Bayamo LLWS team meets with Cuban big league pitcher.

Yesterday the players from Bayamo who represented Cuba in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, visited PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Best Baseball in the World. The Cuban squad had the opportunity to visit a Major League stadium and, in addition to meeting with the Pirates team, in which Johan Oviedo, also a Cuban, plays. The right-hander has been in the Pittsburgh starting rotation all season.

The Cuban team debuted in the event with a 1-0 defeat against Musashi Fuchu, from Tokyo, Japan. Then in the losers he defeated their counterpart from Australia (Hills, Sydney) by knockout (11-1). On Sunday they finished their first incursion in the Little League World Series by losing 3-2 to Santiago de Veraguas (Panama).

Little League announced at a press conference on Saturday (before the Australia game) that it had reached an agreement with the Cuban Baseball Federation to give Cuban teams a chance to qualify for the Series in future years. The agreement also incorporated the creation of softball leagues within the country.

The antilleans finished with a batting average of .215 (65 AB; 15 H), swatted two doubles, a triple, a home run and drove in 13 runs made. They posted a .315 OBP, .338 SLG, walked eight and struck out 32 times. The pitchers of the young team did a great job posting a 2.12 ERA in 17 innings of work and only allowing five runs (4 earned). They issued 11 walks, struck out 28, opponents hit a measly .150 against the hurler and they also had an excellent 1.17 WHIP.

Bayamo reached the Little League World Series directly after winning the final of the III Cuban Little League Championship against Habana del Este (3-2) and finishing with an 8-2 record in the tournament. The Little League Baseball World Series (LLBWS), with 76 years of history (since 1947), takes place from August 16 to 27 and 20 teams came together, 10 from regions of the United States and the same from the rest of the world. Cuba will return next year with their representative being the team that wins the Cuban Little League national tournament.

Leave a Reply