Baseball World Cup Round 3, Firenze:
Cuba – Canada 5-1
CAN 000 010 000 1 2 1 CUB 010 030 10X 5 8 0
Cuba clinched the finals berth on the last day of round three at the Baseball World Cup with a 5-1 victory over Canada. 1,100 people watched in Firenze, as Cuba had the better start, taking a 1-0 lead on the tenth homerun by Alfredo Despaigne in the bottom of the second. But the Maple Leafs made things interesting in the fifth, when Adam Stern went deep to tie the game.
However the joy lasted only for a few minutes. Cuba loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame with no outs. Hector Olivera came through and regained the advantage with a two-run single to center. Leonys Martin later scored on wild pitch. Olivera’s RBI double in the seventh even extended the gap to four runs. Canada had a last chance in the ninth, when the first two batters reached against closer Pedro Lazo. But he struck out the next three to seal the win.
Yulieski Gonzalez (W 3-0) struck out ten in eight innings, allowing just two hits, a run and four bb. 71 of his 118 pitches were strikes. Chris Begg (CAN) received the starting nod from Ernie Whitt and surrendered three hits, a run and a walk in four innings. Vince Perkins (L 0-1) took the loss.
Cuba is off on Saturday and will face Team USA in the championship game in Nettuno on Sunday afternoon. Canada plays for third against Puerto Rico tomorrow evening. Both games will be shown live on Eurosport2.