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Las Tunas and Camaguey won the last two playoff slots over the weekend and post season play gets under way for the surviving eight teams on Tuesday and Wednesday in the 2006-7 Cuban Baseball League.

Las Tunas finished at 50-40 after knocking Ciego de Avila (48-42) out of the playoffs with 8-2 and 4-1 head-to-head wins on Saturday and Sunday, to be in its first every postseason action.

The best-of-five quarter finals begin on Tuesday with Sancti Spiritus facing Industriales, the defending champions and Pinar del Rio vs. Habana in the Western Division. In the East, Santiago de Cuba, last years runner-ups, meet Las Tunas and Villa Clara plays Camaguey on Wednesday.

The game between Las Tunas and Ciego de Avila on Sunday was decided in the third inning with a four-run rally, including a two-run double by Osmani Urrutia, who went 1-for-2 and took the league batting title with a .371 season average, one point ahead of Isaac Martinez of Ciego de Avila, who went hitless in three at-bats.

Urrutia is now the only six-time batting champ in Cubas baseball history surpassing Wilfredo Sanchez and Omar Linarez who won five titles. Right-hander Yoelkis Cruz (10-5) pitched eight shutout innings without giving up a walk to get the win.

In other games on the last day of the regular season, Industriales beat Habana 6-0 on seven scones from left-hander Yoandri Portal (3-2) and two RBIs each from Yasser Gomez and Doelsy Linares. Sancti Spiritus was shut out 2-0 by Cienfuegos Randy Gutierrez (2-0) who gave up only five hits, including the 1,000th career hit by outfielder Frederich Cepeda.

Isla de la Juventud ended their season against Group-A leader Pinar del Rio with a 4-1 win. Camaguey beat Villa Clara 10-1; Granma 9-1 over Guantanamo, and Matanzas beat Metropolitanos 2-1.

The game between Santiago de Cuba and Holguin was rained out but Santiago, the Group D leaders, still finished as the team with the most wins (57) for the season.

Santiagos Jose Julio Ruiz won the RBI title with 72 and Granmas Yoennis Cespedes had the seasons most runs scored with 79. The other individual batting leaders were: Jorge Padron of Pinar del Rio with 131 hits; Yulieski Gourriel (Sancti Spiritus) 28 doubles; Andres Quiala (Las Tunas) 8 triples; Alexei Ramirez (Pinar del Rio) 20 homeruns; Juan Carlos Linares (Habana) .586 slugging pct.; Yoandry Urgelles (Industriales) 28 stolen bases and Frederich Cepeda (Sancti Spiritus) with 86 walks.

Ciro Silvino Licea (9-3) of Granma led the pitchers with a 1.15 ERA ahead of Jonder Martinez (10-3) (Habana) and Yunieski Maya (6-3) (Pinar del Rio) tied for second at 1.40; Holguins Aroldis Chapman led with 100 strikeouts; Elier Sanchez (13-3) of Camaguey had the best win-loss percentage at .813 and tied for the most victories with Pinar del Rio veteran Pedro Luiz Lazo (13-5).

Final Cuban Baseball League Standings

2006-7 Regular Season

Western Division


Wins Losses Pct. Games out

Pinar del Rio* 56 34 622 "

Isla de la Juventud 43 47 478 13.0

Metropolitanos 29 61 322 27.0

Matanzas 26 64 289 30.0


Industriales* 53 36 596 "

Sancti Spiritus* 51 38 573 2.0

Habana* 46 44 511 7.5

Cienfuegos 42 48 467 11.5

Eastern Division


Villa Clara* 52 38 578 "

Las Tunas* 50 40 556 2.0

Camaguey* 50 40 556 2.0

Ciego de Avila 48 42 533 4.0


Santiago de Cuba* 57 32 640 ---

Granma 45 45 500 12.5

Holguin 39 50 439 18.0

Guantanamo 31 59 344 26.5

Source: By Sigfredo Barrios, Granma

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