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2017 WBC: Dutch headed to semis after routing Cuba

Stacked with Major League stars, the Netherlands were a team to watch heading into the World Baseball Classic. Now the Dutch will make a return trip to the semifinals, and their lineup is clicking.

A 14-1 win in seven innings over Cuba on Wednesday at the Tokyo Dome left the Netherlands with a 2-1 record in Pool E. And with Japan's 8-3 win over Israel, the Netherlands will advance to next week's final round at Dodger Stadium.

2017 WBC: Eighth-inning heroics carry unbeaten Japan past Cuba

Another night, another thrilling win for Samurai Japan at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Pinch hitter Seiichi Uchikawa brought in the tiebreaking run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth, Tetsuto Yamada provided more breathing room with a two-run home run later in the frame, and the Japanese emerged from a back-and-forth battle against Cuba with a 8-5 victory on Tuesday night at Tokyo Dome.

The Japanese took a big step toward qualifying for the semifinals in the U.S. with the win.

Might This Be A Final Waterloo, or a Surprising Watershed Year for Cuba in Tokyo?

Tokyo (March 6, 2017)

Cuba has unquestionably been the biggest overall surprise of the first three World Baseball Classic editions. Team Israel may already be well down the road to changing that scenario during the first couple of days of the current renewal for MLB’s increasingly popular “true, legitimate” baseball world series. But across the first three high profile showcase events it has been the Cubans who have written the most unexpected fairy tales and turned the largest numbers of sceptics into true believers. 

Cuba ties with Orix Buffaloes in WBC warmup

Cuba scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning, to tie with the Orix Buffaloes in its first warm-up match against japanese professional teams in preparation for the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

In that inning Cuban catcher Frank C. Morejón singled, Roel Santos followed with a double, and both scored when shortstop Alexander Ayala singled to left. Ayala scored the tying run later, when William Saavedra reaches on first base on a throwing error by third baseman Ito Hikaru.

Cardinal Sign

Language can be quirky, change one vowel and you go from Affluence to Effluence. Cuban naming traditions are also quirky, change one vowel or consonant and you go from a power hitting third baseman to a rangy outfielder. Such is the case with Adonis Garcia (Atlanta Braves) and his brother Adolis Garcia (St. Louis Cardinals) or Yulieski Gurriel (Houston Astros) and his brother Yuniesky Gurriel (Free Agent) or Yoenis Cespedes (New York Mets) and his half brother Yoelkis Cespedes (Granma, Cuba), you get the point.

S. Korea beats Cuba in 2nd straight exhibition baseball game

South Korea rallied to defeat Cuba 7-6 in their exhibition game on Sunday ahead of the World Baseball Classic (WBC).

The home team erased a 3-1 deficit in a six-run seventh inning to beat Cuba for the second straight day at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. On Saturday, South Korea prevailed 6-1.

South Korea will host Pool A action in the first round against Israel, the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei, starting on March 6. Cuba will face Japan, Australia and China in Pool B play in Tokyo.