Santiago KOs Villa Clara Stays Alive

By Circles Robinson

Alexei Bell

HAVANA TIMES, March 6 — Santiago looked like another team on Friday and blanked Villa Clara in a 10-0 game called after seven innings on the mercy rule.

Alberto Bicet pitched a complete game allowing only five hits to get the win for the home team.

The game was actually a close pitching duel with a 1-0 score until the bottom of the fifth.  Then Santiago sent losing pitcher Freddy Asiel Alvarez to the showers after allowing five more runs including a grand slam by right-fielder Alexei Bell, his eighth of the season.  Bell had six RBIs on the evening.

Shortstop Luis Navas had a perfect 3-for-3 and scored three runs and  second baseman Hector Olivera had two hits, scored twice and knocked in a run, to help the Santiago cause.

Villa Clara, with a 3-2 series lead, now returns home for the sixth and possible seventh game.

The winner will play Ciego de Avila for the Eastern Division title.  The other match-up in the West is between defending league champions Havana Province and Industriales.