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LEBC 2024 Postseason | Hunters shut out Lions in Semifinals Game 5, advance to first Elite League finals

n the finals, the Hunters will face either the Crocodiles or the Lumberjacks

(Photo: Jit Digital)

Semifinals of the II Elite League of Cuban Baseball

Artemisa 4, Industriales 0

Artemisa won the series 4-1

On Friday night in Havana, the Artemisa Hunters defeated the Industriales Lions by a score of 4-0 in Game 5 of the Semifinals of the Elite League. The Hunters will now advance to take on the Crocodiles or the Lumberjacks in the Finals, which should begin next week.

Hunters starter Yunieski García, José I. Bermúdez, and Liván Moinelo, the last two pitching in relief, combined for the one-hit shutout. For the Hunters, Dennis Laza homered, and Luis González and Andy Cosme added one RBI each.

On the other side, Pavel Hernández allowed two runs in 3 1/3 innings. However, in relief, the expected starter of the game, Reemberto Barreto, gave up one run in 3 2/3 innings. On offense, the Lions as a team went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

Artemisa also did not use his best starter, Geonel Gutiérrez, but Yunieski García couldn't do it any better during the first three innings. The righthander threw the ball very well and in 2 2/3 innings was perfect against the Industriales' lineup, needing only 23 pitches. He struck out one. In the third inning, García suffered an injury and had to leave the mound.

When it came to pitching, the Hunters and their manager Yulieski González were prepared for anything. They didn't panic and didn't send Gutiérrez to the mound with the score 0-0. Instead, they gave the ball to José I. Bermúdez.

In Game 5, José I. Bermúdez provided excellent relief. (Photo: PL)

The great performance of Bermúdez in Game 5 was close to perfection. He went 4 1/3 scoreless innings allowing no hits, with 5 strikeouts and two walks. He ended up picking up the win.

In the fourth inning, the Hunters just broke through. Heading into the top of the fourth inning, the Hunters had gotten 4 baserunners on but weren't getting them home. In that inning, they quickly got a 1-0 lead thanks to Dennis Laza's solo homer off Hernández starting the inning.

Dennis Laza homered. (Photo: Jit Digital)

It could have sufficed, but they scored more. Raúl González, who had two errors tonight, singled to left, stole second, and moved to third on a grounder. To make it 2-0, Andy Cosme singled to center.

In response to another single by Jeison Martínez, Pavel Hernández was pulled from the mound. During the game, he faced 17 batters and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits over three-thirds of an inning. He was charged with the loss.

In the regular season, Lions' starter Reemberto Barreto was dominant, but in the postseason, his dominance ran out. In Game 5, he was supposed to be the starting pitcher but was instead used as a reliever. Still, in relief, he was effective tonight. He pitched 3 2/3 innings of one hit allowing one run in the fifth. He struck out one and walked three.

Artemisa scored again in the fifth. Following a walk by Luis González, Frederich Cepeda singled to right, moving González to third. Minutes later, González made it 3-0 with a double-play groundball from Laza. In the play, it was a mistake by Industriales' manager Guillermo Carmona not to move the infield in losing by two runs.

Artemisa scored his final run of the game in the ninth inning off reliever Juan X. Peñalver, when Luis González singled to center with the bases loaded to make it 4-0.

In the eighth, Liván Moinelo was brought in. With three strikeouts and a walk, he pitched two scoreless innings. As Industriales went hitless for eight innings, Moinelo could have completed the no-hitter, however, Christian Rodríguez hit a single to left field in the ninth inning to keep him from completing it. Despite walking another batter, he struck out Oscar Valdés to end the game. 

The Hunters made history with the win. Since the team was founded in 2011, this was the team's first Elite League final and the first final in a Cuban major tournament - National Series and Elite Leagues.



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