FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
(North Adams, Mass.) – Dusty Coleman (Wichita State; Sioux City, S.D.) was 2-for-3 with two RBI, a run scored and a stolen base, leading the 2008 USA Baseball National Trials Team to a 6-4 victory Sunday night over the North Adams SteepleCats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League at Joe Wolfe Field. The National Trials Team improves to 3-1 in the trials portion of its tour.
North Adams made things interesting in the bottom of the eighth, scoring two runs on two runs on two hits and three U.S. errors. The SteepleCats had the bases loaded with two outs, but Derek Dietrich (Georgia Tech; Parma, Ohio) caught Nick Shaw’s pop foul just before colliding with the tarp down the left-field line to end the inning and the threat.
Blake Smith (California; Modesto, Calif.), who entered the game in the eighth and got the National Trials Team out of the jam, struck out the side in the ninth and earned the save.
Starter Justin Marks (Louisville; Owensboro, Ky.) earned the victory in a predetermined 4.0-inning start. He allowed one run on one hit but walked four with five strikeouts. Chance Ruffin allowed a run on three hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 2.0 innings. Brooks Raley (Texas A&M; Uvalde, Texas) surrendered two runs, one earned, on two hits and no walks with one strikeout over 1.1 innings.
Coleman’s two-run single keyed a three-run first inning that propelled the United States team to victory. A bases-loaded wild pitch allowed the first run to score. Dietrich reached due to catcher’s interference to reload the bases. Coleman followed with a screaming line drive back up the box that narrowly missed North Adams starter Tim Norton’s head, scoring a pair.
North Adams answered with a run on Paul Hoilman’s two-out RBI double in the bottom of the inning. The U.S. squad pushed its lead back to three runs in the top of the fourth on a Matt den Dekker (Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) two-out RBI double that drew chalk down the left-field line.
Coleman got things going for the National Trials Team in a two-run sixth with a leadoff single. Ben Petralli (Oral Roberts; Weatherford, Texas) followed with a single, and Aaron Senne (Missouri; Rochester, Minn.) walked to load the bases. Brian Fletcher (Auburn; Fayetteville, Ga.) plated one run with an RBI single, and Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton; Corona, Calif.) scored another run with an RBI groundout.
The SteepleCats got a run in the bottom of the sixth on Mike Donato’s pinch-hit RBI single.
The National Trials Team’s tour through the NECBL continues Monday as the squad travels to Pittsfield, Mass., to face the Pittsfield Dukes. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. EDT at Waconah Park.