Gonzalez, Alvarez anchor Cuba’s dramatic win against Mexico

1818/10/2022
A pinch-hit double by Bryan Gonzalez gave Cuba the lead in the top of the seventh. Frank Alvarez took care of the final three outs.
Cuba earned their first win in the IV WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup with a dramatic 2-0 win over Mexico on Tuesday.

Pinch hitter Bryan Alvarez got to the second pitch by reliever Yamil Castillo and drove it off the wall for an RBI double, while Frank Alvarez took care of the three final outs, allowing just a walk.

Cuba had the first scoring chance, as they got to starter Esteban Bloch with three consecutive hits in the top of the second but stranded the bases loaded.

In the bottom of the third Mexican left fielder Angel Camacho reached on an infield hit, advancing to second on a balk and reaching third on a sacrifice bunt, which prompted Cuba to call Marlon Vega in the bullpen.

The reliever got the second out on a pop to first baseman and forced catcher Brandon Valenzuela to ground into a double play.

Bloch allowed back-to-back walks with one out in the top of the seventh, forcing Mexico to call Yamil Castillo from the bullpen. On his second offering, pinch hitter Bryan Gonzalez doubled off the wall in center field, driving in the go-ahead run.

Cuba added an insurance run on a wild pitch, then Frank Alvarez took care of the three final outs, allowing just a walk.

Cuba now have a 1-3 win-loss card and will face Australia on 19 October for the makeup game of Day 2, while Mexico have a 2-2 record and will finish the opening round against Korea.