Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sancti Spiritus' Dramatic 25th!!

In front of a crowd of 10,000 fans at Jose Antonio Huelga Stadium, the Gallos of Sancti Spiritus played a grueling see-saw affair in their finale against Cienfuegos. The game lasted an unmanagable (sorry for the Michael Kay line) 3 hours and 45 minutes, decided in the bottom of the 10th inning in dramatic fashion. Final score: 11-10 Gallos.

Liuber Morales Herrera of Sancti Spiritus started the game against Adiel Palma Lopez. Both pitchers were not on their games and Herrera was knocked out after only one inning. He gave up 2 hits, 2 walks, and was lucky to escape with only two runs allowed. Four Gallos' pitchers followed Herrera and none of them was remotely effective. They posted a WHIP of 2.000 over 10 innings and seemed intent on ending the streak at 24.

Quite fortunatley for Lourdes Gourriel's club, Lopez was not stellar for Cienfuegos either. He managed to go 7.2 innings, giving up 7 hits, 3 walks, and 6 runs (5 earned). Even so, he handed an 8-6 lead to his relief core after surrendering 3 runs in the home half of the 8th. The excitement was only beginning. Islet Santiago gave up the tying runs in the bottom of the 9th to keep hope alive.

The top of the 10th seemed like Cinderella's midnight bell for the Espirituanos as Cienfuegos put two on the board in the first frame of extra innings. Everyone in the Stadium should have known better. The Gallos are not to be denied and a furious rally against Cienfuegos closer Leovel Cardoso Serpa ended the ballgame in dramatic fashion when Eriel Sanchez blasted a two run shot, his 8th on the season, to seal the victory in walk off style.

Pitching was not the key to this ballgame, bucking the trend of impressive victories in recent days for Sancti Spiritus. It was timely dramatic hitting by Livan Monteagudo and Sanchez that saved the day and allowed the Gallos to fight on against Industriales tomorrow for a crack at #26. Yulieski Gourriel was uncharacteristically absent from the drama and managed to put up an 0-5 amid the scoring outburst. Stay tuned!