What Happened: For three innings it was close but once Cuba got its offense going, Mexico didn’t have a chance. A five-run fourth blew the game open and a nine-run seventh triggered the mercy rule as Cuba beat Mexico 16-4. Both teams advance to the second round, which begins with Pool 2 on Saturday.
The Stars: Freddy Sandoval homered to Team Mexico while the top five hitters in the Cuban lineup all had two or more hits. Cuba’s regular catcher Ariel Pestano got most of the night off, but he hit a three-run home run in his only at-bat of the game.
The Prospects: Second baseman Yuleski Gourriel, 24, hit a fourth-inning two run home run that helped open the floodgates. Switch-hitting left fielder Frederich Cepeda hit a three-run home run while 23-year-old center fielder Yoennis Cespedes had three hits including a triple.
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