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PanAm-U23'2023 | Cuba defeats Curacao in its second appearance by a score of 5-1

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

In the Cuban victory, Miguel A. Neira and Carlos Monier played a crucial role

Excellent pitching by the young left-hander Miguel A. Neira and a sacrifice fly by Carlos Monier was key to Cuba's second victory in the Pan-American U23 baseball tournament, which is played in the cities of Masaya and Managua in Nicaragua, in which Cuba beat Curacao 5-1 Sunday evening at the National Soberano stadium.

It was Cuba's second win in Group B, after a 13-0 knockout victory over Costa Rica on Saturday.

Miguel A. Neira, Cuba's starter, pitched an outstanding game, 82 pitches, 52 strikes. He left Curacao with a solo single and one run in six innings. He finished with seven strikeouts and no walks, adding to his masterpiece against the Caribbean Team.

Ethan de Cuba singled, stole second, moved to third base on another stolen base, and a wild pitch scored the only run the Cuban left-hander allowed. For the Cuban victory, Neira retired the next 16 batters with 5 strikeouts after hitting Darwin Gregg with a pitch in the first inning.

In the bottom of that first inning, Cuba tied the game against left-handed starter Je-andrick Lourens. Following a walk, Christian L. Rodríguez moved to third on Darián Palma's single, and Guille García grounded a ball to second base, allowing him to score.

The one that would have led to the victory came two innings later against starter Lourens. Due to an error by the second baseman, Palma reached first base and moved to second on Guille García's walk. After Palma reached third base via a fielder's choice, Carlos Monier struck a timely sacrifice fly to center field that drove him in.

The Cubans rallied for three runs in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, Guille hit a sacrifice fly that brought one run. A throwing error by the shortstop led to two additional runs.

Randy Cueto sealed the Cuban victory in the seventh with a perfect inning in which he struck out two and needed only 12 pitches, 8 of which were strikes.

With the win Cuba became one of three undefeated teams in Group B, along with Colombia and Venezuela. The Colombians beat Costa Rica quickly this Sunday after a close 2-1 victory over Panamá on Saturday. Despite this, only one undefeated team between them will remain in the group on Monday, when Colombians and Cubans meet at 6:05 pm.

(Photos: Norland Rosendo/Juventud Rebelde)