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2003-2004 Cuban National League

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The 2003-2004 season was the forty-third season of Cuba's national baseball system.

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[edit] Serie Nacional

The 43rd Serie Nacional was won by Industriales, managed by Rey Vicente Anglada. It was their second straight title and tenth in franchise history. The azules once again swept Villa Clara in the finals.

In Zona Occidental, Pinar del Río was the top team at 57 – 33, tied with Villa Clara for the top record in the serie. In Grupo B, Sancti Spíritus finished two and a half games ahead of Industriales; Isla de la Juventud rounded out the playoff qualifiers. In the quarterfinals, Pinar del Río swept Isla de la Juventud while the Industriales-Sancti Spíritus went the full five games with Industriales winning. Industriales then won in the semifinals against Pinar del Río 4 game to 2.

Zona Oriental's top team was eventual serie runner-up Villa Clara, with Grupo C's second place team, Ciego de Ávila, trailing the naranjas by one and a half games. Santiago de Cuba and Granma of Grupo D were the other two playoff teams. The quarterfinals saw two sweeps as Villa Clara defeated Granma and Santiago de Cuba beat Ciego de Ávila. Villa Clara then defeated Santiago de Cuba in a seven-game semifinal to advance to the finals.

Industriales then rolled through the finals four straight games, outscoring Villa Clara 27 runs to 11 . The fourth contest at Estadio Latinoamericano ended in a dramatic fashion. In the bottom of the ninth, down 4 – 2, Industriales faced stellar reliever Eliecer Montes de Oca. Rudy Reyes leadoff with a double and then Yasser Ottamendi pinch hit for Eliú Torres. Otamendi bunted for a base hit and moved Reyes to third. Second baseman Enrique Díaz then came up with runners on first and third and no outs. He doubled home both runs to win the game for Industriales.

Las Tunas outfielder Osmani Urrutia posted a record-breaking season that won him the league's MVP. For his fourth straight batting title, Urrutia hit an all-time record .469 – 121 hits in 258 at-bats. He also tied for the league lead with 67 runs batted in – with Camagüey's Loidel Chapellí and Pinar del Río's Yosvani Peraza. He also came within three home runs of leader Reinier Yero's (Sancti Spíritus) 19. Urrutia's teammate Yordanis Scull scored a leading 74 runs and hit 131 base hits – most in league play.

The league's top pitcher was Villa Clara starter Luis Borroto. He was the ERA leader at 1.49 with 21 earned runs in 126.2 and struck out a league best 135 hitters. Ifreidi Coss of Sancti Spíritus went 10 – 2 and Isla de la Juventud's Carlos A. Yánes pitched in 167.0 innings while completing 12 games.

On February 21, Pinar del Río infielder Alexander Ramos played in his 1000th consecutive game – the first Cuban player to do so.

This season saw several newsworthy defections. Future major league infielder and former Villa Clara shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt defected July, 2003 to Mexico. In late October former national team members Maels Rodríguez and Yobal Dueñas defected to El Salvador via a speed boat. Two months later former World University Baseball Championship team member Alaín Soler left the island and was followed by Industriales's Amaury Sanit Sabouren and Matanzas's Michel Abreu Martínez in February.

[edit] Standings

Bold indicates Zona champion; Italics indicates Serie Nacional champion

[edit] Zona Occidental

Grupo A Grupo B
Team G W L WPCT GB
Pinar del Río 90 57 33 0.633 -.- Sancti Spíritus 89 54 35 0.607 -.-
Isla de la Juventud 89 46 43 0.517 10.5 Industriales 90 52 38 0.578 2.5
Metropolitanos 90 43 47 0.478 14.0 La Habana 89 38 51 0.427 16.0
Matanzas 90 27 63 0.300 30.0 Cienfuegos 89 27 62 0.303 27.0

[edit] Zona Oriental

Grupo C Grupo D
Team G W L WPCT GB Team G W L WPCT GB
Villa Clara 90 57 33 0.633 -.- Santiago de Cuba 90 53 37 0.589 -.-
Ciego de Ávila 89 55 34 0.618 1.5 Granma 90 49 41 0.544 4.0
Las Tunas 90 44 46 0.489 13.0 Holguín 90 42 48 0.467 11.0
Camagüey 90 38 52 0.422 19.0 Guantánamo 89 35 54 0.393 17.5

