Duo Pushes Team USA into Second

-Courtesy of USA Baseball-

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS— Team USA (25-10, 4-2 WPT) moved into sole possession of second place with two days to play at the World Port Tournament following a 10-2 win over host Netherlands (3-3 WPT) on a cool and windy Thursday evening.

Jordan Danks (Texas) fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle, going 3-for-5 with a solo home run and RBI double, while Tommy Medica (Santa Clara) drove in two runs with two hits. Justin Smoak (South Carolina) walked twice and got two hits.

Team USA pushed across three runs in the first and fourth innings to give Ryan Berry (2-1, Rice) a 7-1 lead. Berry rebounded to go seven innings, giving up a run on five hits.

After walking three and scattering four hits over the first two innings, Berry pitched to the minimum over the final five innings. He got out of the first two innings with just one run, thanks to two double plays, and after a second inning walk, retired seven and then a final eight in a row. He used just three pitches to retire the side in the seventh. The Dutch had just one hit from the third until a three-hit ninth inning, finishing with eight hits.

Back-to-back doubles by Danny Espinosa (Long Beach State) and Danks made it 5-1 in the fourth as part of a three-run inning, chasing starter and loser Diegomar Markwell from the game. Medica’s second RBI single then made it 6-1 off of reliever Kenny Berkenbosch, before a sacrifice fly pushed it 7-1.

The Americans took an early 3-0 lead in the first. Danks took the second pitch of the bottom of the first to right field for his second home run of the summer. Team USA then doubled the score on a play at the plate on a slow groundball to short that was dropped by catcher Sidney de Jong. A Josh Romanksi (San Diego) sacrifice fly then made it 3-0, the second unearned run of the inning.

TEAM NOTES
The Americans are 4-1 against Netherlands this summer, winning two of three in the States, prior to the tournament… standings heading into the final two scheduled days are Cuba at 6-0, Chinese Taipei at 3-4 and Japan at 0-7… Danks has hit safely in the last five World Port contests… the third double play of the night by the Americans came on a play in which Espinosa when behind the back at second, flipped to a bare-handed second baseman Ryan Flaherty and then over to first for the out in the fifth… the Toronto Blue Jay mascot was in attendance for the later game between the U.S. and the Netherlands… games can be followed live on the internet at http://www.worldporttournament.nl/ … Stats are available at: http://utopia.ision.nl/users/hwede/stats07/wpt07/ and under live scoring.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
The Americans will play twice more to close out the summer with consecutive games against Chinese Taipei (8 a.m. Eastern) and Cuba (8 a.m.). The Finals between the top two teams are on August 12 at 7 a.m, Eastern, finishing the summer.