A game in Cuba Monday night turned chaotic when a player stormed the mound with a bat in his hands and swung at the opposing pitcher.
After Eriel Sanchez led off the seventh inning with a home run to give Matanzas a 3-0 lead, Villa Clara righthander Freddy Alvarez hit the next batter, Yasiel Santoya, in the head with a fastball. Two batters later, 17-year-old Victor Mesa Jr., the son of Matanzas manager Victor Mesa, got hit by a 2-0 fastball.
That’s when chaos erupted. The pitch didn’t get much of Mesa, but his momentum trying to get out of the way took him back to his dugout down the third base line. Meanwhile, Demis Valdes, who wasn’t even in the game, came off the bench charging the mound with a bat in his hands.
Alvarez didn’t hide. The video shows him moving toward the storming player and simultaneously throwing his glove at him, while Valdes swung the bat at Alvarez with his left hand, which Alvarez ducked to avoid. With Alvarez getting up from his crouch on the ground, Valdes took a full righthanded swing at him with the bat, which narrowly missed smoking Alvarez in the head. That gave Villa Clara catcher Ariel Borrero enough time to tackle the Matanzas player from behind.
Both benches cleared and relievers poured in from the outfield. After five minutes, the umpires pulled all of the players off the field and delayed the game for another 16 minutes before the game resumed, with Alvarez no longer on the mound. Matanzas held on for a 3-0 victory and the game finished without any further incident.
While the brawl was crazy enough on its own, the characters involved make it even more intriguing. The batter, Victor Mesa Jr., is an athletic center fielder and one of the top young players on the rise in Cuba. Alvarez, 24, pitches for the Cuban national team and played in the World Baseball Classic last year. Who manages the Cuban national team? Matanzas manager Victor Mesa.
Feb. 19 update: Valdes has been suspended from the league for one year.