Cuba, USA Meet in Pan Am Semifinals

By Circles Robinson

Jordan Danks (left) is a veteran from the US team in 2007. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez could be Cuba’s starting pitcher. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES, Oct. 24 — Cuba plays the United States in a must-win semifinal game on Monday at 2:00 Guadalajara time (3:00 p.m. in Havana).

During the qualifying round Cuba was undefeated 3-0 and the US 2-1).

Cuba will not be playing the USA in the finals of the Pan American Games baseball tournament because the USA lost its qualifying round match to Mexico 3-2 on Saturday.

The two teams had met in the finals in the last three Pan Am Games (1999, 2003 & 2007).

The semifinal match ups on Monday are now Mexico-Canada and Cuba-USA, with the winners playing for the gold medal on Tuesday.  The losers will play for the bronze.

Cuba has won the last ten Pan American Baseball titles dating back to 1963.  The USA has garnered seven silver medals and two bronze during that period.

The Cubans are anxious to maintain their dominance, especially after suffering a loss in the finals to Holland at the recent IBAF Baseball World Cup.

While the USA is not fielding one of its stronger teams, it is not considered a push over. When the two teams met in the second round of play earlier in the month in Panama, Cuba was victorious by a score of 8-7.

Cuba is expected to use either Miguel A. Gonzalez or Freddy Asiel Alvarez to start the game.  Likewise, the USA has yet to announce their starter.

The game can be watched live on TV via the website.