Matanzas Survives One More Day

Down three games to one the Matanzas Crocodiles stayed alive in the Cuban championships with a 4-3 win over the Granma Stallions. The winning run scored in the ninth inning on a wild pitch by Miguel Paradelo.

Matanzas jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with three in the third. Lazaro Blanco walked Andrys Perez to lead off the third inning. The inning went south after that. The number nine hitter Eduardo Blanco laid down a bunt that rolled underneath and past the glove of Lazaro coming off the mound to put two runners on. Anibal Medina popped up on a failed bunt attempt. The meat of the order Yadiel Mujica and Ariel Sanchez hit back to back singles to score one run. Yadil Drake grounded out, but a second run scored when the play went to second base. A line drive single by Yariel Duque drove in the third run.

Granma trimmed the lead to one with two in the fourth. They started the inning the same as Matanzas with a leadoff walk to Roel Santos. Osvaldo Abreu and Raico Santos followed up with singles to cut the lead to 3-1. Carlos Benitez sent a fly deep enough to center to score Abreu with the second run. Granma lost an opportunity to tie when Santos stole second, Guillermo Aviles singled to center and Eduardo Blanco gunned Santos out at the plate.

In the bottom frame Matanzas lost out on a run. Catcher Andrys Perez rifled a ball to left that rolled to the fence, but he could only manage a single. A single by Blanco moved him to second (but with a little more speed he should have been on third). Anibal Medina fouled off a two strike bunt attempt. Ariel Sanchez hit a two out single past the second baseman into right field, but the legs of Perez were just not fast enough to beat the throw home.

In a bit of baserunning hilarity, Granma loaded the bases with one out in the eighth. Carlos Benitez ripped a single to left field. Miguel Gonzalez scored but the third base coach got in the way of Roel Santos as he rounded third. Santos had to stop while the third base coach hit the grass. Santos was caught between third and home and eventually tagged out. What could have been two runs and the lead was only one run and a tie.

With runners on second and third in the ninth and two outs and an 0-2 count on Ariel Sanchez, the catcher squatted for an outside waste pitch. Miguel Paradelo had just come on in relief, walking Yadil Mujica intentionally. Paradelo wasted the 0-2 pitch too much, throwing it way outside and in the dirt to allow the winning run to score from third.

Yoanni Yera lasted eight innings for Matanzas, but Noelvis Entenza got the win by only facing three hitters in the ninth. It allowed Matanzas to survive to play another day.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.