2019 USA-Cuba Series | Collegiate National Team Comes From Behind to Beat Cuba, 4-2

By USABaseball

Jul 3, 2019

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State) homered, Colton Cowser (Sam Houston State) had three hits and the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team beat Cuba, 4-2, Wednesday at BB&T Ballpark. Team USA holds a 2-0 series lead, one win away from clinching the 8th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series for the fifth straight year.

Torkelson's opposite field homer in the sixth tied the game 2-2 after Cuba's Yordanis Samon Matamoros hit his own opposite field two-run homer in the fourth. Samon's blast was the only offense Cuba would get, as Texas A&M's Asa Lacy (4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 SO), Georgia's Cole Wilcox (3.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 SO) and Vanderbilt's Tyler Brown (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 SO) battled to give Team USA its second straight strong pitching performance.

BOX SCORE | PLAY-BY-PLAY

2019 USA-Cuba Series

Team USA kept swinging in the sixth after Torkelson's shot and eventually loaded the bases for Casey Opitz (Arkansas). Opitz turned in a quality nine-pitch at-bat to draw a bases-loaded walk and give USA a 3-2 lead. Team USA added another run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Torkelson for the final 4-2 tally.

Three Collegiate National Team starters had multiple hits, led by Cowser's three singles. Luke Waddell (Georgia Tech) had two hits, including a double, and Tanner Allen (Mississippi State) singled twice for his second straight multi-hit game. 

Wilcox earned the win and Brown picked up the save in his first live outing for the red, white and blue. 

The Collegiate National Team continues the 8th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series at 6:05 p.m. ET on Thursday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina.

Key Moments

  • Cuba's Yordanis Samon Matamoros hit an opposite field two-run homer in the fourth inning to open the scoring.

Yordanis Samon Matamoros homers for Cuba. @The_Ace35 » 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 SO

  • Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State) crushed a 388-foot homer to right center on a 3-2 pitch in the sixth inning, tying the score 2-2. 

  • Casey Opitz (Arkansas) drew a bases-loaded walk on a nine-pitch at-bat in the sixth inning to give Team USA a 3-2 lead. 

  • Torkelson lined a sac fly to right field in the seventh to score Luke Waddell (Georgia Tech), who had singled.

Notable Information

  • Team USA is 21-15 all-time against Cuba in the USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series. 
  • Team USA has won five of the previous seven USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series. 
  • Team USA has won four straight USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series.
  • Nick Frasso (Loyola Marymount) is scheduled to start Game 3.

On Deck

  • Thursday vs. Cuba (6:05 p.m.; Durham, N.C.) *
  • Friday vs. Cuba (6 p.m.; Cary, N.C.)
  • Saturday vs. Cuba (6:05 p.m.; Durham, N.C.) *

* - Live video available