After a long wait of 55 years, Cuba won its eighth title of the Caribbean Series, defeating Mexico 3-2 in the final of San Juan 2015, Sunday at Hiram Bithorn stadium in the capital of Puerto Rico.
The right Yosvany Torres pitched a two-hitter, Frederich Cepeda and Luis La O drove in runs in the first two innings and Yulieski Gourriel descagó homer in the eighth to give the victory to the Pinar del Rio Vegueros on Culiacan Tomateros before 7,634 fans .
Leveraging the benefits of the format, Cuba won the championship, although it had overall record of 3-3. Five of the six matches of Mexico, which also had 3-3 were decided by one run.
The West Indians picked up the scepter despite having suffered absences shortstop and pitcher Dainer Moreira Wladimir Gutierrez, who left the team in the second game of the series.
For Cuba, this is his eighth championship in their history, breaking a tie they had with Venezuela with 7, and now tied with Mexico itself in the history list.
Cuban teams won seven of the 12 editions, including the last five in the first phase (1949-1960) of the Caribbean Series, which left after removal of professional baseball in the communist island.
Cuba returned to the event last year in Margarita Island, Venezuela, represented by the Oranges of Villa Clara, which ended 1-3 mark. Pinar del Rio had identical record in the preliminary round in San Juan, but outscored the Santurce Crabbers in the Puerto Rican battle for the final spot in the semifinals, where he removed to favorite Caribbean Anzoategui in Venezuela, undefeated so far.
Mexico failed in his attempt to become the fourth country to win three consecutive editions of the event. Yaquis de Obregón won in 2013 in Hermosillo Hermosillo Naranjeros Margarita Island last year. Cuba (five between 1956-1960), Puerto Rico (1953-1955) and Dominican Republic (1997-98) are the countries with three straight titles.
Cepeda batted 4-5 with two doubles and a triple and five RBIs in the semifinal against Venezuela and 2-4 with promoted in the final. In total, went 8-17 (.471) with seven RBIs in his first Caribbean Series.
Torres (1-0) allowed one run, was not given tickets and fanned five batters. Joey Meneses until he doubled opening the fifth. Anhony Vazquez (0-1) was the pitcher defeated.
The Tomateros scored their first run in the fifth inning and added another in the eighth, when came to have runners on second and third bases with two outs, but reliever Hector Mendoza dominated Meneses with shallow fly to right to end the rebellion .
For the Caribbean Series next year in Santo Domingo, capital of Dominican Republic, Cuba is expected to participate again as a guest country, however a final announcement will be made after the organizing committee do a feasibility study.
The Caribbean Baseball Confederation reported Sunday that Cuba could host the tournament in the near future, but only after permanent member of the entity is made and modify the timing of their National Series to crown a champion in winter.