FROM USA BASEBALL
(DURHAM, N.C.) – Gerrit Cole (UCLA), Asher Wojciechowski (The Citadel), Nick Pepitone (Tulane), and Chad Bettis (Texas Tech) combined to throw the first no-hitter in post-trials USA Baseball National Team (Collegiate) history on its way to a 10-0 shutout victory over Guatemala at Coleman Field, Thursday night.
Bryce Brentz (Middle Tennessee State) put the U.S. (7-0) on board first in the second inning. Kolten Wong (Hawaii) started the inning off with a two-out bunt single, and later moved to third base after two stolen bases. Brentz then connected for an RBI double deep left centerfield on Guatemalan starter Juan Berger for the early 1-0 lead.
Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (UCLA) got into a jam in the fourth inning when he surrendered three consecutive two-out walks to load the bases. But Cole managed to get out of the inning when he struck out Luis Dieguez for his seventh strikeout of the game.
Casey McGrew (Wright State) put another run on the board for Team USA in the bottom of the fourth inning. With runners on second and third base, McGrew sent a strike in front of the centerfielder to bring in Andy Wilkins (Arkansas) and put the U.S. ahead 2-0.
Starting pitcher Cole pitched five and two-thirds innings of hitless baseball to kick off the USA no-hitter before being taken out of the game due to predetermined pitch count. During the game, Cole struck out eleven batters and walked four.
USA loaded the bases in the fifth inning to threaten Guatemala. Tyler Holt (Florida State) walked to start the inning and Guatemala went straight to its bullpen. With Gustavo Rehwoldt on the mound, Rick Hague (Rice) perfectly executed the hit-and-run by pushing a ball through the right-side to put runners on the corners. Andy Wilkins (Arkansas) walked to the load the bases but the threat was diminished shortly after when Wong grounded out to second for the last out.
Blake Forsythe (Tennessee) slammed the first pitch he saw in the seventh inning for a solo home run to left field. Andy Wilkins and Kolten Wong then scored on Brentz’ second hit of the game as his single to center scored the second and third runs of the inning. Casey McGrew (Wright State) brought in the fourth run of the inning with a double to the gap in right center.
Tyler Holt (Florida State) brought in another run with a single and Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton) connected on a two-run single as well to cap the scoring in the inning for Team USA to lead Guatemala 9-0.
The U.S. tagged its final run of the game with a sacrifice fly to left field by Brad Miller (Clemson) for the final 10-0 margin.
Wojciechowski, Pepitone and Bettis came on in relief for Team USA to finish off the no-hitter for Cole (2-0). Wojciechowski struck out two batters in his inning of relief, Pepitone struck out one and Bettis closed the game and tallied one strikeout as well.
“Our pitchers have been doing an excellent job controlling the things that they are able to control,” said Eric Campbell, General Manager of the National Team. “Even during our trials period our pitchers were able to control some of our countries best hitters. I think they have all done a great job continuing to do so against our international opponents.”
In 2004, five pitchers on the National Trials Team combined to no-hit Team Canada at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C. Thursday night’s win over Guatemala marked the first no-hitter in post-trials National Team (Collegiate) history.
Game three of the four game series will continue Friday, July 3, at Coleman Field at the USA Baseball National Training Complex at 6:30 PM. Fireworks will immediately follow the game.
Team USA will work out at 4:30 PM at the USA Baseball National Training Complex before its game, Friday. Trevor Bauer (UCLA) is slated to take the mound for the United States.
§ Attendance for Thursday’s game was counted at 1,344.
· With the win, the USA Baseball National Team (Collegiate) has won 31 consecutive games dating back to last summer.
· Four pitchers combined for the first no-hitter in post-trials USA Baseball National Team (Collegiate) history. Gerrit Cole (UCLA), Asher Wojciechowski (The Citadel), Nick Pepitone (Tulane), and Chad Bettis (Texas Tech) combined for the no-hitter.