By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES — Play resumes on Friday in the 2012-2013 Cuban baseball league. The season is already beyond the half way point in the qualifying round of play with a total of 45 games scheduled for each of the 16 teams.
Sancti Spiritus (17-7) is the current leader with Cienfuegos and Cinderalla team Isla de la Juventud (16-8) one game back.
To date the biggest disappointment is the usually powerful Santiago de Cuba (7-17). Also struggling are recent years playoff contenders Las Tunas and Granma, both with 9-15 records.
Eight teams will qualify for the second half of the season, which will suffer a month long break due to Team Cuba’s preparations and play in the World Baseball Classic III this coming March.
Last year’s league champs, Ciego de Avila (13-12) are currently in seventh place while Industriales (15-10), the runners-up, are in fifth place 2.5 games from the leaders.
The yearend recess ends today with a full slate of eight games scheduled for Friday.
Isla de la Juventud begins a three game series in Artemisa; Pinar del Rio plays at Havana’s Latinoamericano Stadium vs. Industriales; Holguin in Sancti Spiritus; Las Tunas in Villa Clara; Ciego de Avila in Camaguey; Cienfuegos in Granma; Matanzas in Santiago de Cuba and Mayabeque plays in Guantanamo.
Standings through January 3, 2013
Giorvis Duvergel, GTM, .421
Danger Guerrero, MAY, .410
Dayron Armando, CMG, .410
Frederich Cepeda, SSP, .396
Ariel Sanchez, MTZ, .392
HITS: Frederich Cepeda, SSP, 36
RUNS: Yuliesky Gourriel, SSP, 20
HR: Ernesto Molinet, MAY, 6
RBI’s: Frederich Cepeda, SSP, 23
SLUGGING: Frederich Cepeda, SSP, .670
Diosdani Castillo, VC, .073
Noelvis Hernandez, SSP, .084
Yander Guevara, CAV, 1.04
Joel Suarez, MTZ, 1.09
Luis Manuel Suarez, IJV, 1.15
WINS: Wilber Perez, IJV, 6
STRIKEOUTS: Ismel Jimenez, SSP, 35
INNINGS: Vladimir Garcia, CAV, 48.1