HAVANA.- (ACN) A grand slam by clean-up hitter Alfredo Despaigne in the fifth inning took Cuba to the second round of the 4th World baseball Classic when it beat Australia 4-3.

At the Tokyo Dome, in the capital city of Japan, Despaigne smashed a 91 mph fastball in a 2-1 count over the leftfield fences to drive in 4 runs and erase a 1 run deficit.

After Cuban catcher Morejon and outfielder Cespedes struck out, lead-off hitter Santos singled to centerfield, short-stop Ayala did the same to left field and Cepeda was walked to load the bases to set up the opportunity to Despaigne to decide the game in Cuban favor.

Cuban best pitcher Lazaro Blanco threw two innings and two thirds before leaving the mound to lefty Yoanni Year, who allowed the first Australian run in the fifth when Logan Wade drove in one with a single.

In the seventh, Trent Oeltjen hit a homer off Cuban reliever Vladimir Garcia, and the Australian side closed the gap in the eighth when Mitchel Denning singled to drive in a runner from second.

Cuban closer Miguel Lahera retired the side in the ninth to secure Cuba´s victory and a berth to the second round.

Now Cuba will face in the second round the amazing team of Israel, who cruised undefeated through the first stage with victories over South Korea, Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands