World Baseball Classic, Group B: Cuba Wins in Pinch, 5-4

Warren TurnerContributor IMarch 11, 2009

A pinch-hit two-run home run prevented Cuba from being the next victim in a World Baseball Classic that has featured incredible upsets. Backup catcher Yosbany Peraza—known in Cuba for his prodigious power stroke—saved the day.

Team Australia led the game 4-2 after six innings. Cuba scored once in the seventh on a double by designated hitter Michel Enriquez. In the eighth Australia brought in its closer, Rich Thompson.

A single, fly out, and strikeout set the stage for Peraza’s heroic blast. Ismel Jimenez threw a solid 2.2 innings to seal the victory for Cuba.

Australia’s six hits were timely but not enough. They now play Mexico Wednesday night in the last elimination game of the tournament.

On Thursday, Cuba plays the winner to decide who will be seeded first and second in the next round in San Diego.