By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, March 11 — Industriales continued its playoff run by defeating Havana Province 5-3 Thursday in the opener of the Western Division finals best-of-seven series.
Behind the pitching of Odrisamer Despaigne, the Lions built a 5-1 lead in the seventh and hung tight to stop the Cowboys short on two scoreless innings by reliever Armando Rivero.
Playing on the road at Havana’s packed San Jose de las Lajas stadium, Industriales broke open a scoreless pitching duel with a three-run sixth against Havana’s Yulieski Gonzalez. A pinch hit by Carlos Tabares, walk to Malleta an RBI liner by Urgelles and a double by Rudy Reyes provided the runs.
Havana managed a run in the bottom of the sixth on three hits with two outs. But Industriales came back with two more in the seventh on a two out hit by Tabares, another walk to Malleta and once again an Urgelles hit to left.
Ernesto Molinet hit a solo homer for Havana in the eighth.
Game two between Industriales and Havana Province takes place on Thursday in San Jose de las Lajas.
The Eastern Division finals opener is also on Thursday with Villa Clara announcing as its starter Freddy Asiel. Ciego de Avila manager Roger Machado has not said whether his star pitcher Maikel Folch will be on the mound for game one.