Prior to the Santa Barbara Foresters‘ road trip to Havana, manager Bill Pintard said the Cuban national baseball team should spot his schoolboys 10 runs a game. The Foresters beat the proposed spread in the first two games of their series – losing by scores of 8-3 and 9-5 – but in Monday night’s finale at Latinoamericano Stadium, the Cubans made a statement. They pounded the Foresters 11-0 in a game that was halted after seven innings by the mercy rule.
Cuba welcomed recent Dos Pueblos High grad Chris Joyce to the big leagues of international baseball, roughing up the 18-year-old left-hander for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings. Joyce allowed five hits, walked three, struck out two, and unleashed three wild pitches.
Eric Oliver, the UCSB first baseman from Irvine, went 2-for-2 with a walk for the Foresters. They had three other hits in the game. Texas catcher Cameron Rupp had the best series for the visitors, going 4-for-6 with two doubles, a home run and three RBIs.
The Foresters will fly home Tuesday and reunite with their teammates for a five-game homestand at UCSB that begins Wednesday at 5 p.m. against the San Francisco Seals. While the main squad was in Cuba, the Foresters lost two of three league games to the Santa Maria Indians, including a 4-3 setback Monday night in Santa Maria.
The Cubans, meanwhile, will hit the road next weekend to play an international tournament in the Netherlands. They will defend their Olympic title at Beijing in August.