On Thursday the medal round at the 2010 Intercontinental Cup in Taiwan began. The two European participants had mixed results. One day after shutting out Japan, European Champion Italy stunned another Asian powerhouse, when they beat South Korea to improve to 2-1 in the second round. Earlier in the day Cuba defeated the Netherlands in a duel between the number-one seeds. In the evening game host Taiwan continued its impressive showing, crushing Japan. They are now tied with Italy for second place in the standings.
2010 Intercontinental Cup, Day 6, Thursday, October 28
Cuba – Netherlands 6-3
NED 002 010 000 3 7 2 CUB 110 000 31X 6 9 0 Win: Martinez, J.; Loss: Asjes, A.
The Netherlands lost its second-round opener 3-6 to Cuba. The Dutch team overcame an early 0-2 deficit and led 3-2 after five innings. But a three-run seventh with a solo homerun by Jose Abreu und a two-run triple by Hector Olivera put the record champion back in front. One frame later Alexei Bell tripled and scored on a wild pitch to add an insurance run.
Cuba also had the better start into the game, as Giorvis Duvergel homered in the opening frame and Abreu drove in Bell with a groundout in the second. But the team of manager Jim Stoeckel came right back, tying the contest with a pair of RBI singles by Eugene Kingsale and Sidney de Jong in the third. A RBI triple by former big leaguer Kingsale even got them ahead in the fifth. But it was not enough for an upset.
Tom Stuifbergen (NED) struck out seven in 6 1/3 solid innings, allowing six hits, three runs and two walks. Freddy Alvarez (CUB) gave up five hits, three runs and two bb in 4 2/3 innings. Jonder Martinez (W 1-0) replaced him in the fifth and completely shut down the Dutch offense, issuing just two more hits in the reminder of the game. Arshwin Asjes (L 0-1) took the loss, as he was not able to get out of the jam in the seventh.
Italy – South Korea 5-2
KOR 100 000 100 2 9 1 ITA 200 000 21X 5 7 0 Win: Grifantini, M.; Loss: Kim, S. H.
Italy continues to impress at the Intercontinental Cup. On Thursday they defeated South Korea 5-2 for their second win in the medal round. Moments after the Olympic champion of 2008 tied the contest in the top of the seventh, Joe Mazzuca scored in the bottom of the frame on an error to regain the lead. RBI singles by Mario Chiarini and Alessandro Vaglio added insurance runs afterwards.
The Korean actually had the better start into the game, as Han Joon Yoo put them in front with a RBI fielder’s choice in the first. But Italy answered right away, as Laidel Chapelli drove in two with a single in the bottom of the frame. Neither team scored in the next five innings until a sac fly by Joo Hwan Choi ended the scoreless draught with a sac fly in the seventh to tie the game.
Chris Cooper (ITA) gave up just one run on five hits in five strong innings. South Korea’s starter Tae Soo Cho (KOR) only lasted six batters, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk in two thirds of an inning. Marco Grifantini (W 1-0) was awarded the win. Seong Hyun Kim (L 0-1) took the loss. Alessandro Maestri replaced Grifantini in the ninth with runners on first and second and no outs, but got out of the jam with a strikeout and a pair of groundouts, picking up the save.
Taiwan – Japan 12-5
JPN 041 000 000 5 8 4 TPE 043 100 04X 12 14 0 Win: Lin, Y. ; Loss: Sunaga, H.
Taiwan overcame deficits of 0-4 and 4-5 to beat Japan 12-5 on Thursday, celebrating its fourth win in five games and improving to 2-1 in the medal round. After the two teams exchanged four-run rallies in the second, Taiwan blew things open with three runs in the third and four in the eighth. Kuo-Hui Lo and Kuo-Ching Kao combined for four hits, six runs and two RBI to lead the Taiwanese offense. Chih-Kang Kao and Fu-Hao Lio picked up two RBI each. Akira Nakamura went 3-for-5 with two RBI for Japan. Taishi Nakagawa scored twice.
Hung-Wen Chen (TPE) conceded five hits and four runs in 1 1/3 innings. Toshihiro Iwao (JPN) was charged with four hits, four runs (1 ER) and two bb in two innings. Yu-Ching Lin (W 1-0) received the win after striking out six batters in 5 1/3 impressive innings of one-hit, one-walk relief. Hideki Sunaga (L 0-1) took the loss.
Standings Medal Round:
- Cuba 3-0
- Italy 2-1
- Taiwan 2-1
- Japan 1-2
- Netherlands 1-2
- South Korea 0-3
Friday, October 29:
- 6.30am Cuba – Japan
- 8am Netherlands – South Korea
- 12.30pm Taiwan – Italy
- 6.30am Czech Republic – Thailand
- 12.30pm Nicaragua – Hong Kong
Photo: © Ezio Ratti/FIBS