Team USA advances to Gold Medal Game

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
(HAARLEM, Netherlands) – Ryan Jackson (Miami-FL; Miami Springs, Fla.) went 2-for-3 with two RBI, and Stephen Strasburg (San Diego State; San Diego, Calif.) struck out 11 batters over 7.0 innings as the USA Baseball National Team defeated the Chinese-Taipei National Team 5-2 in Saturday night’s semifinal game of the 2008 Haarlem Baseball Week at Pim Mullier Stadium.

Team USA improved to 13-0 on its 2008 tour with the victory, which also propelled the U.S. squad into Sunday’s championship game against Cuba. First pitch is scheduled for 9 a.m. EDT.

Jackson scored Team USA’s first run of the game with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second. Ryan Lipkin (San Francisco; Vacaville, Calif.) followed with an RBI single to cap the two-run second. Team USA added two more runs in the third on an RBI single from Josh Fellhauer (Cal State Fullerton; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and Jackson’s RBI fielder’s choice.

Strasburg was nearly unhittable through the first six frames, allowing only a second-inning bloop single to center and facing one over the minimum through six. He issued a one-out walk and then three consecutive singles, the third of which plated two runs.

However, that was as close as Chinese-Taipei would get. Kyle Gibson (Missouri; Greenfield, Ind.) pitched a perfect eighth with two strikeouts before Team USA added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning. Jackson got the inning started with a triple down the right-field line and later scored when Matt den Dekker (Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) reached on an error.

Kendal Volz (Baylor; Bulverde, Texas) worked around a two-out walk in the ninth for his fourth save in six games at the Haarlem Baseball Week. It was the fifth save in as many tries during the 2008 tour for Volz, who had one strikeout.

Strasburg moved to 2-0 on the tour, allowing four hits and one walk.

Chinese-Taipei starter Yu-Chi Hsiao took the loss. Yu-Chi allowed four runs on six hits and five walks with five strikeouts over 7.0 innings; he also issued three wild pitches.

Lipkin finished the game 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Jared Clark (Cal State Fullerton; Castaic, Calif.) was 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored.