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Team USA pounds Chinese Taipei 12-1

(DURHAM, N.C.) – Micah Gibbs (LSU; Pflugerville) was 2-for-3 with four RBI, and Brett Hunter (Pepperdine; Moorpark, Calif.) recorded seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work as the USA Baseball National Team defeated the Chinese-Taipei National Team 12-1 in the fourth game of a six-game series Saturday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Team USA has won each of the first four games of the series.

Gibbs was not the only U.S. batter to do damage at the plate; the Americans, who played as the visiting team, tallied 17 hits on the night. Hunter Morris (Auburn; Huntsville, Ala.) was 3-for-4 and scored three times, while Kentrail Davis (Tennessee; Theodore, Ala.), Josh Fellhauer (Cal State Fullerton; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Ryan Jackson (Miami-FL; Miami Springs, Fla.) and Mike Leake (Arizona State; Fallbrook, Calif.) all had two-hit nights. All nine U.S. starters hit safely and seven of the nine scored.

Meanwhile, Hunter held the Chinese-Taipei bats at bay, allowing one run on two hits and two walks to earn the win. The lone run and both hits occurred in the second inning when Huang Chih-Pei led off with a single and later scored on Wang Chun-Chieh’s two-out triple past a diving Matt den Dekker (Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in center.

That gave Taipei a 1-0 lead that was short-lived, though, as the Americans rallied for two runs on four hits, a hit batsman and a walk in the top of the third. Mike Leake (Arizona State; Fallbrook, Calif.) plated the first run when he lined a single off pitcher Huang Chih-Lung that forced the Taipei starter to leave the game. Three batters later, Gibbs drew a bases-loaded walk to snap the 1-1 tie and the U.S. squad never trailed again.

Team USA took control of the game with a four-run fourth. Fellhauer started the scoring with an RBI single, and Davis followed with a bases-loaded hit by pitch. Gibbs then ripped a two-run single up the middle. In the sixth, Davis lined an RBI double to left-center, and Gibbs followed with an RBI single to right. Ryan Lipkin (San Francisco; Vacaville, Calif.) capped the scoring in the eighth, blasting a two-run homer over the 32-foot wall in left.

Kevin Rhoderick (Oregon State; Scottsdale, Ariz.), Tyler Lyons (Oklahoma State; Lubbock, Texas) and A.J. Griffin (San Diego; El Cajon, Calif.) each worked a scoreless inning of relief. Lyons struck out one, while Griffin struck out two.

Chih-Lung allowed two runs on four hits and no walks with three strikeouts over 2.2 innings. Taipei used four pitchers on the night and each allowed at least two runs.

The USA Baseball National Team and the Chinese-Taipei National Team continue their six-game series Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. EDT at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C. Southpaw Chris Hernandez (Miami-FL; Miami, Fla.) is scheduled to start on the mound for the U.S. squad.

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