On Sunday, the U.S. team advanced to the finals of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) after winning a match against the Cuban team (14-2).
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Olympic champions in 1992, 1996, and 2004, the Cuban team had a great start in the game with three consecutive infield hits and a career driven by Alfredo Despaigne.
Later, however, American players Trea Turner and Paul Goldschmidt secured their team’s victory by boosting four races each.
“That was one of my favorite home runs I have ever hit in my entire life. My team has talked about trying to score early. I was happy to be able to do that,” Goldschmidt said.
The Cuba team tried to cut distances afterward. Player Yoan Moncada made one more home run, but U.S. players Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil racked up two more runs for their team.
"It took some time, but now we have been able to find our stride a little bit,” Turner said, recalling that four U.S. players produced multi-hit performances in the match against Team Cuba: Goldschmidt (2-for-5), Mookie Betts (3-for-6), Nolan Arenado (2-for-3) and himself (3-for-5).
On Tuesday, the U.S. team will compete in the WBC finals against the winner of Monday’s match between Mexico and Japan, which is the only team to win two consecutive WBC championships.