Cuba wins, is one step closer to U-23 Baseball World Cup super round
After beating the Czech Republic, 7-1, Cuba will face the Dominican Republic in the make-up game of the rained-out opener.
Cuba moved one step closer to a Super Round berth with a 7-1 victory over the Czech Republic on Monday afternoon in Ciudad Obregon.
Cuba’s starter Jose Santos was the star, tossing a complete-game two-hitter to help his team improve to 3-1 in group play. Santos did not allow a hit until the bottom of the sixth when Marek Chlup tripled to right field. Chlup scored one batter later on a Radim Novotny sacrifice fly to account for the lone Czech run of the day.
"Santos helped us a lot going the distance," commented Cuba's manager Eriel Sanchez. "Overall, we've had very good pitching. Thanks to that, we could win close games."
Cuba’s offense simply took what it was given by a Czech staff that walked a total of nine batters on the day.
Cuba’s first three runs came across in the third inning - the first two on wild pitches and the third on a Yandi Yanes RBI single. The team added two more in the sixth on a sacrifice fly and a Geisel Cepeda RBI double and capped the day with a pair of runs on two hits in the seventh.
Rangel Ramos was the only player to record a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI for Cuba out of the eight spot.
The Czech Republic finishes group play 1-4, losers of four straight after the thrilling opening night victory over Mexico.
Cuba heads into a Tuesday make-up game with the Dominican Republic that is certain to have Super Round implications.
"We need to make that one more step to get to the super round," concluded Sanchez. "We know the Dominican Republic is a very strong team. I have a lot of respect for them. For sure, it will be fun to watch us play tomorrow."
That game is scheduled to start at 10:30am local time.