09 September, 2005

Alex Smit Dispatches - 9 September

Minnesota Twins prospect Alexander Smit took the mound for his second appearance in the IBAF World Cup on Wednesday night.

Smit appears to be on mop up duty as he came into the game against South Africa with the Netherlands 20-2 up in the 6th inning. He faced 3 batters, retired them all, picking up a strikeout. For his efforts, Smit picked up the win, as the Dutch ran out 20-2 winners in 7 innings under the IBAF mercy rule.

The Netherlands are gearing up for a showdown with Cuba on Sunday. Both teams are 6-0 in their 9 team pool. On Saturday, Cuba face Canada (2-3) whilst the Dutch have a tougher assignment against Panama (5-1). A four run eighth saw the Dutch over Canada tonight 7-3.

Meanwhile, in Group B, the US (4-1) were blown out by Nicaragua (5-0) 14-2. Both look likely to make the knock-out stage along with Japan (5-1) and Puerto Rico (3-2).

Panama will qualify from Group A, to join the hosts and Cuba. Surprising PR China (3-3), Canada and Korea (2-3) will battle out for the fourth spot. China play Korea (tomorrow) and Canada (Sunday).

Cuba's Yuliesky Gourriel has already hit 5 homers in 5 games. His teammate Eduardo Paret has gone 10-for-16. Pitcher Dany Betancourt, also from Cuba, has 18 whiffs in 7.1 innings. Cuba has won 24 World Championships in 27 attempts.

Mariners' farmhand Bryan LaHair is hitting .625 for the US. LeHair hit .310/.373/.503 for the High A Inland Empire this year.


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