Cuba over Brits in World Cup Baseball

By Circles Robinson

Cuba has won its first four games in the 2009 World Cup Baseball Tournament
Cuba has won its first four games in the 2009 World Cup Baseball Tournament

HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 14 – Cuba won a lackluster 6-0 game Sunday over Great Britain in the two teams opening games of the second round of the World Cup Baseball Championships being played in The Netherlands and Italy.

The British aren’t exactly known for their baseball so holding the powerful Cuban lineup to six runs and nine hits was in itself an accomplishment.

Freddy Alvarez went the route for Cuba allowing two hits while walking three and striking out nine.  Cuba scored all its runs in the third and eighth innings with three in each.  Stephen Spragg pitched the first three innings for Great Britain, enough to take the loss.

Outfielder Yoennis Cespedes led Cuba with a double, homer and two runs scored.  Veteran catcher Ariel Pestano had another good day at the plate going 2-for-2 with a homer and two RBIs.

The outclassed Brits got their only two hits; one from Christopher Berset in the second inning and Jason Halowaty in the fifth.

The 16 remaining World Cup teams are playing a round robin in two groups of eight.  The top four from each group will reach the quarterfinals.

Two of Cuba’s toughest Group G rivals, Venezuela and Nicaragua also played Sunday with the South Americans holding on for a 7-4 win.  In other group action, South Korea lost to the host The Netherlands 4-2 and Puerto Rico had an easy time with Spain by a score of 12-2.

In Group H, Team USA, the defending 2007 world champions, shutout Canada 8-0,

Cuba, plays Nicaragua at 1:00 p.m. EST on Monday followed by a day off on Tuesday and a game against Venezuela on Wednesday