The US team decided not to leave anything to chance, scoring four times in the first time and six times in the second and third to send the gutty South Africans home with an 0-3 record. Ken Griffey was 4 for 4 with a pair of 3-run homers and 7 RBI. Roger Clemens allowed one hit over 4 1/3 innings.
Mexico, USA, and Canada all finished 2-1 in Pool B with Canada being the odd team out because it gave up 15 runs it its games against Mexico and the US. Mexico gave up just three runs against Canada and the US and the US surrendered eight runs against Mexico and Canada.
Giants farmhand Shairon Martis threw a no-hitter in a 7-inning game against a Panamanian team that appeared to have thrown in the towel after narrow losses to Puerto Rico and Cuba. The game's penultimate hitter, Adolfo Rivera, reached on what was charitably ruled an error on Dutch third baseman Ivanon Coffie. On his 65th pitch, Martis got Cesar Quintero to ground into a game-ending DP.
Puerto Rico won Pool C with a surprisingly easy win over Cuba, but both teams moved on to the second round (which is in San Juan, so they aren't going anywhere).
The Boricuas got home runs from Bernie Williams, Alex Cintron, and Carlos Beltran. They also saw pitcher Jose Santiago and manager Jose Oquendo get ejected in the 7th for hitting a batter. Cuba's six pitchers combined to walk eight batters and committed two balks. The Cuban hitters managed just five hits against an undistinguished lot of Puerto Rican hurlers.
With nothing at stake in this game, D.R. manager Manny Acta's goal were just to keep his players sharp for a few innings and generally take it easy and he accomplished that goal. Australia, which came into the game 2 for 48 in the series, did manage to take a 1-0 lead after 1, but the D.R. scored three in the second and added single runs in the third and fourth and cruised home. Duaner Sanchez hit a bump in the ninth and Damaso Marte came in to pick up the save. The D.R. hit no home runs in the game, but finished the first round with seven, tied with Puerto Rico for the lead in the series.
Later today, I'll post my preview of Round Two and I think I've learned not to predict anything with any certainty although my picks for the Elite Eight were right. But the tournament certainly hasn't gone exactly to form.