[edit] Playoffs

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
                           
  OCC1  Pinar del Río 3  
OCC4  Isla de la Juventud 0  
  OCC1  Pinar del Río 2  
Occidental
  OCC3  Industriales 4  
OCC2  Sancti Spíritus 2
  OCC3  Industriales 3  
    OCC3  Industriales 4
  OTE1  Villa Clara 0
  OTE1  Villa Clara 3  
OTE4  Granma 0  
  OTE1  Villa Clara 4
Oriental
  OTE3  Santiago de Cuba 3  
OTE2  Ciego de Ávila 0
  OTE3  Santiago de Cuba 3  

[edit] All-Star Game

The nineteenth Juego de las Estrellas (All-Star Game) was held at Santa Clara, Villa Clara on January 24, 2004. In the game, Oriente defeated Occidentales by a score of 4 to 3. Oriente had 10 hits to Occidentales's 7, while the errors were 0 to 1 in favor of Occidentales. The winning pitcher was Yolexis Ulacia and the losing pitcher was Carlos Yanes. Reinier Yero and Danel Castro each hit a home run.

[edit] Leaders

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

[edit] Batting

Stat Leader Team Number Notes
Batting Average Osmani Urrutia Las Tunas .469 121 hits in 258 at-bats
Runs Scored Yordanis Scull Las Tunas 74
Base Hits Yordanis Scull Las Tunas 131
Doubles Andy Zamora Villa Clara 33
Triples Marino Luis Camagüey 9
Home Runs Reinier Yero Sancti Spíritus 19
Runs Batted In Osmani Urrutia
Loidel Chapellí
Yosvani Peraza
Las Tunas
Camagüey
Pinar del Río
67 Leader in less at-bats (258)
330 at-bats
345 at-bats
Base-on-Balls Juan Manrique Matanzas 64
Intentional Base-on-Balls Michel Enríquez Isla de la Juventud 12
Hit-by-Pitch Reutilio Hurtado Santiago de Cuba 25
Strikeouts Reinier Yero Sancti Spíritus 97
Sacrifice Hit Roberto Borrero
Donal Duarte
Omar Arrozarena
Guantánamo
Pinar del Río
Sancti Spíritus
11
Sacrifice Fly Rey Isaac Santiago de Cuba 10 ?Name
Stolen Bases Enrique Díaz
Yusquiel García
Industriales
Camagüey
20 Leader

[edit] Pitching

Stat Leader Team Number Notes
Wins Carlos A. Yánes Isla de la Juventud 13
Win-Loss Percentage Ifreidi Coss Sancti Spíritus 0.833 10 - 2
Earned Run Average Luis Borroto Villa Clara 1.49 21 ER in 126.2 IP
Innings Pitched Carlos A. Yánes Isla de la Juventud 167.0
Games Pitched Yolexis Ulacia Villa Clara 45
Games Started Alexander Rodríguez Guantánamo 22
Games Relieved Yolexis Ulacia Villa Clara 45
Complete Games Carlos A. Yánes Isla de la Juventud 12
Shutouts Ciro S. Licea Granma 4
Hits Allowed Carlos A. Yánes Isla de la Juventud 177
Strikeouts Luis Borroto Villa Clara 135
Base-on-Balls Ubisney Bermúdez Las Tunas 58
Intentional Base-on-Balls Alexander Digurnay
Félix Rivera
Guantánamo
Santiago de Cuba
10
Hit Batters Alexander Rodríguez Guantánamo 26

[edit] Award Winners

The Most Valuable Player (Jugadores más Valiosos) was Osmani Urrutia a outfielder with Las Tunas. The Most Valuable Pitcher (Lanzadores más Valiosos) was [[]] of [[]]. Frank Montieth of the Industriales was the Series' Rookie of the Year (Novatos del Año).

[edit] Súper Liga

The third Súper Liga was won by Orientales who defeated Industriales in the best-of-three championship series. Orientales (Súper Liga)|Orientales was managed by the Higinio Vélez.

[edit] Standings

Team G W L WPCT GB
Industriales 15 10 5 0.667 -.-
Orientales 15 7 8 0.467 3.0
Occidentales 15 7 8 0.467 3.0
Centrales 15 6 9 0.400 4.0

[edit] Playoffs

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

[edit] Leaders

[edit] Batting

[edit] Pitching

[edit] Sources

Cuban National League Seasons
1962 1962-1963 1963-1964 1964-1965 1965-1966 1966-1967 1967-1968 1968-1969
1969-1970 1970-1971 1971-1972 1972-1973 1973-1974 1974-1975 1975-1976 1976-1977 1977-1978 1978-1979
1979-1980 1980-1981 1981-1982 1982-1983 1983-1984 1984-1985 1985-1986 1986-1987 1987-1988 1988-1989
1989-1990 1990-1991 1991-1992 1992-1993 1993-1994 1994-1995 1995-1996 1996-1997 1997-1998 1998-1999
1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014
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