Despaigne Leads Cuba to University Baseball Title

Alfredo Despaigne with his Cuban League Granma team uniform.

HAVANA TIMES, August 7 — Left fielder Alfredo Despaigne hit a three-run homer in the bottom of  the tenth inning to give Cuba a comeback 4-3 walk-off win over the United States to win the World University Baseball Championship played in Japan on Saturday.  The hosts defeated South Korea 9-0 to win third place.

Despaigne, a member of the Cuban national team, also hit a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at 1-1.  He accounted for all of the islands runs.  The slugger was named the tournament MVP.

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez went 9.2 innings for Cuba but after having allowed two runs in the top of the tenth was without decision after Vladimir Garcia got the final out on one pitch to get the win thanks to Despaigne’s blast in the bottom of the inning.

US starter Gerrit Cole went seven scoreless innings while reliever N. Ramirez gave up the game winning homer with two on base.

The victorious Cuban manager was Eduardo Martin who praised the organization of the event and the support from the Japanese fans.