2018 Postseason: Lions beat Woodcutters 12-5 level Semifinals at 1-1

Alexander Malleta’s Grand Slam capped a five-run eighth inning as the Industriales Lions beat the Las Tunas Woodcutters 12-5, to even the Cuban Semifinals playoff series at one game each. 

Right-handed pitcher Elder Nogal recorded the victory with 1 1/3 perfect innings of relief. The youngster didn’t strikeout a hitter, but stopped a rally in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Las Tunas loaded the bases with two outs. 


Nogal came in relief of Alexander Rodríguez, who had Alexander Ayala in a 3-0 count, forcing Ayala to elevate the ball by center-fielder Joasán Guillén for the third out of the inning.

Nogal and four other relievers tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings in front of a crowd of 10,000 at Mártires de Barbados Stadium in Granma. Right-hander Vladimir García and David Mena got the final nine outs. García pitched 2 2/2 scoreless innings and escaped a jam in the seventh. With the score 7-5, two runners on base and one out, Yosvany Alarcón tried to steal second and was caught by catcher Frank C. Morejón for the second out of the inning. García then strikeout Rafael Viñales to end the inning.

Las Tunas starter Yudiel Rodríguez surrendered two hits and three runs in the first inning, when Juan C. Torriente hit a three-run homer to left. Las Tunas first reliever, right hander Yariel Rodríguez, was exceptional allowing five hits and one run over six innings of work. 

Alexander Ayala hit a two-run homer off Industriales starter Erlys Casanova in the second inning to cut Industriales’ lead to 3-2. One inning later Las Tunas DH, Danel Castro, smacked a two-run single to right field against Casanova giving Las Tunas a 4-3 lead in the third.

Industriales and Las Tunas exchanged runs in the fourth. Orlando Acebey singled off reliever Yariel Rodríguez to tie the game at 4-4, but the Woodcutters regained the lead on an RBI single by Andrés Quiala. 

The most dramatic moment of Monday’s contest happened in the seventh inning when the Lions turned a 5-4 deficit into a 7-5 lead. With the bases loaded Orlando Acebey scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of first baseman Alexander Malleta to tie the score at 5-5. One batter later pinch-hitter Yordanis Samón singled to center field to give Industriales a 7-5 lead.

Las Tunas reliever Yosimar Cousín took the loss. 

The young right-hander pitched for a second time in the series allowing three earned runs on 2/3 of relief in the seventh. 

Game three of the series is Thursday at Latinoamericano Stadium in Havana, with left-hander Misael Villa taking the mound for the Lions against probably Woodcutters right-hander Yoalkis Cruz. 

2018 Semifinals (Best-of-seven series)

Game 2: Industriales 12, Las Tunas 5

Seties is tied 1-1

Game 3: At Latinoamericano Stadium, Thursday, Jan 11, 8 P.M.

Source: (Photos: István Ojeda Bello)

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