2004-2005 Cuban National League

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The 2004-2005 season was the forty-fourth season of Cuba's national baseball system.

Serie Nacional[edit]

The 44th Serie Nacional was won by Santiago de Cuba, who were managed by Antonio Pacheco – the recently retired career base hits leader. The avispas won the final series, 4 – 2 over La Habana.

Three-time reigning champion Industriales, had the best regular season record at 59 – 30, but were eliminated in the quarterfinals, 3 – 1, by Sancti Spíritus, who finished five and a half games behind the leones in Grupo B. In the other Zona Occidental quarterfinal, third-place La Habana defeated Pinar del Río, 3 – 1. La Habana defeated Sancti Spíritus in the semifinals, 4 games to 2.

The top team in the Zona Oriental was Santiago de Cuba by one game over Ciego de Ávila. The other playoff teams were Granma and Villa Clara. For the second straight year, the zona's quarterfinals were both sweeps as Santiago de Cuba defeated Granma, while number three Villa Clara defeated Ciego de Ávila. Santiago de Cuba then swept another series, winning the semifinals series versus Villa Clara, 4 – 0.

The first five games of the finals saw four shutouts and two blowouts, but were followed by a one-run game won in the last of the ninth inning to give Santiago de Cuba the title. La Habana won the first game at Estadio Guillermón Moncada, 6 – 0, on the pitching of Jonder Martínez and José Ángel García. Santiago de Cuba came back in the second game, 15 to 4, and shutout the vaqueros in game three at Estadio Nelson Fernández, 10 – 0, on a combined two-hit effort by Norge Luis Vera and Alberto Bicet. The series' third shutout (7 to 0) occurred on account of the brilliant pitching of La Habana's Yulieski González and José García, holding La Habana to three hits. Danny Betancourt pitched an 8 – 0 complete game shutout in game five. The series returned to Santiago de Cuba's Estadio Guillermón Moncada for game six.

La Habana's Yadier Pedroso opposed Santiago de Cuba's Ormari Romero in the game – both pitchers would go the distance. The avispas scored first in the bottom of the fifth. Reutilio Hurtado hit a single followed by Edilse Silva sacrifice moving Hurtado to second. Héctor Olivera Jr. then grounded out, bringing left fielder Manuel Benavides up with a runner on second base with two outs. Benavides then hit a double to left scoring the run. The inning ended on an Alexander Jorge ground out. La Habana came back in the top of the sixth with a leadoff home run to left. The score remained knotted at one-all through the top of the ninth. In the bottom of the ninth, Santiago de Cuba's second baseman Héctor Olivera Jr., hit a leadoff texas leaguer to right. Manuel Benavides then failed to advance the runner on the sacrifice bunt. Alexander Jorge was then intentionally walked to bring up Alexei Bell. Bell hit a sacrifice fly to right, advancing Olivera to third. Rolando Meriño received the innings second free pass, loading the bases. First baseman Pedro Poll then hit a ball to right scoring Olivera and giving Santiago de Cuba their seventh title.

Las Tunas outfielder Osmani Urrutia won his fifth straight batting title, but failed to hit over .400 for the first time since his run began. He hit .385 by getting 112 hits in 291 at-bats. Urrutia’s teammate Joan Carlos Pedroso hits 27 home runs, one short of his record from two years earlier. Trailing Pedroso were Sancti Spíritus teammates Eriel Sánchez at 25 and Yulieski Gourriel at 23. Gourriel lead the league in base hits with 126 and runs scored with 80. Las Tunas infielder Yordanis Scull stole 35 bases, the first time in fourteen years that neither Enrique Díaz or Eduardo Paret were among the leaders.

Granma veteran righthander Ciro Silvino Licea ties for the league lead in victories with fellow veteran Pedro Luis Lazo, of Pinar del Río, at 13 wins. Lazo's teammate Yunesky Maya posts the league's best ERA of 1.61 by giving up 16 earned runs in 89.2 innings pitched. Industriales' Yadel Martí has the best record at 11 and 2.

Former rookie sensation Kendry Morales defects to Miami, FL via a boat. The twenty-year old infielder had played three seasons in the for Industriales but was suspended in early 2004 after a eight attempts to defect. Morales would obtain residency in the Dominican Republic before signing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.


