Olympics Baseball Day Five Wrapup
Cuba, South Korea remain undefeated
Team USA Update:
|South Korea 9, Taiwan 8
Japan 1, Canada 0
Cuba 14, Netherlands 3 (8)
U.S. 9, China 1
|Netherlands vs. Canada, 10:30
South Korea vs. Cuba, 11:30 p.m.
Japan vs. China, 6 p.m.
vs. Taiwan, 7
With an easy win over China, the U.S. took a big step toward a spot in the medal round. With four teams tied for last place at 1-4, and only two games left in round-robin play, the U.S. will wrap up a spot in the medal round with one more win, but even if they lost out their final two games, they still would have a chance to make it to the medal round depending on how the tiebreakers work out. Nate Schierholtz (Giants) was 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs and a double; Taylor Teagarden (Rangers) had a double and 2 RBIs and Terry Tiffee (Dodgers) had two more hits. U.S. starter Jake Arrieta allowed only two hits while striking out seven in six scoreless innings, and Casey Weathers (Rockies) added two strikeouts in a scoreless inning of work.
South Korea jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first inning against Taiwan, but then had to hang on for a narrow one-run win. Jin-Yung Lee was 3-for-5 with two RBIs for South Korea. Cuba run-ruled the Netherlands for an easy win. Right fielder Alexi Bell had four hits including a triple for Cuba . . . Canada dropped to 1-4 despite an outstanding pitching effort by Chris Begg and two relievers. Begg gave up a fifth-inning home run to Japan's right fielder Atsunori Inaba, which proved to be the only run of the game.
Chun Hui-Tsao threw 2/3 scoreless innings for Taiwan in their loss to South Korea. Teammate Che-Hsuan Lin (Red Sox) was 1-for-4 with an RBI single. Juan Carlos Sulbaran handcuffed Cuba in his last appearance against them at the Haarlem Honkball week. It didn't go as well for the 18-year-old this time. Sulbaran, who just signed with the Reds for $500,000
, allowed five runs (only two earned) in 4 2/3 innings. He did strike out six . . . Right fielder Michael Saunders (Mariners) had one of Canada's two hits against Cuba.
It doesn't have many medal round ramifications, because they are both assured of
advancing to the semifinals, but South Korea vs. Cuba will face off
tonight (at 11:30 p.m. ET) in a matchup of the two remaining undefeated
teams. The U.S. could take a big step toward securing a spot in the medal round with a win over Taiwan. At 2-3, Taiwan could end up being one of the team's battling the U.S. for a spot in the medal round, but a U.S. win would help crush Taiwan's playoff hopes.