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Cuba wallops USA 10-2 in Olympic baseball and advances to the gold medal game
Cuba started their semifinals game with their best pitcher, Norge Luis Vera, the star of the Avispas of Santiago de Cuba, the champion of the 47th National Baseball Series. Stephen Strasburg went to the mound for USA. Earlier, South Korea had defeated Japan 6-2 in their semifinal contest.

Cuba threatened in the bottom of the second inning with three hits, but was unable to score.

The criollos scored their first two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Duvergel connected a hit to left field. Olivera followed with a triple and Giorvis scored Cuba’s first run. In the throw to third, USA committed an error and Olivera scored. Cuba 2, USA 0.

The Americans got one run back in the top of the fourth. Consecutive hits by Barden and Schierholtz. A sac fly by Matt Brown scored USA’s first run.

Cuba countered very quickly. In their fourth inning, Alfredo Despaigne hit a home run to center field. Cuba 3, USA 1.

The Americans added one run in the top of the fifth. Cuba 3, USA 2.

Bottom of the fifth: Brian Duensing comes in to relieve Strasburg.

A double play by Cuba in the top of the six put an end to an American threat after Terry Tiffe connected a hit.

In the bottom of the six, Frederich “Reliable” Cepeda hit a homerun to left and the criollos had a two run advantage. Cuba 4, USA 2.

In the top of the seven, veteran Olympian Pedro Luis Lazo came in to relieve Vera, who pitched an outstanding game. He only allowed four hits.

In Cuba’s Lucky Seven, after two quick outs, Eduardo Paret received a base on four balls and then proceeded to steal second base. The threat fizzled when Duvergel struck out.

Pedro Luis quickly retired the three Americans he faced in the seventh innings, and the sons of Uncle Sam were down to their last three batters in the next inning.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, with Jeff Stevens on the mound for the Americans, Enriquez and Cepeda had consecutive hits. Alexei “100/30” Bell sends the ball out of the park. Cuba 7-2, and it looks like curtains for USA.

Blaine Neal comes in as a relief pitcher. Gourriel gets to first base on an error. Despaigne, hit to center field. Pestano hits a home run. Cuba 10, USA 2.

No cigar for the Americans in the top of the ninth inning.

Cuba collected 14 hits and USA could only come up with six. Norge Luis Vera was the winner for Cuba. Pedro Luis Lazo totally controlled the Americans in four innings of relief pitching.

Cuba plays South Korea for all the marbles at 6:00 a.m. EDT tomorrow.

Labels: 2008 Beijing Olympics, Beisbol Cubano, Cuba, Cuban Baseball, Semifinals, USA


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