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    Mayabeque matches playoff with Ciego de Ávila

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    Mayabeque iguala play off con Ciego de Ávila

    That fan could not believe it… But, how did Ciego de Ávila lose that game? Moreover, a man responded with the lyrics of a song of yesteryear: "Just like water between the fingers." However, the best answer was the one that was heard a few moments later: “you have to die of something”.

    The truth is that Mayabaque won this Saturday 5x2 and now the quarterfinal playoff between both teams is equal to two smiles per side in the 61st National Baseball Series.

    Nevertheless, there was no doubt that the fans left the José Ramón Cepero stadium, after four hours of play, with the consolation of witnessing a good baseball game, one of those in which tactical plays abound and in which, almost always, responsibility for success or failure is often placed on directors. Here the criteria of the journalist: neither the winner did so well, nor the loser so badly.

    First third

    While Ciego de Ávila linked —but without results— four hits and an intentional walk, the Mayabeque team had their first hit in the third inning from Orlando Lavandera. Yander Guevara was impassable and his opponent José Ignacio Bermúdez, although with problems, posted the three zeros.

    Second third

    Liosvany Pérez opened with a brace in the fifth and the visitors' management did not think twice about bringing in their boxing star Marlon Vega. In that situation, Alexander Jiménez scored a bunt hit and the hosts placed runners on third and first, an opportunity in which Raúl González brought the go-ahead with his sacrifice fly.Meanwhile Yander continued with his domain. In these first segments of the game, they only gave him four hits and did not give away tickets.

    Last third

    In the seventh, the Hurricanes were tied by doubles against Orlando Lavandera and Rangel Ramos. For the eighth inning, the Ciego de Ávila`s management chose to bring in Vladimir García who bowled Juan Hernández and allowed singles by Denis Laza and Javier Carabeo so that the winners took control at that moment 2x1.

    Again, Raulito came to the rescue of the three-time national champions when a ball disappeared into the left forest before a fastball to the center of Vega. It was a two-run tie.

    Yosvani Ávalos was the pitcher in the ninth and retired him with a conga step, with two strikeouts included. At the end of that possible last chapter, the emerging Jorge Luis Contreras started it with a double, and after the sacrifice of Michel Arteaga, the winning run was at third base, but could not be brought by Liosvany or Jiménez.

    The scene was ready so that, at the beginning of the tenth, Rangel Ramos gave a hit and then Juan Manuel Martínez received a walk; after the sacrifice of Juan Hernández, Laza received an intentional walk and the bases were loaded. Yasniel González would clean them up with his double to the central meadow.


    Two in one: The two right fielders of the Ciego de Ávila team played at half capacity due to their physical conditions. Dainier Hernández suffered from an injury and Héctor Labrada also has problems with his right leg. Some even think that the latter should not have gone on defense late in the game.

    Suicidal squeeze play?: Not a few fans rebuked me as I left the stadium “because Yorelvis Charles didn't order the bunt with Liosvany Pérez in the batter's box and a runner on third and one out. I repeat again that this is a move that, according to the "little book" is made to increase the advantage, but it is not advisable to do it with a disadvantage or a tie on the scoreboard, although, besides, Liosvany is a ball hitter and that was what It was necessary, because the box was inside and any hit had to go to the outfield. One last observation to those who were "passionate" with that play: And what would happen if the rival orders a free ball or misses the bunt and the runner is put out at the plate?

    Two have already left: Industriales and Las Tunas have already said goodbye to their aspirations of advancing to the semifinals after falling for the fourth time against Granma and Matanzas, respectively. Pinar del Río is about to eliminate Sancti Spíritus, the team that won the most in the qualifying phase.

    Who will pitch this Wednesday?: In the press conference after the game, the mentors of both teams announced the pitchers for this fifth game: Dachel Duquesne for the locals and Yulián Quintana for the Mayabeque team.