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LEBC 2024 Postseason | After a 12-0 victory over Las Tunas, Matanzas takes a 1-0 lead in the series

Updated: Jan 10

Yoennis Yera's work was supported by 16 hits, an overwhelming attack


Rusney Castillo hit two home runs in Game 1 of the semifinal against Las Tunas. (Photo: R. López Hevia)

Semifinals of the II Elite League of Cuban Baseball


Matanzas 12, Las Tunas 0 (7 innings)

Matanzas leads the series 1-0


On Saturday afternoon in Matanzas, the Matanzas Crocodiles beat its rival, Las Tunas easily, 12-0 by the mercy rule in seven innings, in the II Elite Cuban Baseball League semifinal.



Game 2 of the series will take place at Victoria de Girón Stadium in Matanzas this Sunday at 6:30 pm, with Matanzas leading the series 1-0.


Crocodiles' offense, combined with Yoennis Yera's great start, were decisive in the first victory of the tournament favorites.


The three-run home run by Yurisbel Gracial in the opening inning against lefty starter Dariel Góngora, provided an early indication of Las Tunas pitching's challenge on the night - and in the series. It was Gracial himself who would shine with the bat, going 4-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored.


The ruthless attack continued in the second inning, where Matanzas scored seven times. Six hits were hit in this inning, including a solo home run by catcher Andrys Pérez and a three-run home run by Yordanis Samón. This was also the inning in which Rusney Castillo hit his first of two solo home runs.


The fifth home run of the night came two innings later when Castillo hit the ball over the right field fences against the second Las Tunas reliever, right-hander José A Sánchez.


In Yera's five innings, he only allowed one single, struck out three, and walked one, taking revenge for his only loss on November 20, a close 2-1 decision against the right-handed Yadián Martínez.


Reliever Jesús E. Pérez recorded six more outs. Pérez, enjoying a 12-run lead, faced seven batters, allowing only one hit, a double off 47-year-old veteran Danel Castro. Castro is now only four hits away from reaching the 2500 mark in Cuban baseball.


Despite beating Matanzas three times in 2023 during the qualifying stages of the National Series and the Elite League, Góngora could not repeat his performance tonight. During the latter, Dariel won two games 11-0 and 10-0, completing 12 innings with 8 hits and 5 strikeouts. A reinforcement from Camagüey didn't last beyond the second inning this Saturday, facing only 11 men and allowing seven runs - 5 earned - without striking out. He was charged with the loss.


Right-hander Yadián Martínez, for Las Tunas, will look to even the series this Sunday, when he faces another right-hander and debutant in the Elite League, César García.




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