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Team USA knocks off Chinese Taipei 4-2

(KANNAPOLIS, N.C.) – Hunter Morris (Auburn; Huntsville, Ala.) laced a two-run, tie-breaking double in the top of the 11th inning and give the USA Baseball National Team a 4-2 victory over the Chinese-Taipei National Team in the second game of a six-game series Thursday night at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium. The U.S. team has won each of the first two games, both of which went extra innings.

Josh Fellhauer (Cal State Fullerton; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) tripled high off the wall in right to get the 11th-inning rally started for the U.S. team, which played as the visitor. After Derek Dietrich (Georgia Tech; Parma, Ohio) walked, Morris drilled a 1-1 pitch over the head of right-fielder Chan Chih-Yao. Fellhauer and Dietrich scored on the play.

Chinese-Taipei did not go quietly in the bottom of the 11th, putting the potential tying run on second base with two outs. Mike Leake (Arizona State; Fallbrook, Calif.) struck out Wang Chun-Chieh to escape the jam, created by a single and Leake’s own throwing error. Leake, who struck out the side in the 11th, earned the victory after tossing 4.0 scoreless innings of relief with four strikeouts against four hits and one walk.

Reliever Chen Fan-Shuo took the loss for Chinese-Taipei; he allowed two runs on three hits and three walks with three strikeouts over 3.0 innings.

The USA Baseball National Team scored a run in the top of the first when Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton; Corona, Calif.) walked with one out and later scored on a Micah Gibbs (LSU; Pflugerville, Texas) fielder’s choice. That lead was short-lived, though, as Lin Chih-Hsiang homered to right on the first pitch of the bottom of the first.

Chinese-Taipei took the lead with an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth. Tsai Ming-Chueh singled, moved to second on a passed ball and later scored on Lin Ken-Wei’s two-out single. The U.S. team tied the game in the top of the eighth. Kentrail Davis (Tennessee; Theodore, Ala.) singled, moved to second on a balk and scored on Gibbs’ double down the left-field line.

U.S. starter Mike Minor allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits and a walk with eight strikeouts over 7.0 innings. He left the game with the Americans trailing 2-1. Chinese-Taipei starter Hsiao Yu-Chi allowed one run on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts over 7.0 innings. He left the game with a 2-1 lead.

Davis, Gibbs, Fellhauer and Matt den Dekker (Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) all had two-hit nights for the Americans. Ken-Wei was 3-for-5 for Chinese-Taipei.

The USA Baseball National Team and the Chinese-Taipei National Team continue their six-game series Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EDT at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C. Southpaw Andrew Oliver (Oklahoma State; Vermillion, Ohio) is scheduled to start on the mound for the U.S. squad.

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