CRUCIAL WIN FOR ITALY
Intercontinental Cup Day 3: crucial wins for Italy and Cuba
Italy clinches a spot in the medal round. Japan is too much for young Thai Team. Chinese Taipei overpowers Hong Kong. Cuba defeats South Korea with great pitching
A walk off 3 run homer by third base man Infante (his first hit of the tournament) gave Italy an emotional win over Nicaragua. With the victory, the Champions of Europe clinch a spot in the final round.
Italy got on the scoreboard in the second against southpaw Pena on an RBI double by first baseman Alex Sambucci and added one run in the third on a 2 base RBI hit by DH Ramos.
In the 4th Nicaragua made it a 1 run game against Italy’s starter Thiago Da Silva and in the 8th Italy’s lead evaporated when hard throwing reliever Marco Grifantini blew a save opportunity allowing 2 hits that meant the tying run.
Nicaragua had a chance to go ahead in the top of the ninth. First baseman Jonathan Loasiga hit a lead off double and left for pinch runner Cordoba. On Montiel’s fly to right, Italy’s captain Mario Charini manufactured a double play throwing out Cordoba, who was trying to reach third, on a one bouncer.
Chicago Cubs’ prospect Alessandro Maestri closed the ninth and in the bottom half of the inning Infante had his chance also because, with runners on first and second and one out, nica shortstop Marvin Martinez could not turn a potential double play on a grounder by Granato.
It took Team Japan 2 innings taking full measure of the Thai starter Kanjanavis Kamolphan, then, after a run in the 1st, Kaoru Okazaki’s lineup lighted in the 3rd inning a fireworks show that led the game to an early end after 5 innings and a final score of 15-0.
15 and 0 were also the hits collected by the 2 teams, with Japanese pitcher Shoki Kasahara allowing just 2 walks to the batters of Team Thailandia, while Shota Ohmine and Takahiro Iwamoto starred with perfect 3 for 3 performances in the box, the latter also collecting a triple and a homerun.
Chinese Taipei (3-0) cruised to victory against International newcomer Hong Kong (0-2) 10-0. Chinese Taipei amassed 17 hits, with 3rd baseman Chih Lin and DH C Chen.
leading the way with 3 hits a piece, while Che Lin, Kuo, Y Chen, K Lo and Liu each recorded 2 hits. On the mound Chinese Taipei received 7 strong innings from starter Chen Hua Lin, who allowed 2 hits while striking out 9.
Hong Kong’s 2 hits came from the bats of 1st baseman Yuk Ng and catcher Ho Tam. Chung Leung Yu went the distance giving up 17 hits and 10 runs, 8 earned. The game was close throguh the first 4 innings, Hong Kong managing to keep the strong Chinese Taipei office to 2 runs throguh the first 4 innings, however consistent hitting in the 5th and 6th netted 6 extra runs, paving the way for the game to end in 7 due to the 10 run margin. Chinese Taipei also collected 3 triples on the day.
The most awaited game of Day 3 between Cuba and South Korea proved to be the expected close match, as the World Cup silver medalists beat the Olympic gold medalists 3-0.
Cuba scored once in each of the first 2 innings: Korean pitcher Jin Hae Soo walked the first batter Hector Olivera, who scored after 2 consecutive singles by Michel Enriquez and Alfredo Despaigne (4 for 4 at the end of the game) in the 1st. Jin was immediately relieved by Cho Tae Soo, who gave up a solo homer in the 2nd to the leadoff of the inning Yulieski Gourriel, who finished the game at 3 for 4 and scored the 3rd Cuban run in the 7th, batted in by Ariel Pestano’s single, after a double to the left field.
The Koreans couldn’t find the way to hit consistently against both Veral Norge (6.0) and Yulieski Gonzalez (3.0) who together allowed 4 hits and 1 BB, collecting 5 strike outs.
Cuba ended the game with combined 12 hits, while Korean defense limited the damage with 3 double plays