Cuba: Baseball Champions of the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games

Veracruz: A POWERFUL fastball from closer, Hector Luis Mendoza ended the night on Friday and the baseball tournament of the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games.

Medonza, the great Cuban pitching prospect, traveled from Japan, where he played in his second professional division. It was that culmination of a game dominated without hesitation by the Cuban team led by coach, Victor Mesa, able to defeat Nicaragua in the final championship game by a score 9 – 3.

After the 27th out came a much awaited triumph led by the manager with the nations flag on his shoulders, an image that will be remembered as his first great success with the this national team throughout the island.

Effective pitching from, Freddy Asiel Alvarez (game-winner), Yaisel Sierra and Mendoza, along with a tight defense and timely offense came together to lift Cuba to its fifteenth baseball crown in these games. The third one with a victory in the final game against the Pinoleros, in Medellín’78 and Maracaibo’98.

The Cubans scored once in the bottom of the third inning, they added three more runs in the fourth, two in the sixth and seventh, and last in the eighth. Nicaraguans scored one in the fifth and two in the seventh.

Yadier Hernández (March 4 -1 CI), Alfredo Despaigne (4-2 1 CI), Yulieski Gourriel (5-2 1 CI) and Frederich Cepeda (3-2 1CI) were the offensive power for the Cuban team who took great advantage three errors and lack of control of the opponents pitchers.

The Nicaraguan team managed by, Noel Areas had excellent hitting from, Eugene Campbell, 4-2 batting against fast and controlled pitching of the Cubans. The starter Carlos Teller charged with the loss.

The large crowd gathered at the Beto Avila Stadium applauded to the good performances of both teams, but ended with a victory by greater of the antilles. Cuba!, Cuba!, Cuba! was heard frequently from the stands, while a dozen flags flew in several areas of the stadium.

Mesa’s team had previously defeated Puerto Rico, Mexico and Guatemala in the preliminary phase and Dominican Republic in the semifinals. The final against Nicaragua passed into the annals of history as the14th victory by Cubans against teams from Nicaragua, without the one defeat.

Excited by the triumph, the coach stated his players played great baseball and “taught what they are all about, very young men, rigorous and high quality. Our game was characterized by speed and putting a lot of heart to what we were doing. I’m happy because our strategy worked.”

Nearby, the president of the Istituto Nacional de Deportes, Educación Fisica y Recreación (INDER), Antonio Becali greeted each player, one by one and stated, “This victory has a special meaning for our people and for the Cuban delegation here present, for will this will be a driving force for new victories. We go to sleep much closer to Mexico in the medal count, and the satisfaction of giving this moment to millions of fans in our homeland. ”

“I had a great night, I went with out there with speed, control and confident that our batters would produce enough runs to win. The match was a bit tense, but then we opened the scoring and the work was more comfortable, “said Freddy Asiel.

Gourriel, meanwhile, said that “the team played very well from the start. We brought together young talent with established players and a good group was achieved. We always we went out to give everything to the game, we responded to the demands of Victor (manager) and the victories were achieved. ”

By Tony Diaz-Susavila, Latino Sports

November 25, 2014

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