Cuba had four of their six hits in a two-run second, providing all the offence they needed. Venezuela brought the potential winning run at bat in the bottom of the seventh.
Carlos Monier and Andrys Perez put Cuba ahead against Venezuela in the top of the second, which were enough to secure their second win with a 2-0 scoreline in the Placement Round of the IV WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup on Friday.
In the bottom of the first, Cuba’s starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez loaded the base with three walks but escaped the jam by striking out the next two batters. He allowed only two hits over four innings.
Cuba scored two on a triple by Carlos Monier and a double by Andrys Perez in a second at-bat that Pedro Revilla led off with a double and proved all the run production they needed.
Venezuela’s starting pitcher Wikelman Ramirez pitched his second game after dominating South Africa in the opening round. He once again looked sharp. After allowing four of six total hits in the top of the second, he went 6.1 innings and struck out nine before leaving for reliever Jose Guzman.
Leodan Reyes took the mound for Cuba in the fifth and allowed only one hit over three innings.
Venezuela had the best scoring chance in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Yoandy Rea singled and reached third on a defensive error. Reyes retired Jeferson Morales, who could have made the potential winning hit for Venezuela on a fly ball to shortstop.
Cuba will finish the Placement Round against South Africa at 11.00 local time, while Venezuela will play their last game against Puerto Rico at 14.00.