HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 1 (acn) Cuba will face today the US national university team, in the town of Cary, North Carolina, in the first game of the traditional match between the two baseball powers.
The Cuban Coach Roger Machado confirmed the right-hander Freddy Asiel Alvarez as the starter for today, game that marks the beginning of the bilateral series in the fourth consecutive edition since its resumption in 2012, after 16 years of absence.
Called to lead Cuba´s pitching staff in the upcoming Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, Alvarez will be for the third time in the friendly match against Americans.
Three years ago, Freddy Asiel Alvarez achieved a win over the United States by allowing only two hits with eight strikeouts in seven innings, and in the 2013 edition he allowed six hits and one earned run with 10 strikeouts in seven innings and two thirds, but had no decision.
After a decade of consecutive matchups, the baseball match between Cuba and the US university team ceased to be made for 16 years until being resumed in 2012 through five games hosted by Havana’s Latinoamericano Park.
The Cuban squad won the resumption of the bilateral series by achieving three wins (7-6, 9-8 and 5-2) over a competitive North American team that in turn reached two wins against the Cuban side, then coached by Victor Mesa, with closed scores (4-3 and 5-4).
The 2013 version, held in various US cities, produced a bitter experience for the Caribbean team, which lost the five games (2-1, 3-2, 1-0, 3-2 and 5- 3), according to the digital site usabaseball.com.
However, in 2014 Cuba took revenge against the northerners by winning the five games held at Victoria de Giron and Capitan San Luis Stadiums, in the cities of Matanzas and Pinar del Río respectively.
The young Cuban squad, then coached by Alfonso Urquiola, showed signs of solid pitching, good defense and timely offensive to win with scores of 4-3, 5-0, 2-1 7-3 and 1-0.
After sweeping in Havana Nicaragua’s national team, the Cuban side takes the bilateral baseball match against the United States as training toward the Pan American Games, based in the Canadian city of Toronto from July 10 to 26.