Cuba To Play For Gold, USA Forfeits

Team USA, which had its Thursday game with Nicaragua in the 36th World Cup, has forfeited Friday’™s rescheduled game due to poor playing conditions at the field in Amsterdam.

The game to decide fifth-place was originally scheduled for Thursday in Rotterdam, but heavy rains swept through the area and forced the postponement. Both teams traveled to Amsterdam for the game Friday only to find rain again delaying the game. Team USA then decided to forfeit due to unsafe playing conditions, citing its obligation to the safety of the players it has on loan from major league organizations.

“The grounds crew in Amsterdam did a great job with such short notice to get the field in the best playing condition that they could,” USA Baseball’™s national teams general manager Eric Campbell said.

“Unfortunately, several pivotal areas on the field were unplayable and extremely dangerous for our athletes.”
USA Baseball has filed a formal protest over the fact it was forced to forfeit the game with the International Baseball Federation. Team USA is tentatively scheduled to play against Puerto Rico at 10:30 a.m. (local time) in Amsterdam.

In other World Cup play, Cuba pounded Panama 15-2 to advance to the gold medal game. The host Dutch were hoping to continue their amazing run (they had lost only to Cuba), but they were two-hit by Korea and lost 7-0 in the other semifinal. Cuba and Korea will meet for the gold.

Korea got eight innings of two-hit ball from Dae Woo Kim against the Netherlands. Cuba held Panama to two hits while sprinting out to a 7-0 lead in a game called early by the international mercy rule. Yuliesky Gourriel and Ariel Pestano homered to lead Cuba’™s 15-hit attack.

In the other consolation game, Japan beat Puerto Rico 5-0.