HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban baseball team fell six runs to five against China Taipei during the first stop of its preparation for the third World Classic, in the city of Taichung.
Despite the powerful Cuban offensive, which produced 14 hits, a walk decided a game of ups and downs in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded with Taiwanese players.
For Cuba, the best players were right fielder Alexei Bell, with 4-3; first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu, with 3-2; and Frederich Cepeda, Eriel Sanchez and Erisbel Arruebarruena, with 4-2.
The Cubans were scheduled to face Australia early today (Tuesday) and again on February 20. Later they will play the Netherlands (February 21), Taipei (February 22), and a team from the Taiwanese professional league (Feb. 23).
On February 25, Cubans will leave for Japan to confront the Hanshin Tigers on February 27 and finish their warm-up with the Softbank Hawks.
The World Baseball Classic III begins on March 2 in Japan. Cuba’s first game is on March 3 against Brazil.