Miracles do exist and proof was the fact that just a few drops of rain fell over Ciego de Ávila this Sunday, despite forecasts of strong winds and rain for the inauguration of this 55th National Baseball Series.
With a game to meet expectations, the balls and strikes returned to the home field of the Tigers, the current champions of the series, who saw their first victory (5-1) against Isla de la Juventud, who were as combative as they were during the previous season despite many changes to the team.
The game saw solid pitching from Vladimir García as starter, followed by Yadir Rabí and Yennier Cano, to secure the win for Roger Machado’s squad, the most complete team of the series, expected to dominate the first phase.
In the batter’s box, Humberto Morales Yoelvis Fiss and Rubén Valdez were the top players, while the experienced Yorelvis Charles didn’t disappoint upon his return from injury.
In the rest of the results for this first day of the season, Artemis beat (8-2), Cienfuegos won against Matanzas (7-2), Sancti Spiritus was victorious over Pinar del Río (5-1), Santiago de Cuba thrashed Mayabeque (11-1) and Guantánamo saw off Holguin (1-0), while the Camagüey- Las Tunas game was suspended due to rain at the beginning of the fifth inning, with the latter leading 3-0.
This Monday will see Ciego de Ávila vs. Industriales and Villa Clara vs. Isla de la Juventud, both kicking off at 3.00 p.m. this afternoon.
The inauguration also included recognitions for Norge Luis Vera, Lázaro Santana, Luis Ulacia, Omar Linares and Martín Dihigo, the last two entering the World Baseball Hall of Fame. Gerardo Hernández Nordelo also presented the reigning champions with a baseball bat signed by the Five Cuban anti-terrorists, an initiative which has continued over the past six years.