Cuba Gets Walk-off 9-8 Win over USA

Circles Robinson

William Luis Campillo once again produces the game winning hit off the bench. Photo by José L. Anaya,

HAVANA TIMES — With its pitching unable to contain the hard-hitting US university team, full of Major League Baseball  prospects, Team Cuba once again resorted to late inning batting heroics to pull out a marathon 9-8 win.

The game started on Saturday and ended four and a half hours later early Sunday.

The tables were turned with a spectacular four run bottom of the ninth rally.

As on Friday, William Luis Campillo, making the most of his chance to play with the national team, was the hero with another game-winning pitch hit single.

The rally started with Cuba down 8-5 and began with an error by the pitcher David Berg on a grounder by Yulieski Gourriel.

Frederich Cepeda and Alfredo Despaigne then followed with singles. A double by Jose Dariel Abreu put the score at 8-7.

USA manager Dave Serrano brought in his star lefty Carlos Rodon, who was greeted by Luis with a first pitch single that drove in Despaigne and Abreu and ended the game.

In a game when once again Cuba’s manager Victor Mesa used much of his bench, the islanders had 16 hits to 10 for the USA. Both teams had two homers. For the USA, Peterson and Bryant, and for Cuba, Bell and Arruebarruena.

Cuba used six relievers after starter Vladimir Garcia failed to make it out of the fourth inning. Both Vicyohandri Odelin and Miguel Lahera were not at their best, but there were decent performances from Joel Suarez, Norberto Gonzalez (who faced one batter), Antonio Romero and Leandro Martinez, who got the final outs it the top of the ninth.

The USA university selection and Team Cuba will play the fourth of their five game series (Cuba leads 2-1) on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. local time (EDT). The game can be seen live on Cubavision International TV:  Click on “TV en vivo”.

The two teams will meet again at the Haarlem Baseball Week Tournament in Holland later this month.