Villa Clara, Ciego de Avila Cruising

By Circles Robinson

Ariel Pestano hit a grandslam off Vera. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES, Mar 2 — Villa Clara embarrassed Santiago de Cuba for the second straight day with a 12-1 knockout on Monday on the heels of a similar 11-1.  The best-of-seven series continues in Santiago on Wednesday.

In an unusually poor outing Santiago’s top starter, Norge Luis Vera, gave up eight runs in the first two innings to take the loss.  Veteran catcher Ariel Pestano hit a grand slam off Vera.

Meanwhile, in the other Eastern Division playoffs Ciego de Avila won the second straight in its series against slumping Guantanamo by a score of 7-2.  The series also picks up on Wednesday with Ciego playing at home.

In the Western Division, Industriales and Sancti Spiritus are tied 1-1 with the series continuing on Tuesday at Havana’s Latinoamericano Stadium.  Havana Province and Cienfuegos, also tied 1-1, will play their third game at the Habana stadium in San Jose de las Lajas.

A brawl in the 9th inning of the Industriales-Sancti Spiritus game, a la Roseburo-Marichal in 1965, marred the game won by Sancti Spiritus 8-1.

The Cuban Baseball Federation announced Monday that Lisvan Correa, the Industriales catcher who attempted to hit SS Pitcher Yasniel Sosa with his bat, would be suspended from playing the rest of the playoffs.  Meanwhile Sosa, who hit Correa with a pitch, was suspended for three games.

After the incident, which the Police had trouble breaking up: Yoani Delgado Pedroso (catcher), José Luis Sáez Vargas (outfielder), both from Sancti Spíritus, and Stayler Hernández Apesteriz (outfileder), Eliut Torres Ramírez (outfielder) y Frank Camilo Morejón Reyes (catcher) of Industriales were also thrown out of the game.