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  • 04 / 01 / 2007

Two factors were key leading to the Industriales victory. One, they have won ten straight games as the visiting team in Sancti Spiritus, whose manager Lourdes Gourriel is short on quality left-handed pitching capable of stopping the Industriales heavy artillery. In three games, Yoandry Urgelles, Alexander Mayeta and Yasser Gomez have 17 hits in 34 at-bats with three home runs and 18 RBIs.

The other reason is that you cant make mistakes against the defending champs. In the first inning, Sancti Spiritus starter Noelvis Hernandez hesitated with a roller by Mayeta to his left, giving away an infield hit. Later an error turned a double play ball into a run. A one-run inning then became three.

Arleys Sanchez showed excellent control with his screw ball, combined with a slider and fastball to go 6.2 scoreless innings. Mayetas homer was his fifth in playoffs and the third against Sancti Spiritus.

If the game in Sancti Spiritus was a runaway, the contest between Havana and Pinar del Rio was just the opposite. An unearned run in the first inning gave Havana a 1-0 lead and Pinar del Rio tied in the fifth on a single by Donal Duarte and triple from Alexei Ramirez. From then on, it was one of the best duels on memory between two of the leagues best relief aces, Yunieski Maya and Jose Angel Garcia.

Maya struck out twelve Havana batters in seven innings while Garcia cruised for five innings until running into trouble in the 13th inning when Pinars Rafael Valdez knocked in the winning run with a single to center and Onel Olivera put the icing on the cake with an RBI hit to left.

All eight quarter final teams play on Saturday. In the Western Division match-ups, Sancti Spiritus tries to stay alive against Industriales and Havana the same against Pinar del Rio. In the East, Santiago de Cuba and Camaguey, tied 1-1 in their series, meet in Camaguey and Villa Clara is in Las Tunas with their series 1-1.

Source: Granma

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