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Oct '11 12

BWC: Cuba wins Thriller against USA to open Round 2



Press Release International Baseball Federation, www.ibaf.org

Panama, Netherlands and Australia also prevail as IBAF Baseball World Cup continues

Chitre, Panama. Cuba remains undefeated in the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup, as the second round was kicked off on Tuesday. The record title holder faced a tough assignment in the opener, taking on Team USA in a finals rematch. It was the expected thriller with the lead changing several times until Alfredo Despaigne put Cuba in front for good. Also the Netherlands remain on course after a win over Korea. Panama, which had lost the last two games of the first round, rebounded with a lopsided victory over Venezuela, bringing another baseball heavyweight to the brink of elimination from the Gold Medal Game. Group 1 winner Canada stumbled in its first second-round game with Australia.

Netherlands 5 – Korea 1

The Netherlands had a perfect start into the second of the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup. They defeated Korea 5-1 on Tuesday afternoon in Chitre, Panama. They improved to 3-1 in the second-round standings, while the Olympic champion dropped to 1-3. Eight scoreless innings from starting pitcher Tom Stuifbergen and a pair of homeruns by Kalian Sams and Sharlon Schoop were enough for the win. Korea only was able to avoid the shutout with a solo shot by Chang Min Mo to lead off the ninth.

Canada 0 – Australia 7

Australia shut out Canada with an impressive performance of starting pitcher Ryan Searle (a starter at Double A for the Chicago Cubs) and an aggressive approach to the game that led Deeble’s side to score six runs on eight hits against three Canadian pitchers in the first half of the game. Left fielder Tim Kennelly got three hits, including a double and a solo homer.

Cuba 8 – USA 7

Cuba remains undefeated in the World Cup. The eighth win in a row of the Caribbean power may result fatal to the defending champions. Cuba beat (8-7) Team USA that has now a 1-3 record. At this stage, three wins in the remaining games may not be enough for the World Champions to have a chance to play for the gold. It was a game dominated by the two line ups: Cuba got 17 hits and Team USA responded with 11. Cuba needed only two pitches to get to Team USA starter Jeff Marquez, but the defending champions were a nightmare for Cuban hard throwing starter Freddy Alvarez, who couldn’t cope with Team USA discipline at the plate. It’s interesting to notice that Yadier Pedroso earned a spectacular save relying almost only on off speed stuff.

Venezuela 4 – Panama 11

Panama opened the second round with an easy 11-4 win over Venezuela, bouncing back from two losses at the end of the first phase of the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup. In front of a sellout crowd at Rico Cedeno Stadium in Chitre, Panama the hosts used a seven-run rally in the fifth inning to decide the outcome early. Eight different players scored at least once. Venezuela only was able to counter with solo homeruns by Dirimo Chavez and Rudolfo Cardona. Panama improved to 2-2 in the standings, while their South American counterparts dropped to 1-3.

Standings 2nd Round

1) Cuba 4-0
2) Netherlands 3-1
3) Australia 2-2
4) Canada 2-2
5) Panama 2-2
6) Korea 1-3
7) Venezuela 1-3
8) USA 1-3
(tied teams ranked according to alphabetic order)

Notes

The second round will be played in a round-robin format with results from first-round games against advancing teams count toward the standings.….Four continents are represented in the second round (Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania)…..Team Germany attended the make-up game between USA and Panama on Monday afternoon. They traveled back to Europe on Tuesday evening…..Except for German catcher Kai Gronauer, who is playing Double-A for the New York Mets. He is staying in Panama and will play in a Winter League alongside Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz……Fans were waiting for tickets of the Panama-Venezuela clash in a long line in front of Rico Cedeno Stadium in Chitre since early Tuesday afternoon…..USA, Panama, Venezuela and Canada won the coin tosses for home field advantage in games #65, #67, #70, and #72.

Outlook

On Wednesday the focus at the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup again will be on Chitre and Santiago. Team USA will have a quick turnaround after the clash with Cuba and is playing in the afternoon game at Rico Cedeno Stadium against another arch rival with Venezuela. Also in the afternoon the dominant Dutch team will face the red-hot Australian squad. In the evening Cuba is playing against Panama and Canada squares off with Korea.

Schedule, Wednesday, October 12

14h00 Venezuela – USA (Chitre)
14h00 Netherlands – Australia (Santiago)
19h30 Cuba – Panama (Santiago)
19h30 Canada – Korea (Chitre)
(local times Panama)

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