FROM USA BASEBALL
PRINCE GEORGE, British Columbia — Rick Hague (Rice) went 3-4 with one of three U.S. home runs and Team USA defeated the host Prince George Axemen, 10-2, at the 2009 Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline World Baseball Challenge at Prince George Citizen Field.
The Axemen (2-2) got on the board in the bottom of the first inning with a double to right center by Darrin Doucette to take a short-lived one-run lead.
Team USA (16-5; 3-1) scored four runs in the fourth inning behind home runs by Michael Choice (UT Arlington) and Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton). Choice tied the game at one apiece with a homer to left field and Matt Newman (Arizona State) followed with an RBI single through the right side. Colon then lifted a two-run shot over the left field fence for the 4-1 lead.
Hague hit a home run to deep center in the fifth inning and Bryce Brentz (Middle Tennessee State) scored on a fielding error by the third basemen in the sixth to plate two more runs. Newman and Kolten Wong (Hawaii) followed with an RBI double and a sacrifice fly, respectively, in the seventh.
The Axemen pushed its final run across in the eighth inning on an Angelo Desantis single up the middle but the U.S. responded with two runs of its own in the ninth for the final tally of 10-2.
Team USA starting pitcher Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt) gave up one run in seven full innings, striking out five in his third victory of the summer. Brentz came on in relief in the eighth inning and closed out the game with three strikeouts.
Axemen starting pitcher Tom Nielsen (0-1) pitched five innings, giving up five runs on six hits and struck out five batters in the loss.
Game five of the 2009 World Baseball Challenge for the U.S. will be against Team British Columbia (3-1), Thursday, July 23, at 3 p.m. (6 p.m. ET). Cody Wheeler (Coastal Carolina) is expected to take the mound for Team USA.