Colombia tops Cuba, shares first place in U-23 Baseball World Cup Super Round

Colombia tops Cuba, shares first place in U-23 Baseball World Cup Super Round
30/09/2021
Colombia is now 3-1 and is aiming at the final. Cuba fell to 1-3, but has still a chance to be in the bronze medal game.

On the middle day of the Super Round, Colombia put together another impressive win. Backed by 10 hits from his offense, Colombia starting pitcher Luis Moreno dealt five shutout innings to earn the win as world No. 15 Colombia beat No. 11 Cuba, 6-1, on Thursday afternoon at Estadio Sonora.

Colombia and Cuba went scoreless into the third inning, with Moreno and Cuba’s Jonathan Carbo traded scoreless half innings before the visitors broke through. In the third, Colombia’s hot-hitting leadoff man Gustavo Campero got his team on to the board with a two-run homer to right field. Later in the inning, Jesus Marriaga singled through the left side to plate Andres Angulo with Colombia’s fifth hit of the frame to make it a 3-0 game.

That lead alone would have been more than enough for Moreno, who scattered three hits without walking a batter and struck out two in his five innings. The right-hander threw 61 pitches, 42 for strikes.

Colombia wasn’t done offensively after its big third. The world No. 15 added a pair in the fourth on an RBI double to by Rafael Romero right-center and an Angulo sacrifice fly and then tacked on one more in the fifth on Juan Zabala’s homer to left.

Cuba was limited to a run on six hits, finally cashing in a tally in the bottom of the sixth inning with the outcome already in hand on Yuddiel Gonzalez’s RBI single up the middle.

"These players showed how much they care about coming to the ballpark and playing hard every day," commented manager Jose Mosquera. "In the early innings, I think we had an overconfident approach. I spoke to the players, reminding them how important the game was, and I'm pleased with what I saw after that."

On Friday, Colombia and Cuba will play their final games of the Super Round, with Colombia vying for a spot in Saturday’s World Championship Final and Cuba hoping for a shot at bronze. Cuba will battle Panama at 10:30 in the morning contest while Colombia faces host and defending U-23 World Cup champions Mexico from 19:30 in Hermosillo.