All Square on the Diamond

Thursday the troops directed by Victor Mesa delivered a blow to the South Korean selection in Seoul, where the teams drew a two-game friendly series before travelling to Taipei China and Japan, scenarios of their respective debuts in the Premier 12 Tournament

By: Raiko Martin

Email: raiko@juventudrebelde.cu

2015-11-06 | 18:39:29 EST
Thursday the troops directed by Victor Mesa delivered a blow to the South Korean selection in Seoul, where the teams drew a two-game friendly series before travelling to Taipei China and Japan, scenarios of their respective debuts in the Premier 12 Tournament.Thursday the troops directed by Victor Mesa delivered a blow to the South Korean selection in Seoul, where the teams drew a two-game friendly series before travelling to Taipei China and Japan, scenarios of their respective debuts in the Premier 12 Tournament. Photo: KOBZoom
Travelling to the tournament with at least one win was important for many reasons, but especially to boost the soul of a group that barely oiled the machinery before getting on the plane, and the pressure, let´s be realists, about the absence of significant results that follows them wherever they go.

Fortunately it was possible, and in the early hours of Thursday the team directed by Victor Mesa made it necessary to strike back at the selection of South Korea in Seoul, where both teams drew a friendly two-game series before traveling to Taipei China and Japan, scenarios of their respective debuts in the Premier 12 Tournament.

This time it was the Caribbean army which had the early break, which had as an appetizer the excellent touch of Julio Pablo Martinez. Then Stayler Hernandez´s double and a high sacrifice by Lourdes Yunielki Gourriel lit up the scoreboard of the Gocheok Sky Dome stadium, and immediately came the second score thanks to a hit from the box by Yulieski Gourriel and an Alfredo Despaigne fly drive.The early deployment would have been enough for a farewell in peace, for first the skilful  Yosvani Torres, and then the other five pitchers who paraded through the box managed to preserve the advantage, some with good performances and others saved by the impeccable defence.

Key play to bolster the success, according to the report by special envoy Roberto Ramirez, was the spectacular fielding by Yunieski Gourriel in center field, before a connection that was about to change the game. So with Hector Mendoza in the box, the hosts, although playing this time as visitors, had runners at the corners. And if the hit connected by lefty H.S. Kim fell to the ground after the clash with his younger brother, they could have scored the two runners on base.

So, starting the event with the certainty of being capable of subduing one of the major candidates, is a psychological reward that reinforces the aspirations of the Cuban team. By constantly moving his chips, Victor Mesa and his colleagues may already have a much better idea of ​​the current state of their troops, and the most appropriate variants under the circumstances.

With bat in hand, Yulieski Gourriel is unstoppable, and now has the highest score since the previous presentation adding three more in four innings, one of them a double. In general, this time the Cubans were tighter in the batter's box, even though half a dozen strike-outs appeared. Stayler had couple of them while Julio Pablo, Lourdes Yunielki, Yurisbel Gracial and Yasiel Santoya and had the rest.

According to the website of the local federation, this time the line-up was Julio Pablo (CF, 3-1 and 1SO) Stayler (RF, 4-2), Lourdes Y. (LF, 3-1), Yulieski ( 3B, 4-3), Despaigne (BD, 0-0), Alexander Malleta (1B, 2-0), Rudy Reyes (2B, 3-0), Frank Camilo Morejón (R, 4-1) and Yordan Manduley ( SS, 3-0). Also with Yunieski (1-0), Santoya (2-0) and Gracial (1-0) saw the action of the masked Yosvani Alarcon (3-1).

As for the pitchers, their performance was as follows: Yosvani Torres (3 INN, 2H, 3BB, 3SO), Freddy Asiel Alvarez (2/3 INN, 1H, 2BB, 1SO) Jonder Martínez (1 2/3 INN, 1C, 2 H, 2 SO), Jose Angel Garcia (2 2/3 INN, 2h, 2 SO), Yunier Cano (2/3 INN, 1H, 1BB) and Hector Mendoza (1/3INN, 1BB).

Now, the team has several days to prepare for their debut against the Canadians. At the time of writing an official announcement about the opener in the first challenge had not materialized, so we will have to wait to see if the Cuban strategist keeps Yoanni Yera as an alternative to a batch of several left-handers, or if he changes his opinion faced with the circumstances.

As we have just seen both as Freddy Asiel and Yosvani Torres have met with their expectations, and appear to be two of the most reliable cards to begin the route.

Translated by ESTI

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