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National Team Trials: Blue Team Wins Fifth Consecutive Game, Drops Red 8-5

usa-baseball-logo(CARY, N.C.) – Michael Choice (UT Arlington) hit a three run home run in the sixth inning and the Blue Team survived a comeback attempt to hold on to a 8-5 victory over the Red Team in an intrasquad game on Monday at the USA Baseball National Team (Collegiate) Trials.

The Blue Team got on the board first in the top of the second inning. Blake Forsythe (Tennessee) hit a single to right field and advanced to second and third on a balk and fielding error, respectively, to start things off. Casey McGrew (Wright State) then squeezed an RBI bunt down the first base line to score Forsythe to go ahead 1-0.

Tony Thompson (Kansas) laced a double down the left field line and Tyler Holt hit a single through the right side to begin the bottom of the second inning for the Red Team. After a strikeout put two outs on the board, Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton) slammed a single through the left side for his third RBI in as many games, tying the game at one apiece.

Neither team found much offense over the next three innings but the Blue Team broke through in the top of the sixth inning.

Andy Wilkins (Arkansas) hit a single to shortstop to get a runner on base for the Blue Team and Colon missed the toss from the first baseman on a botched double play to put runners on the corners with one out. The fielding error proved deadly for the Red Team when Michael Choice’s three-run home run nearly cleared the batter’s eye in deep centerfield; putting the Blue Team ahead 4-1.

The Red Team tallied another run in the bottom of the sixth inning on Tyler Holt’s (Florida State) RBI double down the left field line to cut the lead to two but the Blue Team responded with a run of their own in the top of the seventh inning when Kolten Wong’s (Hawaii) bloop single into left scored Rob Segedin (Tulane) to bring the score to 5-2.

The Blue Team added another run in the eighth inning but the Red Team attempted a furious comeback in the bottom half of the inning behind Matt Newman’s (Arizona State) three-run shot to right field on reliever Tyler Pill (Cal State Fullerton). His homer cut its deficit to 6-5 after eight innings.

The Blue Team once again responded in the following inning, however, when Jedd Gyorko (West Virginia) and Rick Hague (Rice) crossed the plate for the final score to 8-5.

The starting pitchers surrendered one run each on the day. Blue Team starter Asher Wojciechowski (The Citadel) went four innings, gave up six hits and tallied five strikeouts. Cody Wheeler (Coastal Carolina) fanned two batters in three innings of work for the Red Team.

The loss went to Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt) after he gave up two runs in two innings of work for the Red Team.

National Team Trials will continue Tuesday, June 23 at 8:00 PM (ET) with a Blue vs. Red intrasquad game at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. Batting practice and pregame workouts will begin at 6:00 PM.

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