With only one day left to the closing of the qualifying stage, not counting the suspended games, the last tickets to the elite round of Cuban baseball championship remain to be defined.
After the yesterday results, the list of contenders to enter the next stage was reduced, although still six teams have math options to get one of the five berths available, while Ciego de Avila, Industriales and Granma breathe with tranquility.
The Ciego de Avila Tigers liquidated Villa Clara's hopes by beating them 4-2 with the first win of the season for Yusner Corrales, and offensive highlight by José Adolis Garcia and Osvaldo Vazquez who both homered.
Sancti Spiritus also stayed on track after losing 11-6 to Las Tunas in 13 innings of a match marked by excellent pitching performance by rookie Diego Granado, offensively supported by Yordanis Alarcon and Andrés Quiala with a homer per capita.
Just as Las Tunas, Matanzas took an important step in their aspirations for qualifying by knocking out 12-2 Artemisa, with catcher Onel Vega and outfielder Eduardo Blanco dressing as sluggers to bolster the fifth win o f lefty Yoanni Yera .
Stayler Hernandez and Jorge Aloma each drove in three runs in the 10-1 win of Industriales over Pinar del Rio, with a quality start to the record of Noelvis Entenza, while Granma defeated Holguin 7-3 with the seventh victory of the season to the account of Yanier González.
Isla de la Juventud defeated 7-4 Camagüey to still clings to eighth seat in game won by Luis Manuel Suarez despite allowing 12 hits and only one earned run in five innings, while veteran first baseman Luis Felipe Rivera went 2 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored .
In turn, Guantanamo beat 12-8 Santiago de Cuba and followed the siege of the qualifying area, just half-game behind Isla de la Juventud, in a match that will be remembered for the three homers and seven RBIs of shortstop Andres Cruz for the cause of the victors.
Finally, Cienfuegos said goodbye to their chances of advancing to the next stage after losing 4-3 to Mayabeque, team led by shortstop Yoel Mestre with two RBIs, while rookie Yadian Martinez took the win.
The standings of Cuban Baseball Championship is led by Ciego de Avila (29-12), Industriales ( 30-14) and Granma ( 28-15), teams already qualified, while Pinar del Rio (23-15), Las Tunas (24-17 ), Matanzas (25-18), Holguin (25-19), Isla de la Juventud (24-20) and Guantanamo (23-20) are still competing for a ticket to the second stage.
Meanwhile, Santi Spiritus and Villa Clara (22-22), Cienfuegos (19-22), Santiago de Cuba (15-29), Artemisa (11-30), Camagüey (11-33) and Mayabeque (10-33) remained with no options of progressing to the elite phase.