Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Cuban National Team vs USA Baseball College National Team

I had the chance to check out the first game of the USA Baseball College team's friendly series against the Cuban National Baseball just up the road from my house in Cary, North Carolina.  I have done a few write ups on the games I have attended at the National Training Complex in the past, my favorite of which was a no-hitter thrown by Tanner Houck (Mizzou/Red Sox), A.J. Puk (Florida/A's), and Ryan Hendrix (Texas A&M/Reds).

The final out from that no-hitter from the arm of Ryan Hendrix, which was also against Cuba....

I have not been to many games yet this year between kids and work, so a holiday weekend is just what the doctor ordered.  It was a little bit hot at the start of the game, but overall a really nice evening to take in a baseball game.  The USA Baseball complex is a nice place to watch a game.  

There were a few players I was excited to see last night.  The main player of interest however was Clemson outfielder Seth Beer.  The past two seasons the slugging outfielder has been one of the better players in the ACC.  Beer should also be one of the higher draft picks coming up next summer.  

He had some really good at-bats early in the game, worked the counts, and showed good patience.  

The best at-bat of the game took place in extra innings after the game went into the "International Tie-Breaker Rules".  You say you do not know what that is?  Neither did I, nor 90% of the stadium, and likely 100% of the players on the US team.  Here's a quick tutorial.....

Anyway, Cuba was the road team, so they batted first and scored twice.  The US team then put Cuba in a bind by scoring two runs, loading the bases, for Mr. Beer.  The Cubans brought in the infield and their pitcher actually made a decent pitch breaking his bat, but......

Very cool game to watch.  Not as cool as the no-hitter game, but still one of the better amateur baseball games that I have ever attended.  I need to do one of those Friday countdown things this week to share out the cool ones.

There were autographs too.  Towards the middle of the game there was a table set up on the concourse of the stadium with different signers.  A few Olympians that I did not really know and a member of the 1984 Olympic Baseball team, former Rangers pitcher Bobby Witt.  He signed a ticket for me......

I mentioned being a Cardinals fan and the fact that I saw him pitch for the Cardinals in 1998.  He didn't seem thrilled that I remembered him as a Cardinal.  Not his best year.  

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