LAGOS DE MORENO, Mexico -- In what is sure to go down as one of the most thrilling chapters in the storied USA/Cuba rivalry, the U.S. held on Monday for a 12-10 win and now advances to Tuesday's gold medal final, against Canada, set for 8 p.m. ET.
Team USA jumped out to a 12-2 lead through four frames, but Cuba would not go quietly, chipping away at the U.S. lead with eight runs over the next five innings. U.S. closer Scott Patterson came in with two outs in the eighth, however, and allowed only one hit in retiring the final four Cuban batters of the game. Patterson got Cuban slugger Frederich Cepeda to pop-up to third baseman Tommy Mendonca for the final out of the game to nail down the save (1).
Brett Carroll continued his stellar Pan Am Games, going 2-for-3 with three runs scored to push his team-leading average for the tournament to a blistering .643 (9-for-14). The outfielder led a balanced U.S. attack that saw each of Team USA's nine batters record at least one hit.
Chuckie Fick (1-0) earned the win for the U.S. He came in for starter Todd Remond and was later relieved by Randy Williams, Pete Andrelczyk, Justin Cassel, and Patterson.
With the win, the U.S. advances to its fourth straight Pan Am gold medal game. The Americans have not won Pan Am gold since 1967 and have lost the previous three finals to Cuba. Tuesday will mark the first time since the 1959 Pan Ams that Cuba will not play for gold and the first time since its loss to the U.S. in 1967 that it will not win a Pan Am gold medal.
Team USA was set to face Canada earlier this month in the bronze medal game of the IBAF World Cup in Panama, but the game was rained out, resulting in a tie.
NOTES: In his ninth starting appearance, across three USA Baseball Professional Team seasons and four international tournaments, Todd Redmond faced Cuba for the first time, Monday...the righty earned a no-decision, allowing four earned runs over four innings pitched...With his fourth-inning RBI-double, Joe Thurston has now recorded at least one hit in each of the 14 games he has played for Team USA this season...the second baseman is hitting a team-leading .436 (24-55) over that stretch...Tommy Mendonca knocked in his team-leading 10th RBI, Monday, and Brett Carroll extended his team runs lead to eight, while also padding his Pan Am club-leading .643 average (9-14)...Matt Clark recorded his first hit on the Pan Am Games, Monday, when he lined a single up the middle in the third inning...the designated hitter had reached base eight times prior via bases on balls...Clark also logged two more walks in the game, giving him nine total for the event...the Pan Am tournament record of 10 was set in 1987 by Ty Griffin...Monday marked the third time in four Pan Am games the U.S. scored more than 10 runs in a game (45 total runs scored in the tournament)...A USA Baseball Professional Team had never scored more than 10 runs in a game against Cuba...the previous high was 10 (twice, 10-5 on July 28, in the 1999 Pan Am Games and 10-5 on Sept. 27, in the 2009 IBAF World Cup)...the World Cup/Pan Am Team faced Cuba earlier this month at the IBAF World Cup in Panama on Oct. 11...Cuba won the Round 2 game, 8-7...with Monday's win, the USA/Cuba pro team match-up now sits at 8-7, USA...the record begins in 1999 when USA Baseball first started fielding professional teams...Freddy Alvarez started for Cuba, Monday...he also was the starting pitcher when the teams met in the World Cup earlier this month...Cuba is currently the No. 1 ranked team in the world by the IBAF...the U.S. is No. 2.