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   USA defeats Cuba to win gold at Baseball World Cup
 
   Published on: September 28, 2009
 
The USA exploded for six two out seventh inning runs, and got a three run home run from Los Angeles Dodger prospect Lucas May and a solo home run from Tug Hulett to defeat Cuba 10-5 and successfully defend their World Cup title before a sellout crowd of 5,600 Sunday in Nettuno, Italy.

May's three run second inning home run off Norge Vera gave the US an early 3-0 lead, and it was 4-2 in the sixth when Cuba's Ariel Borerro hit a two run home run of his own off pitcher Brad Lincoln, to tie the score.

However, the USA answered right back in the seventh. With runners on second and third and two out, Trevor Plouffe reached on an error, scoring both Hulett, son of former MLB player Tim Hulett, and Buck Coates to give the US the lead again at 6-4.

Jon Weber followed with an RBI single off pitcher Pedro Lazo, and Terry Tiffee, Josh Kroger and May came right behind with RBI singles of their own to break the game open.

Alfredo Despaigne's record 11th home run cut the margin to 10-6 in the eighth, and Cuba had the bases loaded and two out in the ninth before Nate Field entered the game and got Despaigne on a fly to left to end the game.

Lincoln, a Pittsburgh Pirates prospect, got the win for USA, while May went 4-4 in the game.

The USA successfully defended its title, defeating Cuba for the second time in four days and reeling off 13 straight wins.

Justin Smoak, who set a Team USA record with nine home runs and is a top prospect for the Texas Rangers, was named tournament Most Valuable Player.

Cuba takes the silver medal for the second straight time, after nine consecutive titles, and Canada, which defeated Puerto Rico yesterday, took the bronze for their best-ever finish.

 
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