The 2010 Intercontinental Cup ended on Sunday with Cuba defeating the Netherlands in the championship game, picking up its eleventh title in tournament history. For the Dutch team was it the second silver medal after 2006. Italy edged out Taiwan to win the bronze medal – also the second in history – putting two European teams on to the podium. Japan beat South Korea to finish fifth in the last edition of the event.
2010 Intercontinental Cup, Final Day, Sunday, October 31
Cuba – Netherlands 4-1
NED 000 000 001 1 5 0 CUB 002 000 02X 4 10 0 Win: Gonzalez, M.; Loss: Cordemans, R.
Cuba defeated the Netherlands 4-1 in the championship game of the Intercontinental Cup on Sunday, winning its eleventh title in tournament history. It is the second silver medal for the Dutch team after 2006, when they also lost to Cuba in the final. According to the official box score, just 320 people wanted to see the final game in ICC history.
Cuba had the better start into the game and dominated through the first eight innings. They took the lead in the bottom of the third, when the first four batters reached base and Jose Abreu and Ariel Pestano scored on a two-run double by Yorbis Borroto. However the team of manager Jim Stoeckel avoided a bigger rally, when Hector Olivera flied out and Alexei Bell grounded into an inning-ending double play. The record champion added two more runs in the eighth thanks to a two-run homerun by Bell.
It was much needed insurance, as the Netherlands didn’t go down without a fight. Their offense woke up in the ninth. Eugene Kingsale, Mariekson Gregorius and Sidney de Jong loaded the bases with no outs on a walk and a pair of singles against the relieving Yadier Pedroso. Curt Smith stepped to the plate and came through with a single to put Honkbal on the board. Cuba’s manager reacted and replaced Pedroso with Jonder Martinez on the mound. It was the right decision. He shut the door by inducing Sharlon Schoop to fly out into shallow left field before Raily Legito and Danny Rombley went down looking to end the game.
Earlier in the game Cuba’s starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez (W 2-0) didn’t leave the European team any chance. He faced just three batters over the minimum, allowing two hits and a walk in eight scoreless innings for his second win of the tournament. He struck out six. Rob Cordemans (L 0-1) kept the Dutch team in the game, allowing six hits, two runs and a walk in 3 2/3 innings. Nick Stuifbergen followed with 3 1/3 strong innings of two-hit relief. Berry van Driel gave up Bell’s homerun in the eighth.
Bronze Medal Match:
Taiwan – Italy 3-4
ITA 200 010 100 4 6 0 TPE 110 000 100 3 12 2 Win: Grifantini, M.; Loss: Chen, H.-W.
For the second time in history, Italy has won the bronze medal at the Intercontinental Cup. On Sunday they defeated host Taiwan 4-3 in front of 6,553 people in attendance at the Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung. Jairo Ramos Gizzi broke a 2-2 tie with a RBI double in the fifth and sealed the win by driving in an insurance run with a RBI fielder’s choice in the seventh. Taiwan cut the deficit to a run in the bottom of the same frame, but couldn’t come back another time.
They already had erased a 0-2 deficit earlier in the game with RBI singles by Chih-Sheng Lin and Yen-Wen Kuo. Italy led since the top of the first thanks to the efforts of Mario Chiarini. The right fielder from Rimini put them on the board with a RBI fielder’s choice and scored the second run, when he stole home during a double steal.
Cody Cillo (ITA) got the starting nod from manager Marco Mazzieri, but lasted just 1 2/3 innings, allowing five hits, two runs (1 ER) and a walk. Marco Grifantini (W 2-0) earned his second win of the tournament with five strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Alessandro Maestri got the last four outs of the game for his second save. Hung-Wen Chen (L 1-1) struck out seven in five innings, but also conceded five hits, three runs (1 ER) and a walk.
Game for 5th Place:
South Korea – Japan 1-2
JPN 000 002 000 2 6 0 KOR 000 010 000 1 8 0 Win: Kiyohara, D.; Loss: Park, H. S.
After losing the last medal round game to the same opponent on Saturday, Japan was ready to play one day later and downed their big rivals South Korea 2-1 to finish in fifth place at the Intercontinental Cup. After the Korean team had taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a bases loaded walk by Joo Hwan Choi, Japan answered with RBI singles by Itaru Hishamoto and Takahiro Iwamoto to get in front. The score didn’t change afterwards and Team Nippon celebrated. Japan used six pitchers in the game with Daiki Kiyohara (W 2-0) receiving the win. Hee Soo Park (L 0-1) struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings, issuing two runs on six hits for the loss.