2018 Postseason: Lions shut out Woodcutters in Cuban Semifinals Game 3, take a 2-1 lead in the series
On Thursday night in Havana and in front of a delirant crowd of 54,570, the Lions defeated the Woodcutters by a score of 4-0 in Game 3 of the 2018 Cuban Semifinals. The Lions now lead the Woodcutters 2-1 in the best of seven series.
As for Game 3, Industriales starter Misael Villa and Vladimir García pitching in relief combined for the eight-hit shutout. For the Lions, Yordanis Samón hit a three-run homer and outfielder Javier Camero shined on defense.
On the other side, Vladimir Baños allowed all runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Yudiel Rodríguez and Alexander Meneses, were perfect in the rest of the game for Las Tunas.
Villa was dominant
Misael Villa in the biggest game of his career, was brilliant. In his first Postseason career start he threw the ball very well.
The left handed was dominant, getting through seven innings 1/3 combining his fastball, which was sitting lower-90s, with the curveball, slider and change to neutralize Las Tunas’ offense. He allowed eight hits while striking out three and walking none.
The Lions and manager Víctor Mesa were likely prepared for anything when it came to the pitching plan in this one. But they didn’t need to use any middle relievers, until Vladimir was needed in the eighth.
For Villa it wasn’t a complete game but he deserves great credit shutting down a very good offense.
DH Samón hit a decisive home run
A designated hitter had yet to hit a home run this entire postseason entering this game. The decisive three-runs, naturally, came on a DH home run, when Yordanis Samón parked one to left-center off Baños in the first inning.
Samón had another RBI in the fifth. It was all support Villa and Vladimir needed.
Camero's huge play
Villa was helped in a big way in the fifth inning by left fielder Javier Camero.
With runners on first and second and two outs, Jorge Yhonson sent a line drive into the gap between left-center field.
Center fielder Yoasán Guillén was desperately running for the ball but Industriales left fielder Javier Camero made an unreal diving catch to take away an extra-base hit from Yhonson. He extended fully in midair to catch it and end the inning.
Vladimir brilliant again
Last night, Vladimir García relieved Villa in the eighth inning. He would go 1 2/3 scoreless innings, retiring the five batters he faced to preserve the win.
It was his second consecutive stellar performance, after allowing one run on two hits in Game 1 of the series.
Game 4 is on Friday at 7:15 p.m. starting pitchers haven't been confirmed, but Woodcutters ace Yoelkis Cruz will be on normal rest for the game. On the Lions' end, Freddy Asiel Alvarez will also be on normal rest. Both pitchers worked in Game 1 last Friday in Las Tunas.
2018 Semifinals (Best-of-seven series)
Lions are up 2-1 in the series
Game 4: At Latinoamericano Stadium, Friday, Jan 12, 7:15 pm
Source: (Photos: Itsván Ojeda Bello)
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