2016 USA-Cuba Series: Five-Run Sixth Leads Cuba Past U.S., 5-1
Five unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth proved to be the undoing of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team on Monday as it dropped a 5-1 decision to Cuba at historic Latinoamericano Stadium.
Team USA now trails its series against Cuba two games to one with the five-game set getting ready to head to Capitan San Luis Stadium in Pinar del Rio for the final two contest.
The U.S. will be looking to close out its summer in style with a pair of wins which would give it its first ever series victory in Cuba. Right-hander JB Bukauskas (North Carolina) will get the nod on hill for Team USA against Cuban righty Yaifredo Garcia.
Once again, Team USA got a stellar effort from its pitching staff led by Alex Lange (LSU) who started on Monday and went four near-perfect innings, allowing just one baserunner on a hit batter.
The U.S. actually staked him to an early lead when Evan White (Kentucky) opened the third inning with a triple to deep center before scoring just three pitches later on an RBI single back up the middle by Taylor Walls (Florida State).
That lead would remain intact until the bottom of the sixth when a wild pitch, Cuba's first three hits of the game and a pair of U.S. errors led to five unearned runs.
Team USA did a good job of putting runners on base all game but hit into three double plays on the day to thwart scoring opportunities in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
Jeren Kendall (Vanderbilt) led the five-hit U.S. attack with a 2-for-4 day at the dish, including a couple of doubles.
Glenn Otto (Rice) pitched a scoreless inning of relief while Brendan McKay (Louisville) suffered the tough-luck loss despite striking out four in his three frames on the mound.
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