USA collegiate team takes four of five from Cuba; head to Taiwan

The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team closed out the 8th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series with a 10-2 win over Cuba at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Saturday. Team USA won the series 4-1, its first time winning four games in the series since 2013, and will get ready to head to Taiwan on Sunday morning for the 19th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series. “Now let’s get ready to take this show on the road,” said manager Dan McDonnell (Louisville). “I’m ready to showcase what we’re all about. I’m ready for the opportunity and the challenge.” […]

The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team closed out the 8th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series with a 10-2 win over Cuba at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Saturday. Team USA won the series 4-1, its first time winning four games in the series since 2013, and will get ready to head to Taiwan on Sunday morning for the 19th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series.

“Now let’s get ready to take this show on the road,” said manager Dan McDonnell (Louisville). “I’m ready to showcase what we’re all about. I’m ready for the opportunity and the challenge.”

Team USA flied out to Taiwan on Sunday for next week’s 19th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series.

Saturday, Team USA (4-1) was carried by three big innings, scoring four runs in the second, three runs in the fifth, and three runs in the seventh. Patrick Bailey (NC State) led the offense with three hits and three RBIs and Alika Williams (Arizona State) had two triples.

The bottom four in Team USA’s starting lineup combined to go 10-for-17 with six RBIs. Heston Kjerstad (Arkansas) had two hits and two runs out of the No. 6 spot, Justin Foscue (Mississippi State) had three hits and an RBI in the No. 7 spot, and Williams and Bailey were the team’s leading hitters out of the No. 8 and No. 9 holes, respectively.

Colton Cowser (Sam Houston State) was named series’ MVP after hitting .438 with a team-best six .545 on-base percentage and six runs. Max Meyer (Minnesota), who threw four shutout innings in Game 1, was named the series’ Outstanding Pitcher.

USA follows the series against Chinese Taipei with a trip to Japan for the 43rd USA vs Japan Collegiate All-Star Series.

On Deck
• July 9 vs. Chinese Taipei (6:30 a.m. ET; Taichung City Stadium)
• July 10 vs. Chinese Taipei (6:30 a.m. ET; Taichung City Stadium)
• July 11 doubleheader vs. Chinese Taipei (2 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. ET; Taichung City Stadium)
• July 12 vs. Chinese Taipei (2 a.m. ET; Taichung City Stadium)

Key Moments
• Team USA scored four runs on four hits in a big second inning, including a double from Heston Kjerstad (Arkansas), a two-RBI single from Patrick Bailey (NC State), an RBI triple from Alika Williams (Arizona State), and another RBI single from Luke Waddell (Georgia Tech).
• Cuba manufactured single runs in the third and fifth inning to cut Team USA’s lead in half to 4-2.
• Team USA had five hits in the fifth to score three runs. Colton Cowser (Sam Houston State) had a sac fly before Justin Foscue (Mississippi State) and Patrick Bailey (NC State) each had run-scoring two-out singles.
• Team USA scored three more times in the seventh inning, first on Alika Williams’ (Arizona State) second triple of the night, next on pinch hitter Nick Loftin’s (Baylor) triple, and then its 10th run of the game on an error by Cuba’s shortstop.

Notable
• MVP: Colton Cowser (Sam Houston State), USA
• Outstanding Batter: Yordanis Samon Matamors, Cuba
• Outstanding Pitcher: Max Meyer (Minnesota), USA
• Team USA is 23-16 all-time against Cuba in the USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series.
• Team USA won the series 4-1 and has won six of eight USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series.
• Team USA won four games in the series for the first time since 2013, when the Collegiate National Team swept the series 5-0 in the second year of the series’ existence, and just the second time in the eight-year history of the event.
• Team USA has won five straight USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series.
• Team USA’s +21 (32-11) run differential is its most in the history of the series.
• Team USA’s 10 runs today were its second most in the series’ history, one away from tying the team record of 11 on July 4, 2015.
• Attendance: 2,922