By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, July 3 — Taiwan defeated Cuba 5-4 in 11 innings to win the World Port Baseball Tournament in Rotterdam, Holland on Sunday.
The Cubans had a runner thrown out at the plate and a strike out to end the top of the 11th.
Then, in the bottom of the inning, Chih Pei Huang managed a bases-loaded one-out single to knock in the winning walk-off run for Taiwan.
It was the third time that Taiwan beat Cuba in the same tournament by scores of 3-1, 4-1 and now 5-4.
Yadier Pedroso pitched a strong four-hit, six inning relief performance on one day’s rest from starting Cuba’s game against Holland on Friday. Nonetheless, the only run scored with the right hander on the mound was enough to credit him with the loss.
Yosvani Torres opened for Cuba but ran into trouble after Yoelvis Fiss dropped a fly in the fourth inning and left having allowed one unearned run. His replacement Dalier Hinojosa was able to put out the fire to end the fourth but quickly got into a jam in the fifth, when he allowed a three run double by Wei Thing Lin before giving way to Pedroso.
Yasel Puig went 3-for-6 with a double, triple and RBI and Yoilan Cerce, 2-for-4 with an RBI led the Cuban offense.
Throughout the tournament the Cubans showed lackluster batting, especially in clutch situations, although on Sunday they did manage 13 hits to 12 by Taiwan.
To illustrate how poor the overall tournament showing was for Cuba one statistic tells it all: In nine games the Cuban offense managed only 22 runs while giving up an identical number. For manager Roger Machado it was clearly a dissapointing performance.
Host Holland finished in third place followed by Curacao and Germany.