Cuba thrashed hosts Chinese Taipei 7-1 to top Pool A on a tie-break at the World Baseball Classic ©Getty Images

Cuba and Italy progressed to the quarter-finals in a remarkable five-way tie in Pool A of the World Baseball Classic.

All the teams in Pool A finished with two wins and two defeats from their four matches at the Taichung Stadium in Taiwan.

Having started with two losses to the Netherlands and Italy, Cuba progressed as group winners with a superb 7-1 success against hosts Chinese Taipei in front of a crowd of 18,852.

Four quick runs in the bottom half of the first inning put Cuba in control.

Alfredo Despaigne and Yoan Moncada doubled and Erisbel Arruebarruena homered.

Cuba added two runs in the second inning and another in the fourth, and only conceded one in the final inning against the team second in the World Baseball Softball Confederation rankings to claim a resounding win.

"[Our pitchers] have shown in each inning that they are excellent," Cuba's manager Armando Johnson said.

"We have a bullpen of very high quality that can resolve any sort of problems that we may face, and they have been preparing for anything thrown at them."

Italy won by the same scoreline against The Netherlands to go through in second place.

The world number 16-ranked side fell behind to a home run by Chadwick Tromp, but hit back with six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and another in the eighth.

Italy overcame the Netherlands 7-1 to progress from Pool A in second place and set up a quarter-final against Japan ©Getty Images
Italy overcame the Netherlands 7-1 to progress from Pool A in second place and set up a quarter-final against Japan ©Getty Images

Pitcher Joe LaSorsa starred for Italy in the sixth inning, popping out Didi Gregorius and striking out Jonathan Schoop and Roger Bernadina and embarking on a wild celebration.

"We needed a game like this," admitted Italian manager Mike Piazza.

"Joe LaSorsa's celebration is the moment we will most remember in this tournament.

"I want the guys to enjoy this moment.

"We will face Japan in Tokyo, which will be hard.

"We will get some good rest and will be ready for that."

Cuba topped the Pool by virtue of their runs allowed per defensive outs ratio.

With 15 runs allowed and 108 outs recorded, this was the lowest in the Pool at 0.139, while Italy's 17 runs allowed and 108 outs recorded have them a ratio of 0.157.

The Netherlands placed third and Panama fourth, with Chinese Taipei finishing bottom of the Pool.

In Pool B at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, the host nation clinched their fourth win from as many matches by easing past second-placed Australia 7-1.

Shohei Ohtani got Olympic champions Japan off to a flier with a three-run homer in front of 41,664 fans.

In the second inning, Lars Nootbaar and Kensuke Kendoh added runs batted in, and Japan continued their domination throughout the match, with the only Australian reply a homer by Alex Hall in the ninth.

Japan are set to play Italy in the quarter-finals.

South Korea kept their hopes of progressing alive with a 7-3 win against Czech Republic.

Australia would progress with a victory against Czech Republic in their final Pool B match tomorrow, but their opponents would draw level if they win.

A South Korean win against China coupled with a Czech victory would make it a three way tie-break.

Defending champions the United States were stunned by Mexico in front of 47,534 home fans at Chase Field in Phoenix, Joey Meneses swatting two home runs to help clinch an 11-5 win in Pool C.

Canada thrashed Britain 18-8 in the other match in the Pool, the highest-scoring encounter in World Baseball Classic history.

At LoanDepot Park in Miami, Venezuela made it two wins from two by beating Puerto Rico 9-6, and Israel overcame Nicaragua 3-1.

The World Baseball Classic is due to continue tomorrow, including the final Pool B matches.