By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, Oct. 30 — Cuba will face The Netherlands in the championship game on Sunday of the Intercontinental Cup baseball tournament being played in Taiwan. On Saturday the Cubans came from behind to defeat Italy 5-3 and conclude the first two rounds of play undefeated.
Shortstop Rudy Reyes and second baseman Hector Olivera had two doubles each, and Alexander Malleta drove in a pair of runs to lead Cuba’s 11-hit offense which scored all its runs in the fifth inning after having fallen behind 3-0.
The Italians managed their three runs on six hits and four walks off Cuban starter Vladimir Garcia who got the boot after 4.1 innings. Second baseman Vagilio drove in two of his teams runs with a single in the fourth.
In relief of Garcia stepped into the box Dalier Hinojosa, coming off a perfect game against Hong Kong. The hurler from Guantanamo province had another stellar performance going 4.2 innings of scoreless relief allowing only three hits, no walks and striking out five to pick up his second win of the round.
The losing pitcher was reliever Yovany D’Amico who pitched two thirds of an inning in the fatal fifth after starter Tiago F. Da Silva left the game ahead 3-2.
Cuba’s rival in the finals is The Netherlands which defeated Chinese Taipei 5-3 on Saturday to get a chance to play for first place. The Netherlands’ teams have proved tough to beat in recent international competitions.