Ottawa, ON – With 13 players who represented their country at this year’s World Baseball Classic, the Cuban National Team comes to Ottawa this weekend as a force with which to be reckoned.
The Ottawa Champions will host the Cubans from June 16th to 18th for the second straight season at RCGT Park as part of the Can-Am League’s International Series.
Included among those 13 WBC players is 19-year-old Yoelkis Cespedes, the younger half-brother of New York Mets superstar Yoenis Cespedes.
The younger Cespedes had a breakout season for Granma in the Cuban Baseball Series in 2016, as he slashed .297/.363/.460 with six homeruns and 45 RBI in 90 games. He’s been equally dangerous through six games against Trois-Rivieres and Quebec, batting .304 in 23 at-bats.
The Cubans also feature 11 returning players from last year’s international series, including catcher Yosvani Alarcon who hit .317 in 20 games, and pitcher Bladimir Banos, who ended up with a 3-0 record and 2.37 ERA in four starts.
While the Cubans and Champions are entertaining the fans on the field, there will be plenty off the field as well.
Friday night is presented by St. Laurent Centre and will feature a performance from the Arise School of Dance, and the Cuban Ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Mr. Julio Garmendia Pena will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Former Major League pitcher Phillippe Aumont is scheduled to start Saturday’s game for Ottawa, and the night will be capped off by a spectacular fireworks show.
And Sunday is Father’s Day presented by Hydro Ottawa. Hydro Ottawa will have family activities set up, a photo booth, and CEO Bryce Conrad will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Tickets for the three games against the Cuban National Team and all other Ottawa Champions home games can be purchased online at www.ottawachampions.com, by phone at 613-745-2255, or in person at the RCGT Park box office.
Tickets for the 2017 Can-Am League vs. American Association All-Star Game scheduled for July 25th in Ottawa are also on sale and can be purchased in the same manner.