HAVANA TIMES, March 16.— Cuba (3-1) has only lost one game in the World Baseball Classic II but and it can’t afford to lose another. Mexico (2-3) is in the same position, as the two teams play a do-or-die game tonight at 11:00 p.m. ET, in San Diego.
Both squads lost their opening second round games on Sunday in the double elimination tournament. Cuba was shut out 6-0 by Japan, led by star pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Mexico took a 8-2 drubbing at the hands of Korea, which had three homers.
Korea and Japan play a winners bracket game on Tuesday.
In the other game on Sunday, the United States stayed alive by eliminating the tournament’s Cinderella team, The Netherlands 9-3. The US will now play the loser of tonight’s Venezuela-Puerto Rico duel.
Cuba defeated Mexico 16-4 in opening round play in Mexico City, but won’t be taking their rivals lightly. The Mexicans have made the surprise big game before, having eliminated the favored Team USA in a similar situation back at the first 2006 World Baseball Classic.