By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, Dec. 25 – Sancti Spiritus and Guantanamo have comfortable leads on top their respective divisions in the Cuban Baseball League with the season nearing the half way point.
Sancti Spiritus (27-14) leads the West by 4.5 games over Pinar del Rio (24-20), 6 games ahead of Cienfuegos and Industriales (23-22), with defending champion Habana Province (22-23) in fifth place 7 games back.
In the East, Guantanamo (34-10) the season’s Cinderella team, leads Villa Clara and Santiago de Cuba (28-16) by 6 games; Las Tunas (25-18) is in fourth place 8.5 back followed by Ciego de Avila (25-19), last season’s best record, 9 games out.
Alexei Bell (Santiago) leads all batters with a torrid .444 average followed by Granma’s Alfredo Despaigne who is hitting .394 with 16 homers and 50 RBIs. In third place is Yulieski Gourriel (Sancti Spiritus), the league leader in homers with 18 and a .383 batting average and also 50 RBIs.
Maikel Folch (Ciego de Avila) is the league’s top pitcher with an 8-1 record and a spectacular 1.50 ERA. Veteran Pedro Luis Lazo (Pinar) ranks second with a 5-2 record and a 1.77 ERA. Guantanamo’s Yunier Colon has a 7-0 record with a 2.33 ERA to top the staff of the team with the best overall record. His teammate Dalier Hinojosa has a 6-2 record with a whopping 68 strikeouts against only 20 walks.
To see all Cuban Baseball League statistics and season schedule visit: www.baseballdecuba.com/indexeng.asp
The final three game series of the year got underway on Christmas Day with Guantanamo hosting Isla de la Juventud; Santiago de Cuba at home against Metropolitanos; Ciego de Avila hosts Cienfuegos; Villa Clara hosts Sancti Spiritus; Matanzas hosts Las Tunas; Industrials at home against Camaguey; La Habana hosts Holguin and Pinar del Rio hosts Granma.