In a hard-fought match that needed extra innings, Granma won away 4-3 over Ciego de Ávila and went ahead in the grand final of the 56th Cuban National Baseball Series.
Closer Miguel Lahera earned the win while the also reliever Raidel Martinez took the loss.
The current champions took the lead in the second inning when scoring thrice, with highlight to a solo homer by catcher Osvaldo Vazquez.
But Granma managed to tie the score in the eighth thanks mainly to a double by SS Yordan Manduley and a two-RBI hit by second baseman Carlos Benitez.
Then the game went to extra-innings and it was then when Roger Machado, Ciego de Avila´s manager, with two outs and empty bases, decided Martinez not to walk Alfredo Despaigne, Cuba´s best slugger nowadays by far, with the subsequent result that he sent the ball over the fences of the right field.
Thus, Granma takes a very important step in their aspirations to win for the first time this competition.
The second game of this final will be today and the starting pitchers should be the right-handers Vladimir Baños, for the local side, and Noelvis Entenza, for Granma.