Cuba beats United States in Baseball World Cup

Yuliesky Gourriel and Ariel Pestano each drove in three runs Wednesday to lead defending champion Cuba over the United States 11-3 in the quarterfinals of the Baseball World Cup.

Pestano started it with a three-run double off losing pitcher Brian Bannister in the top of the first inning. Gourriel, who was 2-for-3 with two walks, hit a two-run home run in the fourth.

In the other quarterfinals, Panama edged Nicaragua 2-1, South Korea beat Japan 5-1 and the Netherlands topped Puerto Rico 10-0. Cuba will face Panama and South Korea will play the Netherlands in Friday's semifinals.

The United States, which played with a team of professionals who are not on Major League Baseball rosters, scored two runs in the third inning to get within two, but the Cubans scored four in the fourth. In the sixth inning, Bryan LaHair hit a solo home run for the Americans.

Panama got its first run in the fourth inning when Yoni Lasso singled in Freddy Herrera from third. Panama pitcher Abraham Atencio gave up one hit through six innings, but he was pulled in the seventh after Ronald Garth's leadoff double.

Garth later tied the score after a sacrifice fly by Norman Cardoze, but Panama scored the winning run on a single by Herrera. Losing pitcher Oswaldo Mairena struck out six through seven innings and was charged with two runs.

South Korea rallied for three runs in the second inning, starting with Kim Sang-hyeon's leadoff solo home run. Kim also knocked in an insurance run with a single in the eighth. Percy Isenia and Sharnol Adriana hit back-to-back home runs for the Netherlands off losing pitcher Luis Arroyo in the second inning. Catcher Sidney de Jong was 2-for-4 with a walk and three RBIs. The game was called in the eighth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule after Puerto Rico relief pitcher Melvin Pizarro walked in a run, AP reports.

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