HAVANA TIMES — Cuba, represented by Ciego de Avila, was unable to pull off the comeback it did last year to win the Caribbean Series and was eliminated after a 7-2 defeat at the hands of Mexico on Saturday. It was a sort of revenge for the Mexicans who lost the finals to Cuba 3-2 last year.
In the other semifinal match up Venezuela pounded Puerto Rico 13-3 and now faces Mexico at 3:00 p.m. Cuban time Sunday in the finals. The game can be see live here:
The series, in which the Cubans finished with a 1-4 record, reflected a combination of a pitching staff that wasn’t up to the occasion and an offense that squandered numerous opportunities, unable to get the clutch hit with runners in scoring position.
Against Mexico, the Cubans constantly had runners on base, on seven hits, seven walks and two errors but three double plays wiped out several of the scoring opportunities.
Starter Vladimir Baños took the loss (3 innings, 4 hits and 3 runs). Cuba used five relievers who were unable to contain the Mexican offense allowing the game to get out of reach.
Offensively Yuliesky Gourriel proved the only bright spot during the series batting .450. Against Mexico he had a double, one RBI, received two walks and twice reached base on hard hit balls that turned into fielding errors.
The Cubans hit a lowly team average of .203 for the series and their pitching staff allowed a poor 6.4 runs per 9 innings. The statistics tell the story of the team’s performance. Cuba scored only nine runs in five games while allowing 33 to its opponents.