The Bahamas plays Puerto Rico tonight; game gets underway at 7 p.m.
Tempers flared and dugouts emptied in the bottom of the fifth inning last night, and when the dust had cleared, The Bahamas lost 9-3 to Cuba as the 4th Annual COCABE (Caribbean Baseball Confederation) Caribbean Baseball Cup continued at the Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium.
The Bahamas gave up six runs in that fifth inning and never recovered. There were three ejections, including Bahamian pitcher Carvin Dames and Team Manager Geron Sands. Cuban left fielder Hector Labrada was also ejected.
The host nation now drops to one win and two losses in the week-long tournament.
Cuba got the scoring going in the bottom of the first inning on a wild pitch that brought home one runner.
In the top of the fifth inning, designated hitter Dante Stuart got The Bahamas’ third hit of the night and second baseman Adari Grant got hit by pitch. It looked promising for awhile for The Bahamas, but Cuba closed the door in that inning and preserved a slim 1-0 lead.
Cuba scored two quick runs to go up 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Bahamas switched pitchers at that point, as Carvin Dames replaced Giovante Tomlins. Dames did not last long on the mound, as he was ejected from the game in that same inning when he shoved a Cuban player who was walking between the third base and home plate during a break in play.
The visitors went on to score four more runs in that inning to make it tough for the home team to come back in the game. Cuba led 7-0 after five innings.
In the top of the ninth inning with one out, pinch hitter Ellison Hanna, in his only at-bat of the night, became the first Bahamian to hit a home run in the new stadium. He sent Yunier Castillo’s ball deep to right field and over the fence. The Bahamas trailed 9-1 at that point.
The Bahamas seemed to have found some life late as Yeshua Saint sent the ball to right field and got a triple. Saint brought home pinch hitter Kashon Conliffe from second base and Stuart from first base. With two out, third baseman Keithron Moss could not bring home Hanna, as he grounded out to end the game. Cuba stopped the late rally, winning 9-3.
Stuart led The Bahamas’ batting as he went 2-for-4 and scored a run. Catcher Ural Forbes and left fielder Kristin Munroe both went 1-for-3.
Cuba had three batters with two hits as shortstop Vicente Mateo and designated hitter Yoelkia Guibert both went 2-for-4 and Jose Aviles went 2-for-3.
The winning pitcher was Cuba’s Manuel Reyes. Castillo got the save. Tomlins was the losing pitcher.
The top two teams from the week-long tournament will qualify to compete at next year’s Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in San Salvador, El Salvador. If Cuba is among the top two, the top three will qualify for the CAC Games, as Cuba has previously qualified.
Earlier in the day, Puerto Rico denied the US Virgin Islands a run, shutting them out 6-0.
The defending champions Curacao is at the top of the table with a 2-1 win/loss record. Puerto Rico and Cuba are also 2-1. The Bahamas sits at 1-2 and the U.S. Virgin Islands is 1-3.
The Bahamas will return to action tonight when they take on Puerto Rico at 7 p.m. The early game will see Cuba taking on Curacao. That game will take place at 3 p.m.
All players in Bahamas Baseball Association (BBA) registered leagues 18 years and younger can attend tonight’s game free of charge. They must wear their league baseball jersey tops. Also, Miami Marlins’ infielder Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm Jr. will be in attendance from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for an autograph opportunity.