2018 Postseason: Woodcutters oust Lions in historic Game 7 to advance to their first Cuban Final

The roars began on the first pitch thrown by Luis A. Gómez in Game 7 of the Cuban Semifinals Series, and they didn't stop. Solo homer by Yosvany Alarcón and a two-run shot by Rafael Viñales, both in the fifth inning, sent the Julio A. Mella stadium into a frenzy.


The party was just getting started.

On Wednesday night the Woodcutters completed a remarkable run to their first Cuban Finals by beating the Industriales Lions, 10-0, in seventh innings via the 10-run mercy rule. 

"It's something special," DH Danel Castro said. "The best thing that happened to me in a long time" he added.

Castro was an essential player for Las Tunas, hitting .321 with 6 RBIs during the series

After winning 59 games during the regular season and beating the Industriales Lions 4-3 in the Semifinals, the Woodcutters will meet the defending Cuban champions, Granma, in the Cuban Finals.

For just the fourth time in Cuban Semifinals Series since 1986, Game 7 ended by the mercy rule in seven innings. 

Industriales scored just three runs in Games 6 and 7 at Julio A. Mella Park after outscoring the Woodcutters by 8 runs (30-22) in the rest of the games of the series. The Lions fell a game shy of their first 11th Cuban Final since 1992 and were eliminated by Las Tunas for the first time.

In Game 7 Las Tunas starting pitcher Luis A. Gómez was magnificent.

Luis A. Gómez. Photo: Rey López

Gómez threw a five-hit shutout for the Woodcutters, striking out one batter and walking other. He was sensational in a decisive Game 7, retiring 8 batters in a row during the middle of the game and not allowing Industriales hitters to get comfortable all night.

Gómez also had support from Las Tunas offense that had 12 hits and scored in every inning after the second.

Luis A. Gómez SP / Las Tunas (2018 Semifinals, Game 7)

IP: 7 H: 5 R: 0 ER: 0 SO: 1 BB: 1

Freddy Asiel Alvarez, the Industriales starting pitcher, wasn’t sharp and left the game after four innings, allowing five runs – 3 earned – on 6 hits that included Yosvany Alarcón’s homer in the fifth.

Alvarez struck out three and walked two and was charged with the loss.

Freddy A. Alvarez SP / Industriales (2018 Semifinals, Game 7)

IP: 4 H: 6 R: 5 ER: 3 SO: 3 BB 2 HBP: 1

Pulling Freddy Asiel was correct, but that didn't stop the onslaught. Las Tunas scored five more runs in three innings to finish the 12-time champion in an hurry.

The Lions used four relievers during the game and none couldn’t stop Las Tunas’ hitters.

For Industriales’ manager, Víctor Mesa, was another disappointed end of the season. The veteran skipper is still looking for his first Cuban championship since his debut as a manager with Villa Clara in the 2000-2001 season.

Las Tunas will play the Stallions in Game 1 of the Cuban Finals on Saturday afternoon at Julio A. Mella Stadium in Las Tunas. RHP Yoelkis Cruz will get the ball for the Woodcutters against RHP Lázaro Blanco of the Stallions.

2018 Semifinals (Best-of-seven series)

Woodcutters won the series 4-3

Source: (Photos: István Ojeda Bello, Rey López and Yanciel de la Peña)