2016 USA-Cuba Series: Faedo, Wright Blank Cuba, 1-0

Alex Faedo (Florida) and Kyle Wright (Vanderbilt) combined to throw a three-hit shutout as the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team evened its international friendship series against Cuba with a 1-0 victory at Jose Ramon Cepero Stadium on Sunday.


Faedo and Wright were masterful as both have been all summer. 

In his fourth start for Team USA, Faedo picked up his third win with fourth scoreless frames in which he struck out three, walked two and yielded a pair of hits. 

Wright then worked the game's final five innings, limiting Cuba to just one hit while fanning five. 

Faedo now sports a 0.56 ERA with a team-high 21 strikeouts and just three walks over 16.0 innings of work while Wright has a 2.20 ERA and 16 punchouts over 16.1 frames.

At the plate, the difference in the game proved to be a balk by Cuban starter Yoanny Yera whose slight mistep with a runner on third allowed the only run of the game to cross the plate. 

Keston Hiura (UC Irvine) opened the bottom of the second by lacing the first pitch of the stanza over the head of the right fielder for a leadoff double. A groundout by KJ Harrison (Oregon State) then moved him up to third before the balk allowed him to trot home the final 90 feet. 

That would be all Faedo and Wright would need as Cuba would put only three runners in scoring position the rest of the game. 

The biggest threat came just a half inning after Hiura's run as Cuba was able to put runners on the corners with just one out. Faedo was able to induce a bouncer back to the mound and caught the runner on third off base for the second out and then got Cuban three-hole hitter Luis Robert to strike out swinging to end the scoring opportunity. 

The series between Team USA and Cuba will next move to Havana for game three which will be played at 4 p.m. on Monday at Latinoamericano Stadium. The U.S. will send right-hander Alex Lange (LSU) to the mound while Cuba will go with southpaw Ulfrido Garcia. 

The series will then come to a close with a pair of games set to be played at Capitan San Luis Stadium in Pinar del Rio on Tuesday and Wednesday which will mark the end of the summer tour for Team USA.


Team USA field manager George Horton

(On the low scores of the first two games)

"We think the Cuba team has good offensive players but our pitching is very special. It has been for both games. We had one inning get away from us yesterday but we have thrown up a lot of zeroes. The Cuban pitching is very difficult to get runs against too. I think you can look forward to this series being low scoring, very good games from here on out."

(On whether he expected such low scores)

"Just based on the results of the Cuba-USA series last year and me coming here as a coach in 2012, we know that" they are professional pitchers and their defense makes it very difficult to score runs. We know that every out comes at a premium on defense and every baserunner we can get on offense is a small victory. Hopefully we can find a way to get a crooked number in one of these games."

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