Pinar Evens Cuba Finals Heads Home

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, April 24 — Cuba’s championship baseball series is now 1-1 after Pinar del Rio hung on for a 4-3 win over Ciego de Avila on Sunday afternoon. Game three in the best-of-seven contest is on Wedbesday hosted by Pinar.

Pinar del Rio jumped off to a 3-0 lead on Ciego de Avila starter Maikel Folch with a run in the fourth on a solo homer by William Saavedra (his fifth of the postseason) and two more in the fifth driven in by Donal Duarte and Saavedra.

However, a three-run homer by Ciego right fielder Rusney Castillo (his fourth of the postseason) tied the score in the sixth.

In the seventh Reinier León doubled and later scored the winning run on an RBI single by Donal Duarte off losing Ciego reliever Yadir Rabi. Julio Martinez went 6.1 innings and was credited with the win.

In the bottom of the ninth Ciego de Avila blew two chances to tie or win the contest. Pinch runner Jenny Reyes tried to score from second when Abdel Civil laced a single to left but was gunned down at the plate.  But the trouble wasn’t over.

Ciego managed to load the bases with two out with reliever Vladimir Baños (2.2. innings, no runs and a save) still on the mound, but Raul Gonzales flied to center ending the suspense.