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September 18, 2000|From the Associated Press

Cuba overcame a sluggish start to overrun Italy, 13-5, today in Olympic baseball competition at Blacktown, Australia.

Orestes Kindelan drove in four runs, and Oscar Macias homered and stole home for Cuba, which improved to 2-0 in round-robin play at the Sydney Games.

Italy (0-2) took a surprising 5-3 lead with five runs in the top of the third inning, but Cuba came back quickly to tie it in the bottom of the third on Kindelan's run-scoring double and Macias' RBI single.

Yobal Duenas' two-run home run put Cuba ahead, 7-5, in the fourth, and Kindelan's leadoff homer over the fence in center started a decisive six-run rally an inning later.

Macias also had a solo home run to left during the rally, flipping his bat high in the air as he headed out of the batter's box. German Mesa added a two-run double, Luis Ulacia doubled home another run, and Duenas completed the rally with an RBI single.

Kindelan started Cuba's scoring with a two-run single in the first inning. Macias came home on the back end of a double steal in the second for a 3-0 lead.

South Korea 10, Italy 2--Four South Korean pitchers limited Italy to four hits, and Kim Ki-Tai drove in three runs in its opener at Blacktown.

South Korea, which shut down its major leagues to send a more experienced team to the Olympics, pounded 11 hits and was retired in order only twice.

Kim had a run-scoring single, and Kim Han-Soo followed with an RBI double as South Korea opened a 6-2 lead in the seventh. Park Jae-Hong doubled home two runs in a four-run eighth that turned the game into a rout.

South Korea's Lim Sun-Dong gave up two runs and three hits, including Daniel di Pace's solo home run, in three innings. Park Seok-jin added 3 1/3 hitless innings in relief.

Netherlands 6, Australia 4--The Netherlands never lost the lead after a four-run third inning, fueled by Sharnol Adrian's three-run home run at Homebush. The four runs came against Australia's Shayne Bennett, who made his major league debut for Montreal in 1998.

The Netherlands features former major leaguers Rikert Feneyert and Robert Eenhorn and is managed by Patrick Murphy of Arizona State. Feneyert batted leadoff and went two for three with a pair of walks, but Eenhorn was 0 for 4.

Paul Gonzalez and Glenn Reeves each hit solo home runs for Australia.

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