Team USA completes sweep over Korea with 5-3 victory

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

SpringerUConn DURHAM, N.C. – George Springer (Connecticut) roped a pair of doubles on his way to a three-hit performance and Sean Gilmartin (Florida State) struck out five for his second win of the summer as Team USA completed the five-game series sweep of Korea with a 5-3 win Sunday night at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. With the win the Collegiate National Team (CNT) improves to 6-0 during its summer tour.

Leading 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, USA scratched across a pair of runs to take a 5-2 advantage and coasted to the series sweep. Peter O’Brien (Bethune-Cookman) drove in the game-winning run on a bunt single towards the left side of the pitcher’s mound scoring Springer from second, who singled to start the frame. CNT’s newest member, Jason Esposito (Vanderbilt), scored the second run when Nolan Fontana (Florida) reached on an error during his sac bunt attempt moving O’Brien over to third and pushing Esposito across.

Min Sik Kim pulled Korea within two, 5-3, when he scored during a pickoff play in the seventh inning. Min Kim doubled down the left field line with one out then took third on an infield single before scoring Korea’s third run of the game.

Stanford’s Brett Mooneyham made his first start for CNT, his second appearance of the summer, working a scoreless first inning before the game was halted for 70-minute rain delay. After the game resumed, Team USA scored a pair of quick runs to take a 2-0 lead in the first. Back-to-back one-out singles from Jackie Bradley, Jr. (South Carolina) and Ryan Wright (Louisville) got Team USA going. Bradley, Jr. scored when Alex Dickerson (Indiana) reached on fielder’s choice for his second RBI of the season. Wright touched home during Team USA’s next at-bat, a double off the bat of Springer to right center.

Dickerson collected his lone hit of the game roping a double to left center before rounding third on a wild pitch and a throwing error by Korea’s catcher Youn Joon Cho, which gave USA a 3-1 advantage.

Korea cut the deficit to one in the fourth, 3-2, thanks in part to doubles from Jung Woo Yoon and Nam Seok Kim and a RBI single from Min Kim.

Gilmartin (2-0) notched the win working 3 1/3 innings in relief of Mooneyham. The south-paw allowed two runs (both earned) on four hits with a walk and pushed his strikeout total to 10, which ties Noe Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton) with the lead. Ramirez made his third appearance out of the pen going 2 2/3 innings giving up a run on two hits with three punch outs. Florida’s left-hander Brian Johnson recorded the save with two innings of scoreless work and four strikeouts.

Kun Chong Cho suffered the loss after being touched for two runs (both earned) in one-third of an inning. Ji Woong Yoon tossed four innings of relief giving up a run and striking out five, while Myung June Yoon and Sung Bun Na closed out the final 3 2/3 frames with four punch outs and two walks.

Offensively Team USA pounded out its second double-digit hit performance of the summer collecting 10 hits with Springer (3) and O’Brien (2) leading the way. The pitching staff continued to shine fanning 12 in the game, its fourth double-digit effort of the season.

The Collegiate National Team will hit the road for the rest of its summer tour making a stop in Kansas City, Mo. Monday afternoon for a light practice at Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals. From there they will continue on to Omaha, Neb. for a nine-inning affair against the Omaha Diamond Spirit on Tuesday, July 20. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (EST).