By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, Oct. 13 — Cuba fell behind 5-0 in the first inning and could never make up the lost ground losing 5-2 to the Dominican Republic in the championship game of the World Cup/Pan American Games qualifier in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Wednesday night.
Cuba’s veteran right-handed starter Norge Luis Vera began unusually wild and only managed one out before giving way to lefty Yulieski Gonzalez who pitched 7.2 innings of brilliant scoreless relief to keep the game within reach.
Cuba had several chances to eat away at the Dominican’s lead, the best coming in the eighth inning when they loaded the bases with none out but failed to score. They scored their second run in top of the ninth.
The Dominicans beat Cuba twice in the tournament (9-6 in the quarterfinal round) and also defeated USA 7-2 in their semifinal match up.
The third place game between the US and Venezuela was rained out on Wednesday afternoon.