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Mexico And Venezuela In Final Of WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup, Cuba And Colombia For Bronze

The World Championship Final and Bronze Medal Game of the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup are set, following the conclusion of the Super Round at Estadio Sonora on Friday night.

Defending U-23 World Champions Mexico will face Venezuela Saturday night for the world title, while Cuba and Colombia will battle for bronze.

San Diego Padres prospect Ornelas belted a tiebreaking home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth inning as world No. 5 Mexico came from behind to beat No. 15 Colombia, 3-2, on Friday night at Estadio Sonora.

“Tomorrow, we will need to hit better,” said Mexican U-23 National Team manager Enrique Reyes. “Venezuela is an excellent team. We lost against them playing five good innings and one bad inning.”

Behind timely hitting and baserunning, world No. 10 Venezuela finished the Super Round with a 5-2 win over No. 3 Chinese Taipei, to clinch a place in the Final.

“Winning for Venezuela gives me sensations I cannot even describe,” Venezuelan U-23 National Team manager Carlos Garcia. “These are challenging times for our country, and the idea we can make our people happy and proud fills me with happiness.”

World No. 11 Cuba rallied from deficits three times, including a margin of 5-0 midway through the game to stun No. 13 Panama with a 9-8 walk-off win in extra innings.

Walk-off hero Yuddiel Gonzalez said: “Cuban players never give up. We are not beaten until the game is over. Now we celebrate for a little while and we start focusing on tomorrow. We want a bronze medal.”

“It was emotional, and I feel proud for the way this group of players is competing and the way we won this game. It was a tremendous effort,” said Cuban U-23 National Team manager Eriel Sanchez.

Saturday’s starting pitchers are as follows:

Bronze Medal Game – 13:00
CUB: #21 CRUZ ZALDIVAR, Naykel Yoel – LHP
COL: #61 ALCALA CARDOZA, Elkin Enrique – RHP

World Championship Final – 19:30
MEX: #92 CASTELLANOS, Saúl – RHP
VEN: #23 RAMÍREZ, Wikelman – RHP

Panama and Chinese Taipei end the global tournament in 5th and 6th Place, respectively.

There were no surprises on the third and final day at the U-23 Baseball World Cup Placement Round, with 7th Place Nicaragua having already won the round. Korea finished in 8th Place, the Dominican Republic in 9th Place, ahead of 10th Place Netherlands, 11th Place Germany and 12th Place Czech Republic.

The WBSC U-23 All-World Team will be announced following Saturday’s games.

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