Margate Marlins vs Team Venezuela 18+Open Division Championship Game

Managed by Kelvin Abreu, the Margate Marlins entered the spring 2023 postseason as the 3rd seed, but that was trouble enough for the rest of the playoff teams.

Marlins starter righty Ariel Burgos, was dueling through seven innings. He scattered just six hits and six k’s, with only one free pass allowed, and only one earned run. Despite that, he was matching up against former Phillies prospect, now starter for Team Venezuela, left hander Orestes Meléndez, who was on top of his game. In a pitchers duel, Meléndez went all nine innings, the first time he had done so according to his manager, Venezuela’s coach Hector Garcia, and struck out a career high 16 batters. Despite his “Outstanding, amazing, unheralded effort,” the Marlins had a counter.

Fireballing closer Miguel Castellanos entered in the top of the 8th inning, and changed the dynamic of the one all game. He ripped an RBI double, later scoring himself as the Marlins rallied in the 8th for the two runs, and then blew away Venezuela with two innings of four strikeout ball that would end up winning them the championship, a true two way MVP performance both at the bat and on the mound.

“In our quarterfinals win against the Braves we were down 4-0, and we scored 12 unanswered and beat them 12-4. In the semi-finals beat the Reds 1-0, and then our pitching won us the finals, the championship game 2-1,” Marlins’ manager Kelvin Abreu reflected. “That’s the mark of a good team. It was an emotional game, about responding. The thing about our team is to us it’s not just a baseball team. A lot of us don’t have family here, so we’re a family. A group of guys who are brothers. We’ve been playing together for 7-8 seasons just having fun and playing ball. We play our game, and,” the skipper added, “We’re going to defend our title.”

The Margate Marlins team photo

The Margate Marlins celebrate their championship victory over Team Venezuela Spring 2023 season

Miguel and Ariel (#25 and #14) are awarded co-MVP's

Two Margate Marlins players Ariel Burgos (#25) and Miguel Castellanos (#14) are awarded co-MVPs