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Red Team takes rubber game of U-18 USA Trials

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Phoenix, Ariz. – The Red team jumped on Blue team starter Mike Trout early on the final day of the 18U National Team Trials at Phoenix Municipal Stadium Wednesday and held on to win Game 5 of the series 8-2 in six innings.

With runners on the corners early in the first inning, a double steal by Ryan Curl and Wes Hatton put the Red team up 1-0 early as Curl reached home. With the Red team still threatening with a runner in scoring position with one out after a Jiovanni Mier groundout, Bobby Borchering punched an RBI double to left centerfield scoring Hatton and putting the Red team up 2-0.

Matt Helm laced the first pitch of the second inning down the left field line for a stand up double to get the Red team going. Two consecutive walks to Nick Franklin and Ryan Curl loaded the bases for Red team starting pitcher Wes Hatton, who helped out his own cause as he roped a double to left center scoring both Helm and Franklin. Jiovanni Mier continued the red-hot hitting in the top of the second as he knocked in two runs with a single up the middle. Not to be left out, Bobby Borchering knocked in a run himself with a single to the right fielder bringing the Red team lead to 7-0 after two innings.

Wes Hatton shone on the mound as well as he went 2.0 scoreless innings allowing no hits, one walk with three strikeouts.

After the Red team added another tally to their lead in the third, the Blue team finally began showing signs of life in the bottom of the fifth inning when a walk to Randal Grichuk was followed by a single up the middle by Fontana to put a runner on second for only the second time on the day. The RBI single was just the third hit on day for the Red team.

Andrew Aplin then hit a single on the left field line to get the blue team on the board 8-1. Harold Martinez, not wanting to end a two-out rally, then singled up the middle to bring in Fontana to bring the score to 8-2. But a three-pitch strikeout to designated-hitter Austin Maddox ended their hopes at a comeback in the bottom of the fifth.

Garrett Gould kept the Red team from adding more runs in the top of the sixth but his offense couldn’t post any runs in the bottom of the sixth to overtake the large lead the Red team boasted going into the final inning.

Wes Hatton, who went 2-4 with 2 RBIs, including the game winning 2-run double, also picked up the win for the Red team while Blue team started Mike Trout picked up the loss. Jiovanni Mier and Bobby Borchering both went 2-3 with 2 RBIs each to lead the Red team to victory in the final game of the 18U National Team Trials.

The final 18-man roster will be announced late Wednesday evening at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. The 18U National Team will play in a two-game exhibition series against the JUCO All-Stars on Friday and Saturday before flying to Canada on Sunday to participate in the IBAF World Junior Championships.

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