XXIV World Junior Baseball Championship: Canada falls to Cuba

by The Canadian Press

July 24, 2010

THUNDER BAY, Ont. - Andy Ibanez drove in two runs in the top of the eighth as Cuba edged out Canada 3-0 at the World Junior Baseball Championship on Saturday.

Ibanez went 1-for-4 on the evening, making his solo hit count in the pitcher showdown.

Omar Luis
Lefty Omar Luis pitched an excellent game against Canada for Cuba' second win in the XXIV World Junior Baseball Championship.
Yasiel Balaguert, Dariel Crespo, Lazaro Hernandez and Jorge Soler also had hits for Cuba (2-0).

Rowan Wick, Kellin Deglan, Jalen Harris, Brandon Dailey, and Philip Diedrick picked up hits for Canada (1-1).

Cuban lefty Omar Luis pitched all nine innings, striking out 10 batters and giving up just four hits while walking five.

Starting on the mound for Canada was Tom Robson, who threw four strikeouts, allowing no runs on three hits over six innings. He was replaced in the seventh by Evan Grills, who allowed two runs on two hits and two walks for the loss.

Both teams played solid defence for the first half of the game, neither allowing many scoring chances.

Cuba threatened in the top of the fifth. Yamil Rivalta dribbled a shot to the mound where Robson bobbled it trying to turn the double play and ultimately catching nobody. With runners at first and second, Robson struck out Balaguert to save the inning.

In the top of the sixth, Jimmy Ralph was charged with an error, allowing Lazaro Ramirez on at first. Ibanez hit into a double play to end the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, Diedrick hit a grounder into shallow right field for the single. Omar Luis hit Justin Atkinson, sending him to first and advancing the bases.

With runners on first and second, Deglan popped one into shallow left field, but Soler caught the fading ball with a diving catch. Diedrick was already rounding to home, and was frozen out trying to get back to second.

Crespo led off the eighth with a line drive into left field for the single. Grills then walked Rivalta on four pitches to bring up Balaguert, who struck out trying to bunt. With Gelinis Jimenez at the plate to pinch hit for Ramierez, runners advanced to second and third on a passed ball. Grills walked Jimenez to load the bases.

Ibanez drove to left field, bringing in Crespo and Rivalta for the 2-0 lead.

With runners still at first and second, Soler hit a line drive straight to Ralph, who flipped it to Atkinson at second for the inning-ending double play.

Hernandez drove in Avile in the ninth to make it 3-0.

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