Italy, led by manager Mike Piazza, who played an active role as the 메이저사이트 best catcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) history, defeated “probably the strongest” Cuba. Piazza also received a ball from Park Chan-ho at the Los Angeles Dodgers during his active career.
Italy won 6-3 after 10 matches against Cuba in the first round of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) final round held at Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan on the 9th (Korean time). Italy got off to a good start by beating tough Cuba in their first game, and Cuba, which lost to the Netherlands the day before, fell to the bottom of Group A.
Cuba, which suffered two consecutive defeats, had to watch the results of other teams after winning the remaining games against Taiwan and Panama.
Italy took the lead in the attack in the top of the 6th inning. Brett Sullivan scored the first run with a sacrifice hit to right field in a one-out opportunity created by Sal Frelic, Vinnie Pasquentino, and Dominic Fletcher’s hits. In the 7th inning, he took advantage of a defensive mistake by the opposing team and scored an extra point.
However, Italy gave up a run at the bottom of the 7th inning, and in the bottom of the 8th inning, in a crisis with 2 out and 2nd base, Erisbel Aruebarena allowed a right-handed hit, making it 2-2. After the regular innings were tied, the two teams entered a match-up in which they attacked from second base safely.
Italy’s bold and ingenious strategy worked. Batter John Valentin unexpectedly took a fake bunt stance, and the runner on second stole third while the opposing third baseman was moving forward. Then, with Valentin’s heavy hit, he scored a point. After fleeing to 4-2 with Fletcher’s timely hit, Italy created opportunities for 2 out, 2nd and 3rd base with a walk and a wild throw from the opposing team, and Niki Lopez’s sweeping timely hit put a wedge in the game.
In the previous Group A match between the Netherlands and Panama held at the same venue, the Netherlands won 3-1 with two home runs by Sander Bohartz and Urickson Propar, and won two consecutive victories.