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Team USA completes sweep over Chinese Taipei

(CARY, N.C.) – Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton; Corona, Calif.) and Ryan Lipkin (San Francisco; Vacaville, Calif.) both had two-run doubles to propel the USA Baseball National Team to a 5-3 victory over the Chinese-Taipei National Team in the final game of a six-game series at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. Team USA, playing as the visiting team, completed the series sweep of Taipei with the victory.

After Chinese-Taipei scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first, Team USA rallied for a three-run third and never trailed again. Colon got the scoring started, working the count full before lacing a two-run double into the left-center gap. Kentrail Davis (Tennessee; Theodore, Ala.) capped the inning with an RBI single up the middle.

Taipei pulled to within one run in the fifth when Lin Chih-Hsiang scored on a wild pitch. But the U.S. squad quickly responded, scoring two runs in the top of the fifth as Lipkin ripped a two-out double to left-center. Taipei got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Lin Kuo-Min reached on a leadoff infield single, stole second and later scored on Yang Hsien-Hsien’s sacrifice bunt. However, that was as close as Taipei would get.

Starter Kyle Gibson (Missouri; Greenfield, Ind.) allowed two runs, one earned, on one hit and four walks with seven strikeouts over 5.0 innings to earn the victory. Gibson also issued three wild pitches.

Mike Leake (Arizona State; Fallbrook, Calif.), Kendal Volz (Baylor; Bulverde, Texas) and Blake Smith (California; Modesto, Calif.) closed out the game. Leake allowed a run on a hit and a walk with one strikeout in the sixth. Volz worked a scoreless seventh, allowing one hit with two strikeouts. Smith allowed a hit and two walks with one strikeout over 2.0 scoreless innings to earn the save.

Taipei starter Liao Wen-Yang took the loss; he allowed five runs on six hits and two walks with eight strikeouts over 6.0 innings.

Colon finished the game 3-for-5 with a run and two RBI. He had the only multiple-hit game for the U.S. squad.

Team USA concludes the States-side portion of its tour Tuesday, hosting the Martinsville Mustangs at USA Baseball National Training Complex. First pitch is scheduled 5:05 p.m. EDT at Brooks Park.

NOTE: USA Baseball announced Sunday that right-handed pitcher Brett Hunter (Pepperdine; Moorpark, Calif.) has been named as the final member of the 2008 National Team, finalizing the 22-man roster. Hunter was a member of the 2007 National Team. He posted a 3-0 record with a 0.66 ERA in 14 relief appearances last summer, logging 31 strikeouts in 27.1 innings. Hunter was 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in five outings, four starts, this spring for Pepperdine.

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