Team USA drops 8-3 decision to Japan

FROM USA BASEBALL

Blake Forsythe (Tenn) (Courtesy of USA Baseball)

Blake Forsythe (Tenn) (Courtesy of USA Baseball)

(TSURUOKA, Japan) – Team Japan struck out 14 U.S. batters and Team USA stranded 16 runners on base as it fell to Japan 8-3 in game four of the 37th Annual USA vs. Japan Collegiate Championships in Tsuruoka, Japan.

Takahiro Araki hit a two-RBI single to left center in the first inning and Shota Ishimine followed with an RBI single in the second for a 3-0 lead on USA starter Trevor Bauer (UCLA).

Blake Forsythe (Tennessee) hit a bases loaded RBI single through the right side to put Team USA’s first run on the board in the third inning.

Team Japan scored five runs over the last six innings to put the game out of reach for the U.S. Japan took advantage of three U.S. errors and Shingo Kamegai hit a two-run opposite field home run in the fourth to force a deciding game five on Thursday.

Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton) hit an RBI single down the left field line to bring in Tyler Holt (Florida State) in the sixth inning for Team USA’s second run and Brad Miller (Clemson) capped the U.S. scoring with an RBI fielder’s choice in the ninth.

Bauer (1-1) pitched four innings and gave up five runs on four hits in the loss for Team USA. Tony Zych (Louisville) pitched four innings of relief in the game and gave up three runs on six hits before Asher Wojciechowski (The Citadel) came in with the bases loaded and no outs in the ninth and closed out the game with three strikeouts.

Japanese starter Karuhito Futagami gave up one run and struck out four runners in three innings of work. Reliever Nao Higashihama got the win for Japan.

The fifth and final game of the best-of-five series is Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 6:00 PM (5:00 AM ET) at Jungu Stadium in Tokyo. The series is tied at two games apiece.