Havana, Sunday 23 de September de 2018 08:43 am

National Baseball Series Begins in Cuba, Matanzas wins Opener

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National Baseball Series Begins in Cuba, Matanzas wins OpenerHAVANA, Cuba, Sep 22 (acn) Solid pitching performance by lefty Yoanni Yera provided a 5-1 win of the runner up Matanzas over the current champion Pinar del Rio in the opening match of the Cuban National Baseball Series in its 54th edition.

Yera allowed only one hit and struck out five in seven innings of work to earn his first win of the season, and Felix Fuentes saved the game, while the ace Yosvani Torres took the loss by allowing three earned runs in two innings.

The Matanzas Crocodiles best hitter was the third baseman Yurisbel Gracial who hit 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs, while first baseman William Saavedra hit a homerun to score the only run for the losers.

Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermúdez, Cuban First Vice President, attended the opening ceremony which constituted a propitious occasion to demand the release of Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino, Cuban antiterrorist unjustly imprisoned in the United States.

Yosvani Torres, Pinar del Río´s ace pitcher, received a bat dedicated to the current monarchs of national pastime sent by Gerardo Hernandez.

These two squads will face each other again today on a day that also includes the matches Artemisa-Isla de la Juventud, Industriales-Mayabeque, Villa Clara- Cienfuegos, Sancti Spiritus -Ciego de Avila, Camagüey-Las Tunas, Granma-Holguin and Santiago de Cuba-Guantánamo.

The preliminary round of the National Baseball Series will run until December 19, with an intermediate recess in November due to the celebration of the Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico.

On December 25 it will take place the reinforcements' election for the eight teams qualified to the second phase, which will run from January 4 to March 19, with another stop to the champion Pinar del Rio to attend to the Caribbean Series to be made in Puerto Rico in early February.

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