Australia fought back from four runs down but fell agonisingly short in a 4-3 loss to Cuba at the World Baseball Classic.
The defeat eliminated the Aussies from the 16-team tournament at the first stage for the fourth successive occasion.
Australia had 13 hits to 10 against the world No.3 ranked Cubans but a grand slam home run by outfielder Alfredo Despaigne proved the defining moment.
"I'm gutted," Australia manager Jon Deeble said. "I thought we outplayed them tonight.
"We had more hits but didn't get the hits with runners in scoring position.
"Credit to Cuba though, you can't make mistakes against a quality team."
Australian pitcher Warwick Saupold kept Cuba in check for four innings before Lachlan Wells gave up four runs in the fifth innings.
Australia scored runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings, which included a home run from Trent Oeltjen.
The Aussies finished with a 1-2 record in Pool B after a 4-1 loss to world No.1 Japan and an 11-0 thumping of China earlier in the week.