Cuban Hurler “Perfect” During World University Games


DHinojosaNoHitSm.jpgThe eventful August Tokyo tournament will long be remembered for perhaps the most thrilling finish ever witnessed in a world championship game. But the venue also featured a rare perfect game authored by Guantánamo ace Dalier Hinojosa, and that “gem” notably came in Hinojosa’s first-ever-start for the Cuban national team. The perfect game–tossed in the tournament quarterfinals–was largely overshadowed by the Cuban slugging display staged by Despaigne, Céspedes and Abreu, yet it remains a landmark moment nonetheless.  This was only the fifth-ever masterpiece authored by a Team Cuba hurler in international competitions and ironically two (the other by Lázaro Valle in 1989) have been knockout-shortened perfect games. Sri Lanka did not score a single run in its six Tokyo contests and Hinojosa was thus hardly facing talented batsmen in this match. Nevertheless any no-hitter (let alone a perfect game with no base runners permitted) is always one of baseball’s most difficult and thus rarest achievements, regardless of the opposition. And Hinojosa notably struck out all but five of the 21 hitters he was forced to face. This was also the first time a no-hitter has ever been authored during the medal elimination round (as opposed to pool play) of any official IBAF-sanctioned international event, as well as being the first gem witnessed in five reunions of the university championship games.

 

 


DalierHinojosa.jpgTeam Cuba No-Hitters in Official International Tournaments

 

IBAF World Cup XXI (Havana, November 29, 1973)

Juan Pérez Pérez 4-0 over Venezuela (9 innings), the first-ever Cuban no-hitter in international events

 

Intercontinental Cup VIII (Havana, October 12, 1987)

Pablo Miguel Abreu 10-0 over Mexico (7 innings), the first-ever no-hitter in Intercontinental Cup history

 

Intercontinental Cup IX (San Juan, August 22, 1989)

Lázaro Valle (perfect game) 11-0 over South Korea (8 innings), with 13Ks (of 24 batters faced)

 

Pan American Games XI (Havana, August 6, 1991)
Jorge Luis Valdés
14-0 over Canada (7 innings), the first-ever no-hitter in Pan American Games history

 

World University Championships V (Tokyo, August 3, 2010)

Dalier Hinojosa (perfect game) 14-0 over Sri Lanka (7 innings), with 16 Ks (of 21 batters faced)

 

Full tournament coverage can be found on www.BaseballdeCuba.com

 

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