The Cuban team followed team USA into the finals at the World Cup of Baseball. In the end it was much more dramatic than expected. They beat Japan narrowly 5-3.
Cuba started the scoring in the fourth. They loaded the bases. Osmani URRUTIA brought the first run on the board with a RBI force out to second. Ariel PESTANO and Eduardo PARET followed with RBI-singles. Japan stopped the shutout bid in the seventh frame with a RBI-triple by Kenichi YOKOYAMA. But the Carribbean team added two more in the top of the ninth to build up the advantage to 5-1. Alfredo DESPAIGNE hit a RBI-double and scored on a single by Yulieski GOUERRIEL. The Asian didn’t give up. They rallied in the bottom of the frame for two runs through a RBI-ground out by YOKOYAMA and a RBI-double by Takashi YOSHIURA. Nevertheless the difference were too big.
Aroldis CHAPMAN (W 2-0) pitched eight impressive innings for the win. He allowed just three hits, a run and two walks. He struck out eleven. Pedro LAZO struggled to close out the game and was replaced by Yunieski MAYA for the save.
Takashi SAITO (L 1-1) was charged with three runs on five hits and one base on balls.
CUB 000 300 002 5 12 0
JPN 000 000 102 3 6 0