Three different pitchers were supported by a solid defense. A well-timed hit allowed the team to make the most of what the Australian defense allowed.
On Tuesday, Cuba won their final Opening Round game of the IV WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup by defeating Australia 3-1. Guillermo Garcia was the offensive catalyst, while the pitchers did a good job of taking care of the defensive end.
Guillermo Garcia spearheaded the attack
The success of Cuba’s three pitchers in limiting Australia to just four hits was largely due to the strength of their defensive play. And despite the fact that no Cuban batter had more than one hit, designated hitter Garcia came through in the clutch with two runs batted in to earn his squad their second victory in Group B.
After being postponed on October 14 due to a rain delay, this game was resumed on the next day, and both teams used different pitches.
It didn’t take long for them to capitalize on the opportunity presented by the error, as designated hitter Garcia doubled home the winning run in the bottom of the first inning off of a pitch by Coen Wynn.
Left-handed Cuban pitcher Naykel Cruz put a heavy emphasis on his breaking ball, but as he started missing his locations, the Australian batters adjusted their approach and became more selective. Yuri Fernandez, who was playing third base, made an outstanding play on a sacrifice bunt attempt to get the force out at third. There were runners already on first and second. After Cruz walked, he was able to load the bases, and Australia scored the run that would tie the game after Travis Bazzana grounded out.
Another error by the defense allowed Cuba to have a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the fifth inning, and first baseman Carlos Revilla made the most of it by getting Matthew Hampton to commit an error by singling in a run. Blake Townsend, a left-handed batter, was sent in to face Garcia, a left-handed batter, while Australia had a runner already on third base. Garcia turned his first and only pitch into a sacrifice fly, scoring the third run.
Leodan Reyes was brought in to pitch the sixth inning after the reliever Oscar Hernandez exited with runners on first and second. Hernandez’s departure forced the team to make the change. Following Bazzana’s reach on an infield single, Australia proceeded to load the bases. After Reyes fielded a comebacker hit by pinch-hitter Tyson Zamora, he quickly threw to first base to record the third out.
Cuba won the game by putting an end to it at 3-1 after Australia was unable to generate any more scoring opportunities.
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