HAVANA TIMES, Oct 9 — Cuba began its quarterfinal play with an easy 7-1 win Friday over Panama in the World Cup/Pan American qualifying tournament taking place in Puerto Rico. Undefeated thus far in the event, the Cubans face the Dominican Republic on Saturday afternoon.
The Cuban offense was led by Yuliesky Gourriel and Frederich Cepeda who had two doubles each. Gourriel drove in three runs and Cepeda one more. Alexei Bell had a triple and scored a run for Cuba. In their 13-hit attack everyone in Cuba’s starting lineup had at least one hit except for first baseman Alexander Malleta.
Norge Luis Vera cruised to his second victory in the tournament going 6.2 innings and allowing only five hits, one run, while striking out six and not issuing a walk. Jonder Martinez pitched the final 2.1 innings of scoreless relief giving up two hits and striking out two.
Alberto Acosta took the loss for Panama going 4.1 and allowing four earned runs and eight hits.