Baseball World Cup Round 3, Grosseto:
Cuba – Australia 2-1
AUS 001 000 000 1 6 1 CUB 200 000 00X 2 3 1
An early two-run homerun by Alfredo Despaigne in the bottom of the first was all Cuba needed to defeat Australia 2-1 in their first game in round three of the 2009 Baseball World Cup. The Aussies cut the deficit to a run in the top of the first when Nicholas Kimpton crossed the plate on a RBI fielder’s choice by James Beresford. The throw to first by shortstop Luis Nava went wide, trying to complete the double play.
Both teams couldn’t score again afterwards, though Australia had some opportunities with two outs and runners in scoring position. Norge Vera (W 3-0) picked up his third win of the competition, going 6 2/3 innings. He allowed three hits, a run and two walks, while striking out seven. Pedro Lazo closed it out with four K’s in 2 1/3 scoreless frames.
Dushan Ruzic (L 1-1) of the Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus got the start for Australia and impressed after the early homerun. He issued just two unearned runs on three hits and no walks in eight innings. 61 of his 84 pitches in front of only 300 people in the stands in Grosseto were strikes.
Cuba improved to 3-1 with the win and will face Taiwan on Wednesday. Australia dropped to 1-3 and will square off with the Netherlands. The game on Tuesday was delayed for 30 minutes in the bottom of the eighth due to light problems.