Cuba Shuts Out Taipei and Korea

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, Oct. 26 — Cuba has just shut out host Chinese Taipei 2-0 in the Intercontinental Baseball Cup Play after a similar feat on Monday 3-0 over South Korea.

The Cubans are now 3-0 on top of Group A of the Tournament followed by Taipei (3-1), Korea and the Czech Rep. (1-2) and cellar dweller Hong Kong (0-3).

After the win over Taipei, Cuba’s pitchers have not allowed a run in the team’s first three games while the batters have produced 23.

Tuesday’s game started as an excellent pitcher’s duel between Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and Huang Chih Lung.

Cuba scored the game’s first run in the sixth with Hector Olivera reaching first on an error and scoring on consecutive two out hits by Alexei Bell and Yulieski Gourriel.

The insurance run came in the eighth, and once again in the legs of Olivera.  After a hit, he stole second, advanced to third on an infield hit by Bell and scored on another infield hit by Yulieski Gourriel.  The last two hits came off Taipei reliever Lo Ching Lung, reported Juventud Rebelde newspaper online.

Miguel Alfredo Rodriguez got the win going six innings, allowing three hits, four walks and striking out seven.  Yadier Pedroso picked up the save going the final two innings, allowing two hits a walk and striking out five batters.

See Cuba-Taipei Boxscore

On Monday vs. Korea, Third baseman Yulieski Gourriel had a homer, double, single and one RBI to lead Cuba, along with centerfielder Alfredo Despaigne who had a perfect 4-for-4 plus one RBI. Catcher Ariel Pestano knocked in Cuba’s other run.

Norge Luis Vera (6 innings) and Yulieski Gonzalez (3 innings) threw a combined four hitter.

See Cuba-South Korea Boxscore

In Group B Japan (3-0) beat its toughest rival The Netherlands by a score of 2-1 on Tuesday and is now alone in first place with the Dutch team and Italy tied in second at 2-1, followed by Nicaragua 1-3 and Thailand 0-3.