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  • 09 / 25 / 2006

The US baseball team took a victory over its Cuban counterpart on Sunday earning a birth in the 22nd "AAA" World Junior Baseball Championship semifinals.

The excellent control of hard-throwing righthander Blake Beavan and a three-run homer by third baseman Matt Dominguez lifted the United Sates to a 4-0 victory over host Cuba, Granma daily reported.

Mexico came from behind to win a rain shortened 5-3 game over Holland and South Korea won a tough pitchers duel 1-0 over Chinese Taipei. The game between Panama and Canada for the final semifinal slot was rained out and will be played on Monday.

As has occurred on more than one occasion the sudden death game eliminated one of the powerful, in this case Cuba, with the best team batting average and the only undefeated team (5-0) in the first round of play. The loss that pushed the island out of a chance for the top four positions came from a team that had lost two of its first round games.

However, there's no doubt that the United States played better ball on Sunday. Pitcher Blake Beaven was in charge throughout working the corners with a fastball between 90-93 MPH. He struck out 11 and walked only one. Beaven allowed 7 hits, four in the infield, and one long ball in the third inning by Dayan Viciedo caught by leftfielder Mike Moustakas on the other side of the fence, taking away what would have been a two-run lead for Cuba.

Juan Yasser Serrano kept pace with Beaven and the score was 0-0 after six innings. Serrano struck out five and didn't allow a walk. In the seventh, catcher Tommy Medica opened with a double and Cuban manager Carlos Marti brought in reliever Vladimir Garcia who had only allowed one hit in five innings during the tournament. But it wasn't Vladimir's night and he allowed a single by Moustakas and the three run blast by Dominguez on a 3-2 fastball.

The US got its fourth run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

On Monday, the US plays Mexico in semifinal action and Cuba faces Holland in the battle for fifth. South Korea awaits the winner of the Canada-Panama game, rained out Sunday, to discover its semifinal rival.
Source: ACN

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