Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Snorting Bull Summer Baseball Tour Game 1: USA Baseball versus Cuba

I ventured out for the first stop on my baseball summer tour this evening to the town of Cary, North Carolina for a USA Baseball College team game against Cuba.  The venue is about five to ten minutes from my house and hosts all kinds of cool amateur baseball events.  The best of the events tend to be the National College Team games.  The team is filled with really good up and coming baseball talent and they usually play some pretty decent teams.  

During my game preview post I had talked a little bit about some of the players I was eager to watch at the game tonight, but I did not know much about the Cuban team before I arrived at the park this evening.  Here's a look at their roster......

Sorry for the blurriness, but you can see from the right hand column on their roster page that the players on these team are actually professional players in Cuba.  I'm not going to debate the quality of the Cuban National Series, but they are professionals playing against college kids.  On to other things......

This was the first game of this series between the USA College National Team and the Cuban squad.  Truth be told, I am going to another one of these games in a different ballpark as part of my summer baseball tour.  The one thing that always surprises, and disappoints me, about the USA Baseball games is the lack of fan support.  This program has an excellent track record of producing top level draft picks and you can see that nobody is in the stands.  This is a pretty good baseball market.  I just do not get it.  

The starting pitcher for the game this evening was Mizzou freshman Tanner Houck.  Again, I mentioned him in my preview post as a player to watch during the game......

He did not disappoint.  Houck ended up pitching four innings against Cuba and was lights out.  They do not have a radar gun with speeds posted in the stadium, but former Baseball America, current D1 Baseball, writer Aaron Fit always pops up at all the important college games and he had the following report during the game:

The Cuban pitcher was also very good too and held the USA Baseball bats silent while Houck was in the game.  I spent time really studying three batters, again mentioned in my previous post:

Nick Banks from Texas A&M

Buddy Reed from Florida

and Bobby Dolbec from Arizona......

Again, the offense was really quiet tonight.  The team did score two runs in the game, but there were not any extra base hits or anything too sharp coming off of any bats tonight.  Dolbec in particular seemed to have trouble with the Cuban pitchers.  

Back to the pitching.  After four innings Houck was pulled from the game for Florida lefty AJ Puk.  He's big and he throws really hard.  He's one of the early front runners to possibly be a first pick of the first round kind of player.  

Puk also pitched four innings, but he allowed a base runner on a walk, and another reached on an error.  The runner who reached on the error ended up at third while the score was still 1-0, but Puk did a great job of pitching and stranded the Cuban runner there to end the inning.  Here's a better look at the Florida pitcher.....

So that takes us up to the ninth inning.  Did I mention that Puk did not give up a hit either?  So, the ninth inning belonged to Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Hendrix who came in and got the first two Cuban batters out, then.......

Pretty good way to spend a nice evening and I could not ask for anything better for my first stop of my summer baseball tour.  Next stop is tomorrow night in Burlington, North Carolina.  


  1. WOW! That's pretty amazing...what a combined effort for those guys.