14ymedio, Havana, 12 March 2023 — Cuba beat Taiwan 7-1 on the last day of Group A of the World Classic. The result made them dream about the second round of the tournament that takes place in the United States, China and Japan, said the official newspaper Cubadebate. “This is what happened,” said the player from Matanzas, Yadir Drake. “We came to qualify and today we took a big step.”
Enthusiasm reached the Jit newsroom, which pointed out that the team was reinforced for the first time with players from the Major Leagues of the United States, who “don’t believe in the pressure of ’life or death’ duels” and have now qualified for the next round. The media repeated the statement of manager Armando Johnson: “We always said that the team would end up responding, and so it did, first against Panama and now in this game.”
The performance of the athletes led by Johnson was summarized by the Swing Completo portal as that of a team that “did the job” before a weak host, Taiwan. This was demonstrated from the first inning with four home runs that broke the rhythm of the Asians at the Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung.
The Cuban offensive distinguished itself. Yoan Moncada connected with a double to center field. Luis Robert Jr. reached first base after an error by shortstop Kun Yu Chiang. Alfredo Despaigne hit a two-run double. In this way, Cuba got four runs with one out.
The second inning was more measured for Team Asere with two runs. Yoan Moncada had a solo home run, and Roel Santos added one more run with a single. The seventh inning took place after a combination between Yadir Drake and Roel Santo. Taiwan scored after a hit by Wei-Chen Wang.
The Cuban pitching responded with Elian Leyva, who threw 2.1 innings without allowing a run, while Miguel Romero, who was a relief player, got 2.2 innings, also without scores, with four strikeouts in each; Onelki García got none in two innings.
Until that time, there was a good chance that Cuba, which began with defeats against the Netherlands and Italy, would be in the next round. These selections closed the activities of Group A with a 7-1 win by Italy against the Dutch .
Fortune touched Cuba, which ended up as the leader in Group A, with Italy in second place. In the next round the rivals could be Australia or South Korea, and the stage will be at the Tokyo Dome.
The triumph of Team Asere comes after the release of the song MVP, written and performed by rapper Wilger Luis Aranda Campuzano Casdapro and produced by Josh López. The theme, according to the Cuban rapper, is in support of the Cuban national team that is competing in the World Classic.
“It is wrong for some of the fans to put so much pressure on the Cuban team, even many times showing personal disrespect for the players,” Casdapro said. “It’s unfortunate that they are only waiting to see those who are representing the nation fail, when they have so much pride, honor and respect for the flag.”
Translated by Regina Anavy
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