Yesterday the representatives from Cuba, Bayamo was blanked 1-0 by the representative of Japan in a clash that marked the debut of a Cuban team in the renowned Little League World Series.
The young antilleans faced Musashi Fuchu, from Tokyo, a team that is attending this tournament for the fourth time (2000, 2003 and 2013), and has won two titles in its last two appearances. Japan is looking to win the twelfth crown for its country.
In a game that was held at the Volunteer Stadium, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania (United States), the Cubans were handcuffed by Japanese pitching, to the point of being held hitless on the evening and with 14 of 18 outs coming via strikeout.
— Little League (@LittleLeague) August 16, 2023
The starter and winner of the clash Hinata Uchigachi worked for five innings with a good combination of pitches struck out thirteen and walked three. Akito Masuda earned the save by getting the last two outs of the game and the third coming at second on an attempted steal.
The Asians won the game essentially in first inning by putting the only run of the day on the board. After retiring the first two batters Luis Enrique Gurriel issued a couple of walks and allowed the only hit of the game (Yohei Yamaguchi), which led to the 1-0 advantage by the Japanese team.
Gurriel pitched four innings where he allowed a hit, an earned run, walked five and fanned six. Ismael Ortega replaced him and issued two walks and was promptly replaced by Edgar Torres, who put up zeros in the two remaining innings also striking out a batter over that span.
— Little League (@LittleLeague) August 17, 2023
Bayamo reached the World Series by winning the final of the III Cuban Little League Championship against Habana del Este 8-2 in a fifth and deciding game. Unfortunately for the young Cubans, Fabián Montero Fonseca could not make the trip to the United States due to health problems and the team from Granma had to attend the event with 13 players instead of the allowable 14.
The Little League Baseball World Series (LLBWS), with 76 years of history (since 1947), will take place from today until August 27 with 20 participants, 10 from various regions of the United States and the other 10 from the rest of the world.
Today’s game was the 62nd no-hitter in tournament’s history. Cuba will play again on Saturday in the losers bracket, against the loser of tomorrow’s game between Curaçao (champion of the Caribbean region) and Hills, from Sydney, Australia.
Below are the numbers for Cuba on the evening:
Roberto Martinez (CF): 2-0, 2K
Edgar Torres (SS, L): 1-0, BB, K
Liusban Sanchez (3B, SS): 2-0, K
Luis E Gurriel Silveira (P, RF): 2-0, 2K
Samuel Palencia (LF): 2-0, 2K
Luis Aparicio (-): 1-0, BB, K
Heikel Reyes (1B): 2-0, K
Jonathan Lopez (-): 1-0, BB, K
Jeison Perez (RF): 1-0, K
Keibel Escalona (-): 0-0, BB
Didier Castillo (R): 1-0, K
Ismael Ortega (L, 3B): 1-0
Alfredo Despaigne Jr. (2B): 1-0
Luis E Gurriel: 4.0 IP, H, ER, 5BB, 6K, L (0-1)
Ismael Ortega: 0.0 IP, 2BB
Edgar Torres: 2.0 IP, 0H, 0BB, K