Bold indicates Zona champion; Italics indicates Serie Nacional champion

Zona Occidental[edit]

Grupo A Grupo B
Pinar del Río 89 55 34 0.618 -.- Industriales 89 59 30 0.663 -.-
Isla de la Juventud 90 42 48 0.467 13.5 La Habana 89 54 35 0.607 5.0
Metropolitanos 90 33 57 0.367 22.5 Sancti Spíritus 90 54 36 0.600 5.5
Matanzas 89 28 61 0.315 27.0 Cienfuegos 90 31 59 0.344 28.5

Zona Oriental[edit]

Grupo C Grupo D
Ciego de Ávila 90 54 36 0.600 -.- Santiago de Cuba 90 55 35 0.611 -.-
Villa Clara 90 51 39 0.567 3.0 Granma 90 50 40 0.556 5.0
Las Tunas 90 47 43 0.522 7.0 Holguín 90 37 53 0.411 18.0
Camagüey 90 35 55 0.389 19.0 Guantánamo 90 33 57 0.367 22.0


  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  OCC1  Industriales 1  
OCC4  Sancti Spíritus 3  
  OCC4  Sancti Spíritus 2  
  OCC3  La Habana 4  
OCC2  Pinar del Río 1
  OCC3  La Habana 3  
    OCC3  La Habana 2
  OTE1  Santiago de Cuba 4
  OTE1  Santiago de Cuba 3  
OTE4  Granma 0  
  OTE1  Santiago de Cuba 4
  OTE3  Villa Clara 0  
OTE2  Ciego de Ávila 0
  OTE3  Villa Clara 3  

All-Star Game[edit]

The twentieth Juego de las Estrellas (All-Star Game) was held in Las Tunas on February 26, 2005. In the game, Occidentales defeated Oriente by a score of 4 to 1. Both teams had 7 hits, while the errors were 0 to 1 in favor of Oriente. The winning pitcher was Yunieski Maya and the losing pitcher was Valeri García.


Bold indicates either wooden bat record or aluminum bat record (1976-1977 to 1998-1999), Italics indicate Serie Nacional record


Stat Leader Team Number Notes
Batting Average Osmani Urrutia Las Tunas .385 112 hits in 291 at-bats
Runs Scored Yulieski Gourriel Sancti Spíritus 80
Base Hits Yulieski Gourriel Sancti Spíritus 126
Doubles Michel Enríquez Isla de la Juventud 30
Triples Adriano B. García Cienfuegos 12
Home Runs Joan C. Pedroso Las Tunas 27
Runs Batted In Eriel Sánchez
Antonio Scull
Sancti Spíritus
87 Leader in less at-bats (311)
326 at-bats
Base-on-Balls Frederich Cepeda Sancti Spíritus 93
Intentional Base-on-Balls Amaury Casañas
Loidel Chapellí
Hit-by-Pitch Eduardo Paret Villa Clara 25
Strikeouts Amaury Casañas Matanzas 80
Sacrifice Hit Amaury Suárez Matanzas 14
Sacrifice Fly Serguei Pérez
Yorelvis Charles
Antonio Scull
Ciego de Ávila
Stolen Bases Yordanis Scull Las Tunas 35


Stat Leader Team Number Notes
Wins Ciro S. Licea
Pedro L. Lazo
Pinar del Río
Win-Loss Percentage Yadel Martí Industriales 0.846 11 - 2
Earned Run Average Yunesky Maya Pinar del Río 1.61 16 ER in 89.2 IP
Innings Pitched Luis M. Rodríguez Holguín 159.0
Games Pitched Yolexis Ulacia Villa Clara 42
Games Started Orelvis Ávila Holguín 24
Games Relieved Yolexis Ulacia Villa Clara 42
Complete Games Carlos A. Yánes Isla de la Juventud 13
Shutouts Danny Betancourt Santiago de Cuba 4
Hits Allowed Ciro S. Licea Granma 164
Strikeouts Adiel Palma Cienfuegos 143
Base-on-Balls Elier Sánchez Camagüey 66
Intentional Base-on-Balls Ubisney Bermúdez
Yusef Page García
Las Tunas
Hit Batters Misael López
Danny Betancourt
Santiago de Cuba

Award Winners[edit]

The Most Valuable Player (Jugadores más Valiosos) was Yulieski Gourriel a third baseman with Sancti Spíritus. The Most Valuable Pitcher (Lanzadores más Valiosos) was [[]] of [[]]. Yadier Pedroso of La Habana was the Series' Rookie of the Year (Novatos del Año).

Súper Liga[edit]

The fourth Súper Liga was won by Occidentales who defeated Centrales in the best-of-three championship series. Occidentales (Súper Liga)|Occidentales was managed by the Rey Anglada.


Centrales 26 16 10 0.615 -.-
Occidentales 28 15 13 0.536 2.0
Santiago de Cuba 27 14 13 0.519 2.5
Orientales 28 12 16 0.429 5.0
Habaneros 27 11 16 0.407 5.5


The Súper Liga Championship Playoff featured the first and second place teams in a best-of-three series. The second place Occidentales defeated the first place Centrales, 2 games to 0.





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