Champion Pinar del Rio Is not Giving Up Hope
Current champion Pinar del Rio returns to the qualifying zone of the Cuban Baseball Series this season after defeating Artemisa by a score of 1-0 on Thursday and tied in fourth place with Isla de La Juventud and Ciego de Avila.
Andy Sarduy hit a double to drive in a run in the seven inning, securing the win of starter Erlis Casanova, who allowed five hits and struck out 11 in seven innings. Left hander Liván Moinelo earned a saved game.
Matanzas won over Ciego de Ávila 5-3 to prevent a slide in the sub-series with the ninth win by veteran Jonder Martínez and excellent offensive by Yurisbel Gracial who batted a homer and drove in two runs.
Industriales beat Isla de la Juventud 14-4 in the first of a double game program as a result of a substantial offensive of 18 hits led by designated hitter Lisbán Correa who batted two home runs and drove in seven runs. However, Isla de la Juventud took revenge in the second game by score of 4-2 to win the sub-series two games for one due to pitches from the mound by Darién Núñez and the offensive of fielder Yusniel Ibáñez with a homer and two runs driven in.
Granma's Alfredo Despaigne batted 3-2 including a home run and drove in two runs to lead his team to victory over Holguin by a score of 9-3.
Each team have yet to play 21 games to end the second phase as Matanzas is leading the standings with 42 wins and 24 defeats followed by Granma (41-25), Industriales (38-28), Pinar del Río, Ciego de Ávila, Isla de la Juventud (36-30), Artemisa (33-33) and Holguín (30-36).
Cuba's Domadores Expect to Beat British Lionhearts
Domadores contenders on Friday are British Lionhearts, who have won both of their home matches in the WSB competition, but have lost all three of their bouts on the road, and their task for a first win will not come easy in Havana.
Ciudad Deportiva in the Cuban capital is the venue for this Group A clash, where fans around the world can watch the action for free, live and on demand from 20:30 (GMT -5) at the AIBABoxingTV.com website.
Cuban Flyweight (52 kg) Yosbany Veitia has won ten straight WSB fights, and seeks his 11th win in a row against two-time European medal winner José Kelvin de la Nieve Linares who makes his WSB debut for the Lionhearts.
Lazaro Alvarez is 2-0 so far this Season for Cuba, and puts his undefeated Lightweight (60 kg) record on the line when he faces Frenchman Oualid Belaoura, making his first WSB appearance for the Lionhearts but holding previous experience in the competition for Algeria Desert Hawks.
Cuban Welterweight (69 kg) gold medal holder Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo is 6-0 overall in WSB, and 1-0 this season, but faces a very tough challenge against Haizel Ekow Tabiri-Essuman who has not been defeated after two matches so far.
Light heavyweight (81 kg) Julio Cesar De La Cruz is on top of his weight category rankings, and he meets Lionheart John Newell, who won his first match of the season in a frustrating fashion, as his Algerian opponent failed to show up for the fight.
An exciting Super heavyweight (91+ kg) bout finishes off the evening in Havana, as two undefeated fighters battle against each other.
Cuba’s Lenier Eunice Pero won both of his matches in Season V on points, while Britain’s Joseph Joyce has stopped both of his opponents.
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