(Tokyo) Alfredo Despaigne broke the tie with a fifth-inning sacrifice fly and Yoelkis Guibert followed with a two-run single as Cuba advanced to the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic with a 4-3 victory over Australia on Wednesday.
With the contribution of great baseball players for the first time in the World Classic, the Cuban team will leave Tokyo and head to Marlins Park, in Miami.
On Sunday, the Cubans will face the winners of the quarterfinal match, scheduled for Friday, between the first place in Group D and the second place in Group C.
Rixon Wingrove, a former Philadelphia Phillies prospect, scored Australia’s opening run of the game with a second-inning single. He added a two-run home run in the sixth inning off Chicago Cubs pitcher Roenis Elias.
Australia put two runners on the trails in the bottom of the sixth inning before Elias forced Milwaukee Brewers prospect Alex Hall into center field.
Elias was perfect in the seventh inning, Livan Moinelo broke deadlock in the eighth after conceding two walks and Raidel Martinez dropped the Australians down the order in the ninth, including Darryl George with three hits for the game’s final forfeit.
Luis Robert scored Cuba’s other run with an inside hit in the third inning.
This is the first time since 2006 that Cuba has reached the semifinals of the Classic. That year, the Cubans lost in the grand final against Japan.
“Cuban baseball fans are very emotional right now. They’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” said head coach Armando Johnson.
“It’s a new page, a new chapter. »
Three more games are scheduled for today, including an important duel between Canada (2-1) and Mexico (2-1), in Group C, at 15:00, Quebec time.