By Sigfredo Barros - email@example.com -
The 12-2 seven inning mercy rule victory over Italy couldn’t have been a better start for the Cuban team in the Third World University Baseball Tournament currently underway in Cuba.
In other opening day games, Japan beat Nicaragua 10-0 and Taipei shutout Puerto Rico 2-0 while two other matches, Virgin Islands-Mexico and United States-Czech Republic were suspended due to rain.
A first inning homerun by Joan Carlos Pedroso and a three-run blast by Leslie Anderson in the sixth led the Cubans who batted a total of ten hits and scored three times each in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings. Deinys Suarez went five innings giving up two runs and striking out ten to pick up the win.
Japan got a stellar performance from its star pitcher Takayuki Kishi who held the Nicaraguans to four hits while striking out 14 in six innings, using a 94 MPH fastball and a good sinker. The game was tied 0-0 during the first four innings as the Nicaraguan lefthander, Faran Dometz, with three years experience in the organization of the Houston Astros, was a worthy rival.
However, Dometz tired in the fifth and his rivals hit him hard, scoring eight runs. Designated hitter Hisayoshi Chono led Japan with a two-run homer and Syou Aranami went 3 for 3.
Chinese Taipei shutout Puerto Rico on the excellent pitching of Tseng Sung-Wei, who went the route striking out 11 without giving up a walk and allowing only three singles. The game was an excellent pitching duel with Puerto Rican Gabriel Santiago giving up just one earned run in six innings.