Cuba maintain their tradition, to become the second team in final four, and Korea still unbeaten, defeat Japan twice in 10 days to be the third team advanced into semifinal. As for USA, they still got a chance to play another games by winning Mexico tomorrow.
Korea 2, Japan 1
KOREA - 000 000 020 -- 2 JAPAN - 000 000 001 -- 1
Before Wednesday night’s high-stakes matchup between Korea and Japan in Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic, a techno version of Bryan Adams’ “Heaven” blared through the speakers. After getting a clutch two-run double in the eighth inning from Jong Beom Lee and an equally clutch relief performance from righty Seung Hwan Oh on the way to a 2-1 victory in a beautifully pitched game Wednesday night at Angel Stadium, Korea’s unbeaten (6-0) squad celebrated as if it had indeed moved on to a glorious baseball afterlife.
Go Mexico! That is the only rallying cry remaining for Team Japan in the World Baseball Classic after it dropped to Korea in a classic game played before 39,679 at Angel Stadium. It comes down to this for manager Sadaharu Oh’s team: Root, root, root for Mexico. If the United States wins the final quarterfinal game here, it’s all over for Japan, and the team would return home wondering what might have happened if the offense had a little more punch in the middle of its lineup.
Cuba 4, Puerto Rico 3
CUBA - 100 300 000 -- 4 PUERTO RICO - 100 000 200 -- 3
Garbed in its traditional uniform — red pants and predominately red jersey — for the first time in World Baseball Classic play, Cuba went out of its way to save its best for last. Cuba manager Higinio Velez was not around to see it all, but he probably would have liked what his red machine did Wednesday night. In fact, he would have loved it.
Puerto Rico may have been bounced from the inaugural World Baseball Classic on Wednesday, but it certainly went down swinging. Bernie Williams hit a leadoff home run, but one of Puerto Rico’s other superstars, Ivan Rodriguez, was thrown out at home plate trying to score the tying run in an electrifying 4-3 loss to Cuba, which advanced to the tournament’s semifinals in San Diego.
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