Thursday, June 01, 2006
INDUSTRIALES WIN BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP AGAIN
For the third time in the last five years, Industriales were crowned champions of the National Baseball Series, and on this occasion it took place far from their home ground: a 4-1 victory at the Guillermón Moncada stadium against the team from Santiago de Cuba, that combined a tremendous performance from right-handed pitcher Frank Montieth and a decisive home run by first baseman Alexander Mayeta.
The following comes from PERIÓDICO 26 (Cuba). It is late, but that is just the way it will have to be.
Industriales Wins Cuba’s Baseball Championship
Deciding homerun by Alexander Mayeta. Frank Montieh wins pitching duel with Ormari Romero.
SANTIAGO DE CUBA.— With a 4-1 win over Santiago de Cuba on Tuesday night Havana’s Industriales won the Cuban baseball championship series for the third time in the last five years.
Industriales combined a timely two-run homer by Alexander Mayeta in the top of the sixth to break a 1-1 tie, with a complete game 8-hit, six strikeout performance from Frank Montieth, to win the best-of-seven series 4-2.
At one point in the playoff finals Santiago was ahead two games to one but Industriales won the final three matches.
The game started after 9 p.m. and it was past midnight when Reutilio Hurtado rolled to short for the final out. The entire Industriales bench immediately spilled off onto the field to celebrate the victory, won against a tough team that never gave up in its effort to even the series.
The game had two heroes. One was the young pitcher Frank Montieth, who confirmed his status as one of the leagues best starters and best pitchers against Santiago, boasting a 9-3 lifetime record against the defending champions.
Montieth combined an excellent curve ball with an 88-91 MPH fastball and was able to get out of dangerous moments, like in the second inning when he struck out Luis Navas and Hector Olivera with the bases loaded.
The other hero was Alexander Mayeta, cleanup hitter and the teams leading RBI man. The first baseman drove in the team’s first run in the opening inning with a sacrifice fly and then in the sixth blasted a two-run homer off a breaking ball from Ormari Romero with Yasser Gomez on first.
“I wasn’t trying for the long ball, I just wanted to put the ball in play,” said Mayeta after the game adding, “I enjoyed this one like no other.” The infielder was selected the Cuban baseball playoffs Most Valuable Player.
It was a surprise to the fans to see veteran Ormari Romero on the mound for Santiago. But before the game, Coach Jose Luis Aleman assured me, “He feels fine and wants to pitch this important game.”
And he didn’t pitch badly, locked in a 1-1 game with Montieth into the sixth, until Mayeta hit his blast. In all, Romero threw 73 pitches of which 49 were strikes and 24 balls. Pitching at an average speed of 85 MPH, he used more fastballs than sliders. The praiseworthy performance was characteristic of the hard fought season for Santiago.
Shortly after the game ended, both teams greeted each other on the field. The trophy was handed to Industriales’ manager Rey Vicente Anglada by Misael Enamorado, member of the Communist Party Political Bureau and the first secretary of the Party in Santiago.