In the Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz
By Ray Otero (baseballdecuba.com)
HAVANA TIMES — An expected victory over Guatemala, in seven innings and by the mercy rule with 10-0 score, sent Team Cuba to the semifinals of the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games, in the city of Veracruz, Mexico.
Five pitchers contributed to the shutout- the second by Cuba in the tournament. Right-hander Yosvany Torres (1-0) completed the first 5 innings with 2 hits, a walk and five strikeouts for his first win in an international event with the island’s national team.
After yielding the box, Torres saw ame Yoannis Yera – who allowed one hit in 0.2 innings and struck out two. He was followed by Cionel Perez, Julio A. Martinez and Jonder Martinez who combined for a perfect 1.1 innings.
In their three qualifying round contests the Cuban pitchers allowed only one earned run in 25.0 innings against Puerto Rico, Mexico and now Guatemala for a 0.36 ERA.
The second favorable factor was the offensive success that battered the weak Guatemalan pitching with 11 hits including Frederich Cepeda’s second homer of the tournament.
Guatemala starter Jean Paolo Rossil (0-1) took the loss allowing 4 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks in three innings. However, the hardest hit was his first reliever, the 19-year-old Emilio Seijas, who allowed 6 runs, 5 earned in only 1.1 innings..
Cuba scored in all innings except the second and sixth. Two in the first, 2 more in the third, four in the fourth and the last two runs in the fifth.
Rookie Team Cuba right fielder Yadiel Hernandez, went 2-for-3 and drove in four runs. Frederich Cepeda homered, 2 RBI, knocked in 2 runs and scored twice.
Once again Victor Mesa made use of his bench giving Yordan Manduley, Lourdes Gourriel, Roel Santos and Yulexis la Rosa some playing time.
With the win, the Cubans ended unbeaten and on top of Group A in the qualifying stage and will play their semifinal match-up Thursday at 4:00 pm (Local Time), against the runner up of Group B, the Dominican Republic, looking for a ticket to the finals.
For the semifinal, Cuban manager has already announced the right young Norge Luis Ruiz, winner against Puerto Rico in game one. He plans to go with Freddy Asiel Alvarez in the finals or bronze game.
Only one game remains to be played in the qualifying stage of the tournament, tonight between Puerto Rico and Mexico in Group A, with the winner finishing second and moving on to the semifinals.
Nicaragua finished first in Group B followed by the Dominican Republic and will play against the winner of Mexico and Puerto Rico in the semifinals.