World Classic: Cuba has 21 hits and surpasses Panama, Czechs defeat China

Cuba had 21 hits and came from behind on Friday to crush Panama 13-4 and add his first victory in the World Baseball Classic after stumbling in their first two commitments in Group A.

Panama was 4-2 up the board after two innings after scoring all four of his runs in the second, thanks in part to a two-run home run by Rubén Tejada.

But Cuba reacted and scored four times in the sixth inning, five in the seventh and in two more in the eighth to seal his bulky victory.

Yoan Moncada had three hits in five at-bats with four RBIs and Yadir Drake had four hits in as many at-bats with two RBIs to lead the Cuban offense.

Luis Miguel Tejada scored the victory with a three-inning, two-hit ball. Matthew Hardy took the loss after allowing four runs and three hits in 1 1/3 innings on the mound.

The two teams are 1-2 in the tournament.

In another of the day’s games, Martin Muzik hit a three-run shot in the top of the ninth and Czech Republic defeated China 8-5 in Tokyo.

The Czechs overcame a 5-4 deficit in the ninth, with Filip Smola hitting an RBI single in his team’s first game in Group A.

Matej Mensik homered for the Czechs in the third inning. Closer Marek Minarik took the win with two and two-thirds scoreless innings.

The loss went to Hai Cheng Gong’s record in China’s second loss in as many games.

 

A must-needed win for Team Cuba! #WorldBaseballClassic pic.twitter.com/mWSdcrMzRY

— World Baseball Classic (@WBCBaseball) March 10, 2023

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