The popular national sport of baseball maintained and even tightened its hold on the island nation of Cuba in the aftermath of the 1959 socialist revolution. In fact the national game actually expanded in popularity and elevated in talent level during several decades immediately after Fidel Castro’s midcentury rise to power.
A pinch-hit home run by Keston Hiura (UC Irvine) proved to be the difference in a hard-fought five-game series as the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team won the rubber game over Cuba, 2-1, on Wednesday at Capitan San Luis Stadium.
The series win is the first in program history for Team USA in Cuba as the third time proved to be the charm. The U.S. previously lost series in 2012 (2-3) and 2014 (0-5) before today's victory.
A three-run double by TJ Friedl (Nevada) was the highlight of a four-run sixth inning for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team on Tuesday as it claimed a 4-1 triumph over Cuba at Capitan San Luis Stadium.
The victory evens the series against Cuba at two games each, setting up a rubber game at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday in Pinar del Rio.
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.
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.
The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team did not allow a baserunner for the first six innings but Cuba rallied to score three runs in the eighth after a three-hour and two-minute rain delay to sneak away with a 3-1 win in the series opener Saturday at Jose Ramon Cepero Stadium.
USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team traveled to Cuba on Friday for its last series of the summer. Team USA went 4-5 in its first two series, splitting four games in Taiwan and dropping its series at Japan, 3-2.
Manager George Horton (Oregon) said after not winning either of the first two series, Team USA wants to finish the summer strong and is anxious to get back on the field on Saturday in Cuba.
“It’s not going to be easy, but our group is tough-minded and resilient,” Horton said.