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Team USA knocks off Chinese Taipei 4-2

(DURHAM, N.C.) – Christian Colon’s RBI groundout broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fifth inning and proved to be the game-winning hit as the USA Baseball National Team defeated the Chinese-Taipei National Team 4-2 in the third game of a six-game series Friday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Team USA improves to 3-0 on the summer.

Derek Dietrich (Georgia Tech; Parma, Ohio) led off the fifth with a single and moved to second on a Ryan Jackson (Miami-FL; Miami Springs, Fla) sacrifice bunt. Matt den Dekker (Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) then singled to push Dietrich to third. Colon (Cal State Fullerton; Corona, Calif.) followed with a chopper to first base that allowed Dietrich to race home with the tiebreaking run.

Team USA added an insurance run in the eighth. Josh Fellhauer (Cal State Fullerton; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) legged out an infield single to start the inning and later scored on a Hunter Morris (Auburn; Huntsville, Ala.) bases-loaded single.

Andrew Oliver (Oklahoma State; Vermillion, Ohio) allowed two runs on three hits in the first inning but shut down Chinese-Taipei after that to earn the win. Oliver walked one with eight strikeouts over 6.0 innings. He faced the minimum over the final five frames, allowing only two-out walk in the third that was erased on a caught stealing. Oliver retired the final nine batters he faced, striking out five of the last seven.

Kendal Volz (Baylor; Bulverde, Texas) worked a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for the save. Kyle Gibson (Missouri; Greenfield, Ind.) scattered two hits with three strikeouts in 1.2 scoreless innings of relief before giving way to Tyler Lyons (Oklahoma State; Lubbock, Texas), who recorded the final out of the eighth.

Cheng Kai-Wen took the loss for Taipei, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts over 6.0 innings.

Chinese-Taipei scored two runs on two doubles and a single in the top of the first, but that lead was short-lived as the Americans matched the two-spot in the bottom of the inning. Colon and Fellhauer had back-to-back one-out singles, and Micah Gibbs (LSU; Pflugerville, Texas) and Mike Leake (Arizona State; Fallbrook, Calif.) both had two-out RBI singles to tie the game.

Fellhauer and den Dekker both had two-hit nights for Team USA, which collected 10 hits – all singles. Fellhauer also scored twice.

The USA Baseball National Team and the Chinese-Taipei National Team continue their six-game series Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EDT at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C. Right-hander Brett Hunter (Pepperdine; Moorpark, Calif.) is scheduled to start on the mound for the U.S. squad.

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