HAVANA TIMES, Oct. 12 — USA pitching dominated the quarterfinals game against rival Cuba on Monday, striking out a sensational 13 batters in the 4-1 win that kept them undefeated in the World Cup/Pan American Games qualifier.
Cuba (5-2) now plays Venezuela (4-3) in its semifinal match up on Tuesday at 2:00 EST while the USA (7-0) meets the Dominican Republic (4-3) at 7:30 in the evening. The winners meet up for the championship on Wednesday and the losers will play for third place.
Cuba’s only run came on a single by Michel Enriquez and a triple by Hector Olivera in the eighth. Frederich Cepeda had three of Cuba’s total seven hits including two doubles.
Vladimir Garcia, of Ciego de Avila in the Cuban league, pitched well for the level of competition, allowing seven hits and three runs in five innings. Dalier Hinojosa pitched the final three innings allowing only one unearned run and two hits.
With the second round of the tournament now over the teams qualifying for the next baseball World Cup and Pan American Games are USA, Cuba, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Canada and Panama. Puerto Rico qualified for the Pan American Games only, and the other quarterfinals team, Nicaragaua (0-7), came up empty handed.
Note: Havana Times will have a full report on Team Cuba’s play from Cuban baseball expert Peter C. Bjarkman Tuesday from Puerto Rico.