Team USA finishes Pool Play with a Win

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
(HAARLEM, The Netherlands) – Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton; Corona, Calif.) drew a bases-loaded walk to snap a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning as the USA Baseball National Team rallied to a 3-1 victory over Chinese-Taipei in Friday’s pool-play action at the 2008 Haarlem Baseball Week at Pim Mullier Stadium. Team USA improved to 12-0 on the 2008 tour with the win.

Friday’s victory also concluded pool play for Team USA, which posted a 5-0 record in the round-robin portion of the event. The U.S. squad will be the top seed in the tournament portion of the event and will play either the Netherlands or Chinese-Taipei in a semifinal game Saturday at 1 p.m. EDT.

Taipei grabbed a 1-0 lead in a four-hit second inning, but Team USA avoided what could have been a more costly inning. After loading the bases on a single, a double and an infield single, Taipei’s Chen Min-Szu bounced an RBI single down the left-field line. Team USA got out of the inning thanks to a fielder’s choice that erased a runner at home and a double play.

Josh Fellhauer (Cal State Fullerton; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) tied the game with a one-out solo home run to right in the fifth. Ryan Jackson (Miami-FL; Miami Springs, Fla.) doubled down the left-field line to open the seventh. After a one-out Matt den Dekker (Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) walk, Scott Woodward (Coastal Carolina; Markle, Ind.) loaded the bases with a bunt single. Colon then walked on four straight pitches, and Fellhauer followed with a sacrifice fly.

That made a winner of Kyle Gibson (Missouri; Greenfield, Ind.), the third of five relievers on the day for Team USA. Gibson entered the game with runners on first and second and two outs in the top of the seventh; he struck out the only batter he faced. Gibson moved to 3-0 on the tour with the win.

A.J. Griffin (San Diego; El Cajon, Calif.) pitched a perfect eighth, and Blake Smith (California; Modesto, Calif.) followed a one-out walk with consecutive strikeouts in the ninth to earn the save. Chris Hernandez (Miami-FL; Miami, Fla.) allowed no runs on a walk and one strikeout in a predetermined 1.0-inning start.

Mike Leake (Arizona State; Fallbrook, Calif.) allowed a run on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts over 5.0 innings. Tyler Lyons (Oklahoma State; Lubbock, Texas) spelled Leake with runners on the corners and no outs in the seventh. Lyons got a fielder’s choice that erased the runner trying to score from third and a strikeout before giving way to Gibson.

Tseng Taung-Hsuan took the loss in relief for Taipei; he allowed two runs on two hits and three walks with two strikeouts over 1.1 innings. Starter Liao Wen-Yang went 5.0 innings and held Team USA to one run on three hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.