Havana, Sunday 16 de December de 2018 10:07 am

Cubans at about to become champions in Japanese Professional Baseball League

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HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 2 (acn) The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, club of Cubans Alfredo Despaigne, Yurisbel Gracial and Livan Moinelo, beat 5-4 the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in the fifth game of the grand final (Japan Series) of the Japanese Professional Baseball League (NPB).

It was an extremely hard-fought match that was decided in extra-innings when CF and cleanup hitter Yuki Yanagita hit a walk-off solo homer off the Carp ace closer Shota Narazaki in the 10th frame.
Gracial played as DH and batted third in the Hawks´ line-up and hit 1 for 3 with a walk, while lefty setup man Moinelo allowed one run, which was a homer, in a third of an inning, thus earning his first ER in the final.
Slugger Despaigne was not used in this game due to his manager didn´t want taking risks as he felt certain discomfort in the 4 th game, so he remained his batting average (BA) in .333 and amounts six RBIs and two homers in the series, with highlight for what he did in the third match, when he homered once and brought four teammates to home plate.
Now, the Hawks took advantage of 3-1 in the series as the first game was a 2-2 draw and extended their consecutive wins-at-home streak in the Japan Series to twelve, thus breaking the previous record of ten held by the 1970–73 Yomiuri Giants.
With only one victory, Cubans Despaigne and Moinelo would be crowned champions for the second year in a row, while utility Yurisbel Gracial would debut with the title in his first foray into the NPB.
The sixth game of the 2018 Japan Series is scheduled for tomorrow at the Mazda Stadium, where the Carp play as home club.

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