Saturday, July 16, 2011

12U: Cuba downs Venezuela to reach Final

2 runs in 5th Inning lift Cuba to a 4-2 Victory and into the Final of the 12U Baseball World Championship

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Saturday, July 16. Tien-Mou, Taipei City.

Box score

Cuba edged out Venezuela 4-2 on Saturday early afternoon at Tien-Mou Stadium in Taipei City to reach the championship game at the inaugural IBAF 12U Baseball World Championship. A RBI fielder’s choice and a balk call led to the two decisive runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Venezuela is going to play for third place on Sunday.

With the score tied at 2-2 the game went into the fifth inning. After Venezuela went down in order in the top half, Cuba decided the contest in the bottom half. Carlos Perez walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and stole third. Jonatan Machado put the next pitch into play, a groundball to second baseman Oswaldo Cabrera. He threw home with the infield in, but Perez beat the throw. Machado would score a few minutes later on a balk call to provide some insurance.

Venezuela had the tying run at the plate in the sixth inning, but couldn’t score anymore, having to settle for the bronze medal game. They actually had the better start into the afternoon, as they loaded the bases with no outs in the opening period. But Cuba’s starting pitcher Adrian Morejon limited the damage to a one run only with three strikeouts.

But Cuba evened the score right away. With two outs in the bottom half of the first Jose Matos hit a solo homerun over the fence in center field, his sixth overall in the tournament. In the third he even gave Cuba the lead on a RBI single to right field. But Henry Solano answered with a RBI single in the fourth to tie the game for Venezuela. Similar to the first inning, they missed out on the opportunity to do more, stranding three runners.

Mailon Alonso (W, 1-0), who had replaced Morejon with two outs in the fourth, gave up just one hit and a walk the rest the way to receive the win. Morejon had allowed three hits, two runs (1 ER) and three base on balls in 3 2/3 innings. Pedro Hurtado (L, 1-1) was charged with the loss, conceding one hit and two runs (1 ER) in two innings. Harvin Mendoza started for Venezuela and gave up two hits, two runs and three walks in three innings.

Cuba is going to face the winner of the second semi-final between Mexico and Chinese Taipei on Sunday afternoon in the championship game of the 12U Baseball World Championship. Venezuela will play the loser in the game before. Both games will be played at Tien-Mou Stadium.

You can also follow the action via the official IBAF Facebook and Twitter Pages.