Canada 2 United States 1
The Canadians have won their first major international tournament with a well pitched 2-1 win over the United States. Andrew Albers started the first six plus innings, giving up six hits and one run and then Scott Richmond retired all seven hitters he faced to preserve the win. The lone run by the United States was driven in by Brett Carroll in the first inning to give the U.S. squad a quick 1-0 lead.
The United States started their ace Andy Van Hekken, who had only given up one run in 14 innings of World Cup prowess. He shut the Canadians out for the first five innings, giving up only three hits. In the sixth, the Canadians erupted for two, James Van Ostrand getting the big 2-run double to drive in the runs. The two hits that preceded the double were contributed by Chris Robinson and Tim Smith, both coming after two were out.
So after Cuba and the United States dominanted the international baseball tournaments, two new countries have been heard from. the Canadian team, who has always played the little brother to the United States team, wins the Pan am and Netherlands, who was just lucky to win a game a decade ago are the first European team to win a tournament.
Cuba 6 Mexico 0
Cuba was saving Miguel Gonzalez for the finals. Unfortunately, after being upset by the United States in the semi final game, Cuba had to pitch Miguel in the bronze medal game. Back in the day, when Cuba lost it was always in pool play. Uninspired, it was a given that they would lose an early game and it was always good fun to try to figure out what team that would be. When the playoffs started losing was not in the Cubans vocabulary. Cuba seems to win the games in pool play now, but they are prone to losing the playoff game. The better competetion makes that possible and while the professionals that stock many of these teams are AAA at best, they are much better than the college level players the Cubans were seeing in the past.
Miguel Gonzalez was on his game as he limited the Mexican bats to seven hits in his six plus innings of work. He only walked one and struck out six. Yadier Pedroso, who shut down the U.S. bats in the World Cup in Panama, finished off the last two plus innings and preserved the shutout. He only gave up one hit and walked one.
The Cuban offense didn’t waste any time supporting Miguel. Alfredo Despaigne, who was 0 for 5 against the United States, rocketed a 2-run homer in the first inning to give Cuba a quick 2-0 lead. Jose Abreu rifled a solo shot in the second and Yulieski Gourriel hit a solo shot in the fourth. The Cubans never looked back.
Mexico started ex-major leaguer Walter Silva and he lasted only two innings, giving up two bombs. Marco Duarte followed and worked three innings, giving up one bomb and an unearned run. Mexico, who had started out the tournament strong winning their pool by upsetting the United States, finish the tournament with two losses to settle for fourth place.
Dominican Republic 14 Venezuela 7
Neither team had the premium prospects from the United States like Miguel Sano (Dom Rep) or Francisco Martinez (Venezuela). Both teams battled with their veterans trying to prove that their country was the far superior team. The Dominican Republic prevailed, lashing out 20 hits in their 14-7 victory. The game was 7-7 after seven, but the Dominican Republic scored seven runs in the last two innings to blow the game open.
Leadoff hitter Jose Campusano had five hits and scored three times to lead the Dominican offense. Juan Richardson scored four runs from the number three spot, contributing three hits, two of them doubles. Venezuela was led by the four hits and two RBIs from Rodolfo Cardona. Yonathan Sivira also had four hits that drove in three runs. The Dominican Republic used four pitchers in relief after the fifth inning that did not allow Venezuela to cross the plate, giving their offense a chance to end the game.