Aroldis Chapman was the starting pitcher for Cuba. A loud and happy conga was going full blast on the stands and large Cuban flags were all over the place.
Cuba scored its first run on the top of the third inning, on a hit by Frederich Cepeda. Luis Nava, who after getting a hit on his first at bat, advanced to third on two consecutive fielder's choices, scored easily from there.
Australia tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. A balk by Chapman advanced an opponent to third base, from where he scored easily by a timely Aussie hit.
Chapman pitched four complete innings and struck out seven Aussies and gave out only one base on balls. Norberto Gonzalez came in to pitch for Cuba on the fifth.
On the fifth inning the conga showed no signs of being tired.
On the top of the six inning, Yoennis Cespedes belted a home run to put Cuba ahead 2-1. The conga went into overdrive.
Pedro Luis Lazo relieved Norberto on the six inning and the Aussies tied the game 2-2. A previous balk by Norberto contributed to the second Aussie run.
In the bottom of the six the bottom fell off the Cuban team. Everything that could go wrong went wrong, including a throwing error by Lazo. The Ausies have now the bases loaded with two outs. A hit puts the Aussies ahead 4-2. Lazo was removed after this. Danny Betancourt replaced him.
Is it curtains for Team Cuba? Three full innings left to play.
Cuba added one run on the top of the seventh. A bases on balls to Olivera, which was followed by a double by Enriquez put the game at 4-3. Cuba was now trailing by only one run. They must not commit any more errors or balks or the Aussies will increase their lead and win the game.
Bottom of the seventh for the Aussies: hit by pitch by Betancourt, followed by a bases on balls. Things do not look very good for Cuba right now. They are not playing very well.
Ismel Jimenez relieved Danny Betancourt.
Another hit by pitch. Bases loaded. Fly to center field. Jimenez gets out of this jam.
Top of the eighth inning: Gourriel gets a bases on balls. Yosvany Peraza comes in as a pinch hitter and belts a home run. Cuba 5, Australia 4. El Gordo delivers.
Bottom of the eighth: another HBP by Cuba. Oh no! Double play by Cuba. Oh, Yes! Strike out. Oh, Yes!
And we go to the top of the ninth inning. Cuba does not score. Cuba 5, Australia 4. The conga is still going very strong.
Australia does not score on the bottom of the ninth.
CUBA WINS 5-4. Cuba has won a spot on round two at Petco Park in San Diego, California.