Colombia beats Cuba and wins bronze in U-23 World Cup
03/10/2021 2 Minute Read

Colombia beats Cuba and wins bronze in U-23 World Cup

Colombia scored two runs in each of the first two innings and didn’t have to look back against a brave Cuban team.

Following a one run loss on Friday that wiped out their chances of a world championship, Colombia needed to overcome the loss quickly. Less than 18 hours later, they got the job done.

Led by two home runs from designated hitter Andrés Angulo, world No. 15 Colombia edged out No. 11 Cuba, 5 runs for 3, on Saturday afternoon in the bronze medal game of the III Baseball World Cup. WBSC U-23 at the Sonora Stadium in Hermosillo.

The victory gave Colombia its first medal at a WBSC World Cup event.

“The last Colombian title on the world stage came in 1947. My grandfather played for that team,” commented coach José Mosquera. For the record, the tournament was called the Amateur World Series and would become the Baseball World Cup.

Pairing for the second time in four days, Cuba and Colombia were destined for a very different encounter than the first, when Colombia posted an 11-0 victory in five innings. Cuba scored the first run of the game on a fiery Saturday afternoon on top of the first as Loidel Chapelli walked to open the game and scored three batters later on a sacrifice fly from Yuddiel Gonzalez to center.

Cuba’s only advantage in the game did not last long. Angulo pulled Colombia out of the three holes with a two-run homer to left field after Jordan Diaz’s one-out single down the left side.

An inning later, it was the bottom of Colombia’s offense that contributed when Brayan Buelvas and Juan Zabala singled to start second. With those two in the corners, Rafael Romero walked a walk, but Cuban catcher Andrys Pérez shot to second on the fourth ball, allowing Buelvas to slide home. Zabala then scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Gustavo Campero to put the lead 4-0.

Cuba got a run back on an RBI single by Geisel Cepeda, collecting Chapelli’s second walk in the third inning, but Colombia responded with Angulo’s second home run of the day, an opening throw in the bottom of the third. .

First baseman Ivan Prieto gave Cuba a jolt of life with a solo homer with one out to left in the fourth, but although his team had opportunities the rest of the way, they never capitalized on them. Cuba left a running back in scoring position in the fifth and left a man in the first in the sixth.

Called to win his third save at the U-23 World Cup, Colombian Jhon Peluffo obeyed, retiring all five batters he faced.

The victory was extra sweet for Colombia, which hosted the II U-23 Baseball World Cup in 2019 in Montería and Barranquilla, but did not qualify for the Super Round, finishing seventh at home.

“It is a great honor for us,” Mosquera said. “Now we have to keep this group together. This tournament has been a learning experience for everyone, we can improve ”.