Cuba Wins Opener 9-1 Over Venezuela

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, Oct. 2 — Veteran righthander Norge Luis Vera went seven innings allowing only one unearned run and Michel Enriquez, Yorbis Borroto, Ariel Pestano and Hector Olivera led the Cuba’s offense in a 9-1 win to open the Pan American/World Cup Qualifying Tournament underway in Puerto Rico.

Cuba took a two run lead in the third and threatened to break the game open but Venezuela’s starter Jesus Martinez managed to pitch out of a bases loaded jam without more damage.

The South American team got within striking range with a run in the fourth but the roof caved in inning six when Cuba took a commanding 5-1 lead, with the scoring concluded with a four run eighth.

Enriquez drove in three runs in his role as designated hitter, lead off Hector Olivera had two RBIs and shortstop Yorbis Borroto drove in two and scored three for Cuba.  Catcher Ariel Pestano, who had to sit out the preparation games against Nicaragua due to an injury showed himself well recovered going 3-for-5 at the plate.

In other tournament games on Friday, host Puerto Rico blanked Aruba 12-0 and the Dominican Republic got by Colombia 4-2.

Cuba plays The Netherland Antilles on Saturday in Mayaguez at 7:30 pm.  The game can be watched live on