacrifice bunt. Santiago next timed himself and raced home ahead of a pitch to steal the first run for the Dirtbags (2-1).

The 2016 HSBN Winter Classic Runners-Up Fort Lauderdale Dirtbags.

That aggressiveness helped give them the lead in the third. Pozo lined a single over the shortstop, stole second base on the next pitch and moved to third thanks to a sacrifice bunt from Brian Vallejo. Pozo then scored on a throwing error to give his team a 2-1 advantage.

After falling behind before even taking any swings, the Banditos responded in the bottom of the first to even the game back up. Perez walked and Derrick Ordaz singled, setting the stage for an RBI double off the bat of Albert Hernandez.

Ricky Bones Jr. got the start for the Dirtbags but did not factor in the decision. The left-hander allowed one run on three hits and a walk over four innings of work, and he struck out a pair. Harbinson went the final three to take the loss, allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks. The right-hander struck out three.

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