After two subseries vs. Las Tunas and current runners up, Ciego de Avila, the team from Sancti Spiritus province is placed at the bottom of the general standings with a 2-4 record. Nevertheless, the team showed two faces fighting each of its rivals.
Numbers say the Gallos of Sancti Spiritus did not kick off happily in the 57th Cuban National Baseball Series. Leñadores de Las Tunas defeated the home team three times with scores 5-2, 4-2 and 12-6. None of the starters could stop the offense of the visiting team and locals suffered the first sweep of the season. Yuén Socarrás, Yamichel Pérez and Pedro A. Alvarez admitted 2, 3 and 5 earned runs vs. Las Tunas. The line-up did not produce the runs needed and Sancti Spiritus could only count on Frederich Cepeda for the first game. The initial goal of manager Jose Raul Delgado was not fulfilled: Roosters did not play good baseball. Seven errors also support that fact.
With three defeats at the very beginning, facing Ciego de Avila did not seem promising. The first loss 3-7 vs. Tigers proved it. Experienced Angel Peña had a bad outing and Sancti Spiritus was left with a 4th defeat in a row. His comeback to the team of Yayabo village was sealed with 7 earned runs, 7 hits and 7 walks. No one would expect a positive reaction from Roosters who paid a positive visit to southern tourist destination of Trinidad to beat Ciego de Avila with good power and acceptable pitching. The batting order was changed for Trinidad match, and everything went right. Rookie Rodoleisy Moreino continued to bat well, while experienced Yunier Mendoza, Cepeda, Eriel Sánchez and Duniesky Barroso contributed with the necessary runs. Lefty Humberto Delgado managed the game from the box and worked for 6 innings, 3 hits allowed and only one run. Thus, Sancti Spiritus claimed its first win 7-4.
For the last game of the subseries, an interesting duel between the first starters of both teams was expected. Away team’s Vladimir García, international with Cuba team, was five strikeouts away from the thousand. Ciego de Avila television was at Jose Antonio Huelga to register the mark. However, Sancti Spiritus spoiled the feat and scored five times in the second till rain made umpires stop the game. Two hours later, after hard field maintenance, officials determined the field was in condition so the game could be retaken. This led to protests of the visitors’ skipper Roger Machado, who slowed things so the match could not be played either because of the menacing rain or the lack of light. Finally, after an initial 3rd chapter was played and Sancti Spiritus came to bat, another protest took place, and Machado asked his players to abandon the field. His reason: the field was not in good shape. Umpires answered declaring the forfeit in favor of the home team, and Sancti Spiritus got its second victory of the season.
Sancti Spiritus in numbers:
-Batting: AVE 285, 25 runs scored, 14 extra-bases. With runners in scoring position: AVE 295, 97 runners in scoring position, just 20 brought home (20.6 %).
–Pitching: 5.06 ERA, 27 SO, 26 BB, AVE 289 (9th), 32 runs allowed.
–Defense: AVE 950 (worst team), 11 errors in 222 throws.