ARTEMISA, Cuba – The Rice pitching duo of Dane Myers and Addison Moss combined to hold Cuban League team Artemisa to no runs on just four hits as the Owl baseball team opened its 2016 five-game tour of Cuba Friday with a 4-0 overseas victory.
Myers was sound and solid scattering two singles and two walks with five strikeouts over 6.0 innings against the older and professional Cuban players. The junior from Katy, Texas, retired seven of the first eight batters he faced. When the first Artemisa batter reached on a free pass, the Cazadores’ dangerous slugging first-baseman Juan Rodriguez, Myers picked him off first with crafty move that seemed to spark Rice on offensive side in the top of the very next inning.
Dayne Wunderlich was hit by a pitch and tried to hustle to third on Myers’ one-out single into centerfield. Wunderlich was retired on a strong, veteran throw by Yuan Moreno, but Myers alertly dashed up to second on the play to keep an runner in scoring position. Sophomore Ford Proctor followed with an RBI single into left and los Buhos (the Owls) were on the board 1-0.
Rice was back on the offensive when senior Charlie Warren led off the fifth with a hit to left center and a steal of second base. He went to third on a Wunderlich single and scored on a wild pitch for a 2-0 lead.
After the traditional Cuban sixth-inning stretch, the Owls added a little more insurance in the seventh. Proctor stroked a two-out double to left and with first base open Artemisa elected to intentionally walk Dominic DiCaprio. Ryan Chandler singled-home Proctor, and a wild throw from the outfield allowed DiCaprio to come home and stretch the margin to 4-0.
That was now proving to be more than enough room. True freshman Addison Moss started the game at first base and switched positions in the field with Myers after the sixth. The right-hander from Conroe, Texas, kept the shutout intact and earned a save with 3.0 innings of two-hit relief where he allowed two singles and without any walks and a strikeout.
“The experience of coming here has already been so beneficial, the game today was just icing on the cake,” said Rice head coach Wayne Graham, making his return to Cuba since his minor league playing season at AAA Buffalo in 1960. “We’ve just been treated so well I know the players will remember this trip and this particular game very fondly.
“After the big (pregame) ceremony they had and all, we were maybe a little nervous at the very start,” Graham explained. “When we just relaxed and started playing, we played really well. We finished with 11 hits and Dane was sensational like we know he can be.”
Proctor and Wunderlich paced the Owls with three-hits each, and Myers had two hits in addition to his win on the mound. Rice is next scheduled to play Cuba’s Mayabeque Huracanes on Sunday (Nov. 27). Start time at Estadio Nelson Fernandez is set for 1 pm (Eastern Time) in San Jose de las Lajas, Cuba.