1991 Intercontinental Cup

From BR Bullpen

The 1991 Intercontinental Cup was the 10th Intercontinental Cup. It was held in Barcelona, Spain from July 2 through July 13, 1991. It was considered a prepatory event for the 1992 Olympics, which would be held on the same site. Each game in the medal round was decided by a single run, a rarity.

Flag of Cuba Cuba won with a 10-1 record, but it was their closest call for years. They lost their only game from 1991-1996, a 10-5 defeat at the hands of Nicaragua, and needed extra innings to win the Gold Medal game 5-4 against Japan. Cuba's next loss would come in the 1997 Intercontinental Cup. Cuba's top offensive performers were CF Jose Estrada (.412/.453/.605, 16 runs, 10 steals in 11 tries) and RF Luis Casanova (.364/.489/.758, 9 BB, 12 RBI, 4 HR). Their staff was led by Leonardo Tamayo (3-0, 1.11, 13 H in 24 1/3 IP) and Omar Ajete (2-0, 1.35). Ajete and Estrada made the tournament All-Star team along with 3B Gabriel Pierre (.324/.432/.486) and 2B Juan Padilla (.275/.333/.450).

Flag of Japan Japan was 7-2 in the round-robin and won in the semifinals before dropping the Gold Medal game. All-Star 1B Yuichi Yomoda (.481/.600/.704, 9 R, 9 RBI) led the tourney in average while All-Star OF Shinichi Sato (.448/.575/.966, 13 R) was 3rd. 2B Koichi Oshima (.344/.405/.688) was third in steals (7) while SS Akihiro Togo (.357/.387/.536) made the All-Star team. Kazutaka Nishiyama (0 R in 7 2/3 IP, 1-0) led the event with 2 saves. All the other pitchers had ERAs between 2 and 3, with Masahito Kohiyama (2-0, 2.38) ranking second with 28 strikeouts (in 22 2/3 IP).

Flag of Nicaragua Nicaragua went 6-3 in the round-robin, nothing stellar outside their upset of Cuba. They then lost in the semifinals 4-3 to Japan before beating Taiwan 4-3 in the Bronze Medal game. They had two All-Stars in DH Prospero Baca (.351/.444/.568, 13 R, 12 RBI) and C Genaro Llanes (.325/.391/.425). Key hitters were RF Jose Ramon Padilla (.233/.340/.628, a tourney-high 5 HR) and 3B Jenrry Roa (.349/.420/.558). Tourney MVP Epifanio Perez (3-0, 3.34) tied for the most wins in the Cup while Radbony Sanchez (2-0, 0.50) was third in ERA.

Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei finished 4th, going 6-3 in the round-robin but going 0-2 in the medal round. They had a very balanced offense, featuring no All-Stars. IF Yaw-Teing Chang hit .350/.400/.500 and stole a tourney-high 11 bases but was caught 3 times. CF Wei-Chen Chen (.319/.373/.426, 12 R, 12 RBI) tied for second in RBI and was named the Outstanding Defensive Player of the event. Chao-Huang Lin (1-0, 0.90) was 4th in ERA.

Flag of South Korea South Korea just missed the Medal round, going 6-3. Dae-sung Koo (3-0, 0.39) tied for the most wins, was second in ERA and led in strikeouts (31) to make the All-Star team. Future KBO superstar Jong-beom Lee hit .286/.444/.464 as the main SS, barely better than the team average. Another future Korean star, Min-tae Chung, bombed at 0-2, 7.30.

Flag of Mexico Mexico placed 6th at 5-4. They had an All-Star in CF Carlos Manriquez (.425/.452/.725, a tourney-high 17 RBI).

Flag of Italy Italy was 7th at 4-5. Their pitching failed to do the job, while the offense produced a fair number of runs. LF Roberto Bianchi (.414/.457/.724) led the offense.

Flag of Spain Spain placed 8th as the hosts went 2-7. Felix Cano (3.86) was the only pitcher with an ERA under 6.75. 1B-DH Xavier Civit (.355/.394/.484) tied for 5th in the Cup with 11 RBI.

Flag of Soviet Union Soviet Union was outscored 110-20 and finished 9th at 1-8. They had two of Russia's first three minor leaguers in 3B Evgeny Puchkov (.296/.310/.444) and SS Ilya Bogatyrev (.250/.300/.286, .857 FLD). DH/P Leonid Korneev was their top player, though, hitting .370/.393/.593 and getting their lone win on the mound.

Flag of France France was guided by Yoshio Yoshida and finished last at 0-9. They were outscored 124-16. No pitcher had an ERA under 7.

Medal Round[edit]

  • Flag of Japan Japan 4, Flag of Nicaragua Nicaragua 3. Nicaragua led 3-2 by the 7th-inning break but Kazutaka Nishiyama tossed 2 2/3 shutout relief innings while Japan rallied to take the game.
  • Flag of Cuba Cuba 5, Flag of Japan Japan 4. Japan knocked out Omar Ajete by scoring runs in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Starter Hiroshi Shintani held a 3-1 lead into the 9th. Shintani faded, though, and Japan never took him out. Cuba scored twice in the 9th to tie it. Japan put a run on the board in the 10th. In the bottom of the 10th, Cuba scored two more, with José R. Delgado delivering the winning hit off Shintani.




Intercontinental Cup

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