Palma silences U.S. bats as Cuba wins 10th Pan Am gold
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- A Pan American Games silver medal earned by a bunch of college baseball players bodes well for the United States in next summer's Olympics. Of course, the gold that Cuba grabbed for the 10th straight time is a powerful reminder of who dominates the sport internationally.
The Cubans won 3-1 Friday morning. The Americans, who went 4-0 to reach the final, were no match for the solid pitching of Adiel Palma. The U.S. team managed only four hits off Palma, who was 2-0 in Rio and struck out nine in the gold medal game.Pedro Luis Lazo allowed one hit in getting the save with 1 1/3 innings of relief. Lazo struck out three in a row before Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) doubled with two outs in the ninth. Justin Smoak (South Carolina) then flew out to center field. "It was a tough loss, but I thought we played well," said manager Mike Weathers, who has won three silver medals against Cuba as a player (1971), assistant (2003) and manager (2007). "We couldn't solve their pitching. "Both teams played very well. We should be very proud to win a silver medal. We overcame a lot and accomplished many things. These guys will take home a lot of memories."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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