TOKYO – Martin Muzik hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning and the Czech Republic beat China 8-5 on Friday in the World Baseball Classic.
The Czech Republic overcame a 5-4 deficit in the ninth, with Filip Smola adding an RBI single in the team’s first game in Group A.
Matej Mensik also homered for the Czechs, connecting in the third. Marek Minarik was the winner, closing with 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
Hai Cheng Gong took the loss as China dropped to 0-2. It lost to Japan 8-1 on Thursday.
The all-amateur Czech team has had fun in Japan. A few of the players even went surfing in the run-up to the tournament during games in Miyazaki in southwestern Japan.
“We’re enjoying the Japanese stay,” Czech player Marek Chlup said. “At Miyazaki, some players swam.”
CUBA 13, PANAMA 4
TAICHUNG, Taiwan — Cuba pounded out 21 hits and picked up its first victory in the World Baseball Classic after losing its first two games in Group A.
Panama led 4-2 after two innings, breaking out with four runs in the second inning, keyed by a two-run homer by Ruben Tejada. But Cuba scored four runs in the sixth, five in the seventh and two more in the eighth for the lopsided victory.
Yoan Moncada was 3 for 5 with four RBIs, and Yadir Drake went 4 for 4 with two RBIs to lead the Cubans.
Luis Miguel Tejada was the winning pitcher and Matthew Hardy picked up the loss for Panama.
Both teams a 1-2 in Group A play.