(HAARLEM, The Netherlands) – Josh Fellhauer’s RBI fielder’s choice snapped a 1-1 tie in the top of the 10th inning, and Kendal Volz (Baylor; Bulverde, Texas) notched his third save in four games as the USA Baseball National Team defeated the host Netherlands National Team in Wednesday’s pool-play action of the Haarlem Baseball Week at Pim Mullier Stadium.
Team USA improved to 11-0 on its 2008 tour and 4-0 at the Haarlem Baseball Week with the victory, which also clinched the top seed in this weekend’s tournament portion of the event. The National Team is now 6-0 in games decided by two runs or less, including a 3-0 mark in one-run games.
Fellhauer (Cal State Fullerton; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the 10th. His ground ball that looked as though it my get through the right side of the infield was cut off by Netherlands second baseman Roel Koolen, who got the force out at second base. However, Fellhauer was safe at first, allowing Ryan Jackson (Miami-FL; Miami Springs, Fla.) to score the winning run.
Jackson opened the 10th with a single through the right side and moved to second on a Blake Smith (California; Modesto, Calif.) sacrifice bunt. After Matt den Dekker (Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) drew a walk, Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton; Corona, Calif.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. That set the stage for Fellhauer’s game-winning fielder’s choice.
However, the coast was not clear for Team USA as Bryan Englehardt led off the bottom of the 10th with a single up the middle. After a sacrifice bunt pushed Englehardt to second base, Volz issued a walk to Eugene Kingsale. Volz got two quick strikes on Sidney de Jong, who then tapped a slider right back to the mound for a game ending pitcher-to-shortstop-to-first, game-ending double play.
It was the fourth save of the tour for Volz, who has not allowed a run in 7.0 innings over six appearances. Kyle Gibson (Missouri; Greenfield, Ind.) earned the victory in relief; he allowed one hit and no walks with two strikeouts over 2.1 scoreless innings. Starter Brett Hunter (Pepperdine; Moorpark, Calif.) allowed one unearned run on three hits and four walks with eight strikeouts over 6.1 innings.
Barry van Driel took the loss in relief for the Netherlands; he allowed one run one hit over 1.0 inning. Starter Diegomar Markwell allowed one run on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts over 8.1 innings.
Team USA took a 1-0 lead on a solo home run from Derek Deitrich (Georgia Tech; Parma, Ohio) in the fifth inning. An error in the seventh allowed the Netherlands to tie the game at 1-1.
Deitrich, who also had a second-inning infield single, had Team USA’s only hits until Ryan Lipkin (San Francisco; Vacaville, Calif.) doubled with one out in the seventh. The U.S. squad finished with six hits, three of which came in the final two innings.
NOTE: USA Baseball announced Wednesday the addition of outfielder Jared Clark (Cal State Fullerton; Castaic, Calif.) to the 2008 National Team roster. Clark, who is scheduled to join the team July 11, hit .294 with nine home runs and 53 RBI for Cal State Fullerton this season. He also had 24 doubles, which tied for 19th nationally. Clark was a 45th-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in this year’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He replaces Kentrail Davis (Tennessee; Theodore, Ala.), who will leave the team Thursday due to an injury.
USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The organization selects and trains the United States Olympic Baseball Team (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball National Team (collegiate); the USA Baseball 18U, 16U and 14U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. For more information on USA Baseball please visit usabaseball.com.