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U.S., Cuba Prepare With Power

July 28, 1996

Bring on Cuba and warm up the scoreboard.

The U.S. baseball team homered its way to another victory and headed into its long-awaited matchup with Cuba exactly the way it wanted: a medal-round berth clinched and a perfect record in hand.

The Americans hit five homers--two by USC's Jacque Jones--for a 15-5 victory over Australia that earned a spot in the medals round and set up the tournament's marquee game today. UCLA's Troy Glaus added a two-run homer and Cal State Fullerton's Mark Kotsay had a solo shot.

Seth Greisinger, the Americans' No. 2 starter, got the victory.

Cuba and the United States are both 5-0 and on a roll. The Cubans clinched a medal-round berth and tied the Olympic scoring record earlier with a 20-6 drubbing of Italy that featured six homers.

"It's definitely important to us," Cuban third baseman Omar Linares said of the showdown. "Only one team can be in first place."

Meanwhile, Japan (2-3) stayed in contention for a medal-round berth with a 13-6 victory over Nicaragua.

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