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Team USA Collegiate National Team Trials: Game 5 Recap


BradMillerClemson Cary, N.C. — Brad Miller (Clemson), Austin Nola (LSU) and Anthony Rendon (Rice) each collected two hits to help the Blue team to a 5-3 win over the Red squad Saturday afternoon in Game 5 of the Collegiate National Team (CNT) Trials at the National Training Center (NTC).

With the game knotted up at three in the bottom of the seventh, Nola laced a single through the left side with one out scoring Steve Rodriguez (UCLA) putting Blue (2-1-2) up 4-3. Rodriguez, who was 0-for-2 with two runs, drew his second walk of the afternoon to start the frame then moved into scoring position after swiping second base setting up Nola’s game-winning hit. Miller followed with a single through the left side and Rendon reached on an error that scored Nola for the games final run and giving Blue a 5-3 victory.

Big hits were the name of the game on the afternoon as Nolan Fontana (Florida) and Peter O’Brien (Bethune-Cookman) smacked round trippers, while Miller roped just the third triple in the CNT Trials.

Fontana pulled the Red (2-1-2) squad even at three in the top half of the seventh on deep fly ball down the right field line that barely stayed fair. Alex Dickerson (Indiana) doubled to right field with one out before strolling home on Fontana’s two-run homer.

Noe Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton) picked up the win despite allowing two runs (both earned) on two hits in two innings of relief work for the Blue. Starter Matt Barnes (Connecticut) and Carson Smith (Texas State) each gave up a hit and struck out three over two innings, while Brian Johnson (Florida) was touched for a run over two innings. Johnson and Ramirez accounted for eight of Blue’s 11 strikeouts.

Non-roster invitee Jesse Haney (UNC Wilmington) suffered the loss out of the bullpen. The right-hander allowed a pair of runs on two hits in 1 1/3 innings. Starter Sean Gilmartin (Florida State) tossed two innings of shutout ball, while Greg Holt (North Carolina) surrendered three runs (all earned) on four hits in three innings.

O’Brien drew first blood for the Red team hitting his second home run of the trials, a solo shot to left, in the third inning for a 1-0 lead.

Jett Bandy (Arizona) tied the game at one in the bottom half of the fourth on a single to left that pushed across Rendon, who doubled to left for his first hit of the contest with one-out. After Jackie Bradley, Jr. (South Carolina) drew a walk, Taylor Featherston (Texas Christian) moved the runners up 90 feet on a grounded out to short before Bandy stepped in the box.

Blue plated a pair of runs in the fifth taking a 3-1 lead behind RBI singles from Nola and Rendon.

Team USA will be back on the diamond Sunday afternoon for the final game of the CNT Trials, which starts at 12:15 p.m.

Notes: Sophomore right-hander Gerrit Cole (UCLA) is scheduled to pitch during the final CNT Trials game on Sunday … The team will arrive at the National Training Complex at 10:30 a.m., stretch and throw for about 30 minutes before starting batting practice at 11:10 a.m. … Sunday night manager Bill Kinneberg and his staff will select the final 22-man Team USA roster.

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