21 Aug 2008

Cuba, Korea, Japan and US in baseball semis

5:47 am on 21 August 2008

Cuba signalled they are not about to surrender their Olympic crown without a fight after pulverising China 17-1 in seven innings to complete baseball preliminary round play on Wednesday.

South Korea also underlined their gold medal aspirations by pummelling the Netherlands 10-0 in eight innings to finish with the only unbeaten record (7-0), one game ahead of Cuba.

In contrast to the fireworks produced by the Cubans and Koreans, the United States and Japan battled through 10 scoreless innings before the contest was decided by the new international tie-break format in the 11th with the Americans taking a 4-2 win and third place in the standings.

The results finalised the pairings for Friday's semi-finals which will feature a pair of mouth-watering rivalries with Korea facing Japan (4-3) and the US (5-2) taking on Cuba.