Yadián Martínez relieved extraordinarily, Alexander Ayala went 4 for 4, with double and a 2-run homer, and Jorge Johnson drove in the decisive runs in the 9th inning, by hitting a long home run over the right field fence, which allowed Las Tunas both to defeat Villa Clara, 8-4, and become champion of Cuba for the first time.
Villa Clara started invasively over starter Erlys Casanova’s pitches in the fifth game of the final, when César Prieto reached first base on Santoya’s error, Stayler singled to center field and Benitez emulated him with another hit to left field to drive in the first run of the clash.
An inning later, shortstop Alexander Ayala doubled to center field on a high pitch from Misael Villa, Jorge Alomá was walked intentionally and Yasiel Santoya hit a 2-run double over the third base line.
With a 2-1 score against, Eduardo Paret’s Oranges once again mercilessly went over the pitches of Pinar del Rio’s reinforcement pitcher Erlys Casanova with two singles from Yunior Paumier and Yulexis La Rosa, and a grounder from Andy Zamora to tie the game 2-2.
While Villa had no complications in the top the third with 2 strikeouts, his teammates early sent ineffective Casanova off the mound in that same inning, as he surrendered 2 more runs, by walking three hitters and allowing a hit from William Saavedra. Finally, the pitcher from Vuelta Abajo left the box with a poor performance of (2.1INN, 5H, 4ER, 3BB).
However, the Woodcutters survived the pressure and tied the game 4-4 in the fourth, thanks to a spectacular home run over the leftfield fence from Alexander Ayala with a teammate on base. Thereafter, both teams kept the tie, leaned on their respective relievers: Yadián Martínez and Yosvani Torres.
But, in the “lucky seventh”, Andrés Quiala made a perfect bunt to first base with 1 out, Yunieski Larduet took him to second base on a sacrifice bunt, and with 2 outs, Jorge Yhonson –the hero of the night– singled to left field, thus allowing his team to reach a 5-4 score and making hundreds of fans dream in a big way. In the ninth, Yhonson shored up the title again with a long 3-run homer and became the MVP of the postseason.
Villa Clara did not give up, loaded the bases and put the tie in the wrists of one of the most respectful batters in the history of the postseasons –William Saavedra–, but Yoalkis Cruz remained scoreless in a second consecutive night and dominated him on a grounder to second baseman, which unleashed the joy of all Las Tunas fans across the East of the country.
It was a fair final, with an honorable champion, where the best team of the tournament won. Yes, and nobody should doubt it. Las Tunas was the best since this story began last warm August. They have worked very seriously in the last two postseasons and here is the fruit of their harvest. My respects for all its technical staff, especially Pablo Civil, who has led these champion Woodcutters with intelligence, wisdom and bravery.
Likewise, prestigious coach Edecio Pérez deserves recognition, since he was in charge with the physical preparation of the squad in the past tournament and this year –although he was not with the team because he’s working abroad– the squad maintained his training design, inspired by his doctoral thesis on contemporary trends of sports activity in high performance.
And, of course, to that generation of Felix Núñez, Ermidelio Urrutia, José Miguel Báez and Gilberto Rodríguez, which continued later with that exceptional hitter named Osmani Urrutia, and with very good players such as Amaury Suárez, Alexander Guerrero, Joan Carlos Pedroso, Henry Urrutia, Yordanis Scull, Ubisney Bermúdez, among others.
From the game…
Highlights: The relief of talented right-hander Yadián Martínez, who pitched (5.2INN), surrendered 3 hits, with 3 strikeouts and 1BB. Curiously, Yadián clinched the last two wins of the final.
The tribute: To a great player of the lineage of Danel Castro, who will finally retire as a genuine champion with his soul Woodcutters.
The rival: Eduardo Paret’s Oranges strived hard and were alive until the last out of the ninth inning in the final’s fifth game.
Unfortunately, their defense failed in the fourth clash and they couldn’t bat the key hit with men on base, but left a very good image. They have a great talent in the pitching area, however they must develop more position players and renew the infield ahead the of the 59th Cuban National Baseball Series.
The MVP (Final): Jorge Yhonson was really unstoppable in the 2019 Postseason of Cuban baseball.
The 2019 MVP: Undoubtedly, Jorge Enrique Alomá was the best hitter of the 2018-2019 season of Cuban baseball. His metrics: (.388/.493/.616), WAR (5.1), OPS (1109) and wOBA (greater complement of OBP) (.497). So the batting champion of the 58th Cuban National Baseball Series should have no inconvenience to win the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
(Stats taken from website baseballdecuba.com).
The question: What’s your opinion about the 2019 final of Cuban baseball? and what do you think about the possible appointment of Pablo Civil as new manager of the Cuba team?
Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff