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Team USA Wins 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup, Beats Cuba 10-509/27/2009 3:32 PM ET
NETTUNO, Italy -- Lucas May hit a three-run home run in the second inning and Team USA (14-1) plated six runs in the top of the seventh to defeat Cuba 10-5, and win the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup at Stadio Borghese in Nettuno, Italy. The U.S. reeled off 14 consecutive victories after dropping its opener in Regensburg, Germany and has now won the Baseball World Cup four times (1973, 1974, 2007, 2009).
May got things started in the top of the second inning for Team USA. With runners on the corners following a fielding error, May lifted the first pitch he saw off Cuban starter Norge Vera over the centerfield fence for his third home run of the World Cup, putting the U.S. on top 3-0.
With the game tied in the top of the seventh inning, Team USA broke the game wide open, taking advantage of a costly Cuba error and hitting five consecutive two-out RBI singles to take a 10-4 lead. Justin Smoak, Jon Weber, Terry Tiffee, Josh Kroeger and May all plated runs with RBI singles.
USA starter Cory Luebke pitched 4 1/3 innings for the Red, White and Blue, striking out seven Cuba batters and allowing two runs. Brad Lincoln (3-0) followed with 4 1/3 innings of his own, allowing three runs and striking out two batters for his third win of the World Cup.
Nate Field came in with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth and closed the game for the U.S. forcing a fly out to left field to finish the game and successfully defend its 2007 Baseball World Cup Championship.
May finished the day 2-for-4 with four RBI and Tug Hulett added a home run in the fifth inning.
Terry Tiffee (DH), Jon Weber (OF) and Justin Smoak (1B) were all named to the All-Tournament Team and Smoak was also named the MVP of the tournament, finishing with nine home runs and 22 RBI. Todd Redmond received a pitching award for best tournament winning percentage.
The 2009 USA Baseball World Cup Team set five new USA records including at-bats (525), hits (157), home runs (38), innings pitched (133.0), and most-strikeouts by a pitching staff (127). The U.S. outscored its opponents 118-42 in the tournament. The box score and play by play from today's game accompanies this press release.
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