25 August 2004: Cuba beats Australia and earns third Olympic gold medal

25 August 2004: Cuba beats Australia and earns third Olympic gold medal
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25 August 2020
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Current Australia manager David Nilsson was playing catcher and batting third for Australia in the Athens Olympic final.

Cuba beat Australia, 6-2, on 25 August 2004 to claim gold at the Athens Olympics. The game went down in the history books as the most controversial Olympic final ever played. 

Australia was trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, two runners on and a three-ball and one strike count, Thomas Brice was all over the fifth pitch by Cuban starter Norge Vera.

The Aussie right fielder hit a deep fly up the middle. Carlos Tabares sprinted back to the wall and leapt to attempt the catch, hitting the wall at the same time, at which point the ball appeared to bounce out of Tabares' glove onto the center-field wall and back into the Cuban centre fielder's mitt, who claimed the catch. While the Australian runners were rushing towards home plate, left-field umpire Pedro Gutierrez (Dominican Republic) called Brice out.

Australia's manager Jon Deeble argued what he believed was a missed call. It resulted in his ejection and the call was not reversed.

Australia left three runners on base in the bottom of the fifth as veteran lefthander Adiel Palma struck out Brendan Kingman.

Cuba got to Australia's starter Josh Stephens and to his reliever Ryan Rowland Smith with four runs in the top of the sixth to open the score. Palma earned the win and Dani Betancourt pitched a perfect ninth for the save.

Current Australia manager David Nilsson was playing catcher and batting third for Australia that day. Recently he mentioned that gold medal game in an interview with WBSC.org. "As a player, you can’t control the umpires and need to play regardless of the call."

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