By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, July 10 – Cuba is in the finals of the World Port Baseball Tournament after clobbering host Holland by a score of 8-2 on Friday.
Holland -surprisingly strong in the World Baseball Classic last March – was clearly no match for the islanders. They managed only one hit off starter Yaumier Sanchez in seven innings, another off Yadier Pedroso in the eighth and none against closer Vladimir Garcia.
In contrast, Cuba pounded out 17 hits led by first baseman Ariel Borrero, who had a perfect three-for-three including two doubles and two RBIs. DH Roland Meriño, drove in two on a double and single and Leonys Martin, playing right and center fields, had three hits including a double and knocked in a run.
Cuba’s starter Yaumier Sanchez was near impossible to hit but did have serious control problems allowing six walks, two wild pitches, a hit batter, and a balk. On the bright side he struck out nine and gave up only one unearned run. The other Dutch run came off Pedroso.
Taiwan Closer to Finals
In the other game on Friday, Taiwan moved closer to the finals with an 8-1 walk over disappointing Japan.
Scoring in each of the third through eighth innings the Taiwanese had 13 hits to Japan’s five. Hung-Yu Lin led the winners with three hits including two doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs. Ken-Wei Lin also drove in two runs on three hits.
The winning pitcher was starter Chu-Chien Hsu who pitched five innings of three-hit, one-run ball. Chen-Hua Lin came on to pitch four scoreless innings in relief allowing only two hits and striking out four.
Japan starter Yoichi Sakamoto lost his second game of the tournament allowing three runs on six hits in four innings.
Cuba leads the tournament with a 7-0-1 record after Friday’s play, followed by Taiwan 3-4-1, Holland 3-5 and Japan 2-6.
On Saturday, Cuba plays Japan at 8:00 a.m. EST and Holland meets Taiwan at 1:00 p.m. EST.
The one game final between the top two teams takes place on Sunday July 12 at 8:00 a.m. EST.
To see all the boxscores of the Rotterdam World Port Tournament games click on: http://www.baseballdecuba.com/rotterdamboxscores2009.asp