BLACKTOWN, Australia (AP) _ Two-time defending gold medalist Cuba made a dominating start in Olympic baseball as three pitchers combined on a no-hitter in a 16-rout of South Africa.

The Cubans pounded 18 hits Sunday (Saturday night EDT).

Norge Luis Vera pitched the first five innings of the game, which was stopped after seven innings due to the mercy rule. He struck out six.

Jose Ariel Contreras and Maels Rodriguez pitched one inning each for Cuba.

None of the pitchers allowed a walk; only a late error by third baseman Gabriel Pierre prevented a perfect game.

Antonio Pacheco had three hits and three RBIs. Miguel Caldes had four hits and Antonio Scull drove in three runs for the Cubans.