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LEBC 2024 Postseason | Artemisa Hunters beat Industriales Lions 6-4 in Game 2, take 2-0 lead in the semifinals

Updated: Jan 11

As the Hunters' offense continues to work, the teams is already thinking about the finals


Liván Moinelo's relief appearance in the seventh inning helped Artemisa win Game 2. (Photo: Artemisa Hunter's X account)

Semifinals of the II Elite League of Cuban Baseball


Artemisa 6, Industriales 4

Artemisa leads the series 2-0


Postseason stages are known for rewarding the teams capable of performing in the biggest moments.


On Monday, the Artemisa Hunters beat the Industriales Lions twice in the stage that really matters, after each team won four matches between them in the II Elite League qualifying round, to take a solid 2-0 lead in the semifinal series.



Artemisa was effective again Monday, winning a nail-biting 6-4 decision in Game 2 at 26 de Julio Stadium. As a result, the 12 times Cuban champions find themselves in a weird postseason bind.


Even though Artemisa led the league in home runs during the regular season, reinforcements are always welcome. In Game 2, several of them were responsible for burying all hope for the Lions.


The bats of Luis González, Frederich Cepeda, Dennis Laza, and Raúl González - all reinforcements - combined to go 11-for-19 offensively, scoring five of the Hunters' six runs in Game 2. Furthermore, Cepeda hit the Cazadores' first home run of the series. It was a solo shot to right field in the eighth inning that gave Artemisa a 6-3 lead. This marked his 358th homer in National Series history.


In addition, José A. Jiménez and catcher Andy Cosme contributed two runs each that were crucial to the team's victory. 


A single by Jiménez to center enabled Artemisa to take a 2-1 lead in the first inning against Pavel Hernández with the bases loaded and two outs. The second run in that first inning - scored by Cepeda - caused Industriales' manager Guillermo Carmona to be tossed from the game, after Carmona had a heated argument with the home plate umpire, Luis Felipe Casañas, when the video review revealed an illegal block by catcher Oscar Valdés on runner Cepeda.


Another key situation occurred in the fifth. Similarly, with two outs and after Artemisa was looking to regain the lead after a rebellion by the Lions led to a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded, Andy Cosme hit a single to right field that drove in two more runs, giving the Hunters a 4-3 lead.


It was then time for the Industriales' offense to step up in the seventh inning. Despite Artemisa's 5-3 lead, reliever Osdany Rodriguez gave up back-to-back walks to begin the inning. For Artemisa's manager Yulieski González, it was the right moment to call his bullpen again. However, this was no ordinary call. It was Liván Moinelo, a left-handed pitcher with Nippon Professional Baseball's Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, who was called up to the Artemisa bullpen for the postseason.


Moinelo limited the Lion's bat, even when Industriales' manager - coach Alexander Malleta - played a terrible inning, ordering a sacrifice hit with two runners on, no outs, and losing by two. After two ineffective sacrifice attempts, Moinelo struck out Jorge Alomá for the first out. He then retired the next two batters, Yasiel Santoya and Oscar Valdés, in easy flyouts to right field.


Moinelo's level above the island baseball today was evident. It was no problem for the left-hander to work a perfect 2 1/3 innings with 4 strikeouts and only one man reaching base, courtesy of Raúl González's error in the eighth. In all, he threw 31 pitches, 24 strikes, with a fastball that reached 96 mph.


In the 9th, Moinelo got one out and was replaced by veteran right-hander José A. García because of the pitching limit. Unfortunately, García got in trouble, allowing Industriales to score one run to make it 6-4. In no time at all, González pulled his reliever and right-hander José I. Bermúdez ended the threat by striking out Ariel Hechavarría to end the game. As a result, he was credited with the save.


In the fourth inning, Industriales rallied against starter Yunieski García. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases, and a fielder's choice and an error allowed the Lions to take a 3-2 lead. But García got out of the inning. Despite this, Industriales left 11 runners on base in the game, which can be costly in close games.  


García, who led the league in strikeouts during the regular season, recorded only three strikeouts in Game 2. Despite this, he had a quality start and was removed at the right time. García pitched five solid innings, allowing three runs on six hits. As a result of his work, he earned the victory. Oscar Valdés started the 6th inning with a double against García, so Artemisa's coaches decided to start using the bullpen, knowing Moinelo was in the pen in case of a critical situation.


This Wednesday, 6:30 pm, Game 3 will be played at the Latinoamericano Stadium in Havana.



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