Cuba’s starter Jonder Martinez worked seven innings and fanned 12 with one walk and three hit batters. The lone base hit he surrendered was a sixth-inning single by St. Thomas junior Jake Mauer. Martinez — called a “definite major-league prospect” by a professional team scout on hand, mixed 90-mph fastballs with impressive breaking pitches to keep the Toms, a 28-12 team this season, off balance.
The Toms didn’t get a runner past first base until the ninth inning and left seven runners on base.
Equipo Caribe had about a dozen new players from a team that lost to St. Thomas 7-0 in January in Havana. The guests led 1-0 through five innings before using three hits and two errors in a five-run sixth-inning. They added two more runs in the top of the ninth.
The Havana team was led by Yorelvis Charles, who was 3-for-5 with an RBI and one run scored; Frederich Cepeda, who was 2-for-3, reached two other times on a walk at hit-by-pitch, and had an RBI triple in the first and an RBI double in the sixth; Luis Navas, who led off the game with a double and later scored; and Endry Trujillo, who had a triple and scored twice.
For UST, sophomore Bryan Edstrom started for the Tommies and allowed one run and three hits with three strikeouts in three innings. Freshman Jon Marzolf pitched five innings and allowed four hits and three earned runs with two strikeouts.
UST rightfielder Scott Christiansen threw a runner out at home plate in the ninth inning to complete a double play. The Toms also had stellar defensive catches by catcher Dan Novak and first-baseman Paul Rafferty chasing down foul fly balls.
The Tommies, who used three pitchers and all 18 position players, didn’t use their top two pitchers, seniors Mike Honsa and Bryan Toov, who each pitched 13 innings in last weekend’s MIAC tournament.
The Tommies will play May 18 in the NCAA Division III Regional at a site to be determined.
The Cuban group will remain in the Twin Cities until Thursday morning, and both teams will attend Wednesday’s Twins-Cleveland Indians game at the Metrodome.
Equipo Caribe…100 006 002 — 8 10 1
St. Thomas……000 000 000 — 0 1 3
EC-Martinez, Doris (8), Gonzalez (9) and Ruiz;
ST-Edstrom, Marzolf (4), Blazovich (9) and Novak, Wilberg (4), Olson (7);