After an absence of 64 years, Cuba is returning to the Caribbean Baseball Series for the third consecutive time since its return appearance in the February 2014 edition with national champions, Villa Clara. Two years ago, the Villa Clara team exited the tournament held on Venezuela’sMargarita Island in fifth and last place, with just one victory over Puerto Rico, in a marathon length game which ended 2-1 after 11 innings.
Last year saw Pinar del Río, winners of the 54th National Series, travel to the competition where it fought hard to reach the semi-finals, knocking out Puerto Rico’s Cangrejeros de Santurce team on home soil.
However, the squad from Cuba’s westernmost province, made a strong comeback eliminating Venezuela’s Caribes de Anzoátegui in the semifinals and the Mexican selection, the Tomateros de Culiacán, in the final. The Pinar del Río team’s win constituted Cuba’s eight in the history of the tournament, and first since the Elefantes de Cienfuegos claimed the title in 1960.