HAVANA TIMES — As expected, Cuba had an easy time with China in its second outing in World Baseball Classic III, winning by way of the mercy rule after taking a 12-0 lead through 7-innings.
Playing in Group A of the four pool tournament, Cuba guaranteed its presence in Round Two, independent of whether it wins or loses its last First Round game against Japan on Wednesday.
The mound heroes in the lopsided contest included, starting pitcher Danny Betancourt (4.2 innings, one hit and eight strikeouts; and relievers Yadier Pedroso (1.1 innings, one hit), Vladimir Garcia (0.2 hitless innings) y Alexander Rodríguez (0.1, one hit).
At the plate, Jose Dariel Abreu hit a grand slam in the fifth inning and second baseman Jose M. Fernandez went 3-for-4, with 4 runs scored and 2 RBIs.
Likewise, Alexei Bell blasted a two-run homer in the fourth and Alfredo Despaigne went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Frederich Cepeda had two hits including a triple, scored twice and knocked in a run.
Cuba’s next WBC game (its last Round One contest) is on Wednesday at 5:00 a.m. Cuban time (ET).
Round Two will begin on Friday March 8 when Cuba, Japan and two of the threesome still alive in Group B (Chinese Taipei (2-0) and either South Korea or Holland, both (1-1)
Group B: South Korea defeated Australia (0-2) 6-0 on Monday and late tonight Australia plays Holland.