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Posted April 14, 2005 by publisher in Cuban Sports

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Prensa Latina

Santiago de Cuba defeated Havana province 2-1 in the sixth game of the best of seven series to become the champion of the 44th Cuban National Baseball Series.

On Tuesday evening, Santiago de Cuba starter Ormani Romero pitched one of the best games of his career to help his team amass the sixth national pennant in the teams history.

The game was very tight as Havana province rookie Yadier Pedroso, 19, was also dominant in the mound.

At the bottom of the fifth inning, Pedroso allowed two hits including a double off the bat of Manuel Benavides, that bat in Reutilio Hurtado from second base.

However, Havana came from behind and tied one apiece as designated hitter Luis Ignacio Gonzalez smashed a solo homer in the sixth.

From there on Pedroso and Romero threw straight scoreless innings and none of the two sides could take a lead until the bottom of the ninth, when Pedroso, apparently tired, gave up one single and Manuel Benavides bunted perfectly to advance the batter from first base to second.

After retiring Alexei Bell, powerful cleaner-up Rolando Merio was walked. With bases loaded, Rogel Poll hit a pop-up single into shallow left field to bat in the winning run and secure his teams victory and become the champions of the 2004-2005 season.

Sancti Spiritus, who lost to Havana in the best of seven series of the Western Division, took the third position.

In the post-season, Santiago de Cuba first beat Granma in the best of five series and later swept Villa Clara in the Eastern Division semi-finals.

Havana Citys Industriales, back-to-back champion (2003-2004) ranked fifth.

Following a 90-game regular season and the post-season, Cuban baseball will recess until the start of the Super League, which gathers the best local players.

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