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Sports News Roundup Jan. 22

Baseball

Alberto Bicet reached 100 wins in the Baseball National Series to lead Industriales by a score of 5-4 over Holguín, consolidating the Havana team in the 3rd seat of the current 54th Cuban Baseball Championship.

Bicet, now as a reinforcement of Industriales, achieved this feat after allowing 1 earned run and 10 hits in 7 innings, supported by Yohandri Portal's salvage.

Yulieski Gourriel hit a double and drove in 2 to command the winning offensive while Yordan Batista and Yunior Paumier homered for Holguin's Los Sabuesos, the losers, and the ace Norge Luis Ruiz took the loss.

Parallel, the still monarch Pinar del Río gave a blow of authority when beating for 2nd consecutive day the leader Matanzas, this time with a score of 5-1; the winner was Erlis Casanova, supported by great relief of Liván Moinelo, who only allowed 1 hit in 3 and 2 third chapters. Outfielder Ramón Lunar, was the offensive leader by hitting a 2-run homer off the defeated Yoanni Yera.

During evening hours, Isla de la Juventud and Granma played 2 matches. In the first one, Granma's Los Alazanes knocked out 15-2 to Los Piratas by hitting 16 hits, offensive led by 1st baseman Yordanis Samón, who hit 4 for 4 including 3 doubles, 4 RBIs and 3 runs scored.

Lázaro Blanco shone from the mound with only 2 hits allowed in 6 innings of work, to achieve his 10th win of the Season, while the loss corresponded to Luis Manuel Suárez; however, Isla de la Juventud took revenge in the 2nd game by winning 5-4 in a match marked by the 7th victory of the undefeated reliever Danny Aguilera, while Yusniel Ibanez hit 3 for 4 with a homer and 3 RBIs to lead the attack of Los Piratas.

Finally, in the other evening match, Ciego de Ávila defeated 6-3 to Artemisa thanks to a 17 hits offensive, with highlight for Ariel Borrero, 4 for 5 with 2 doubles and 3 RBIs, and the 7th win of ace pitcher Ismel Jiménez.

And another good one from baseball says that Major League Baseball clubs will allow minor-league players to participate in the Pan-American Games in Toronto this July.

MLB-affiliated players who aren't protected on 40-man rosters are expected to be eligible for the 7-team tournament, which includes the United States and defending Pan-Am champion Canada, baseball officials told FOX Sports.

The commitment can be viewed as evidence of MLB's support for the Pan-Am Games in particular and international baseball overall. A higher level of participation, i.e., major leaguers from 40-man rosters, would not be practical for an in-season tournament.

Let's remember that the International Olympic Committee dropped baseball and softball after the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, but MLB is a major financial supporter of the World Baseball Softball Confederation's effort to reinstate both sports for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

In addition to Canada and the U.S., 4 teams have secured bids: Cuba, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. The 7th ticket from South America will be determined by a qualifier in early March. Rosters for the tournament will consist of 24 players, according to Toronto 2015 spokesman Teddy Katz.

Canada defeated the U.S., 2-1, in the final of the 2011 Pan-Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. The U.S. team for that tournament included a number of players such as pitchers Matt Shoemaker and Drew Smyly, infielder Jordy Mercer, and outfielder A.J. Pollock, who are established major leaguers now.
According to Baseball Canada, this year's Pan-Am tournament will run from July 11th-19th in Ajax, Ontario, outside Toronto.

Baseball at the Pan-American Games typically hasn't generated much interest among North American fans, but the timing and location of this year's tournament should provide a modest bump in publicity. Local organizers were wise to ensure games would take place on two days (July 15th and 16th) when there are no MLB events during the All-Star break; then, the July 19th final will take place on a Sunday, 1 week before the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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