THOMASVILLE, N.C. – One swing of Kyle Schwarber’s (Indiana) bat was all the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team needed to erase a 2-0 deficit and steal a 3-2 win over High Point-Thomasville Sunday night. Two Team USA pitchers limited the HiToms to just one hit in the game.
TCU’s Brandon Finnegan (2-0) pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on one hit. He walked four and struck out seven. Preston Morrison (TCU) retired all four batters he faced, collecting a pair of strikeouts.
The HiToms Sutton Whiting was plunked with the second pitch he saw. A four-pitch walk followed to put two on with nobody out. Finnegan looked poised to get out of the jam after he got a strikeout and a pop out from the next two batters, but a throw down to second on a double steal attempt sailed into center field, allowing Whiting to score the game’s first run.
In the bottom of the second, the HiToms added to their lead as Kyle Bradenburg hit a home run to right center to push the Team USA deficit to 2-0.
Team USA had chances early to get in the game, but base running miscues in three of the first four innings kept the squad off the board. The Red, White and Blue saw a pair of runners thrown out at third and another at second.
The tide changed in the fifth inning as Team USA rallied to take the lead. Bradley Zimmer (San Francisco) battled back from a 0-2 count to reach on an infield single. Matt Chapman (Cal State Fullerton) walked to put the tying runs on base. With one swing of the bat, Schwarber launched a home run to center, turning the deficit into a 3-2 Team USA lead.
High Point-Thomasville threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the frame as it tried to take advantage of a two-out error. A walk followed the error to move the tying run into scoring position. The coaching staff called on Morrison who needed just three pitches to end the threat as he struck out Jared Foster swinging.
After a scoreless sixth inning, the game was called due to heavy rain.
Team USA improved to 8-0 with the victory. Next up for the Collegiate National Team is a trip to Hickory, N.C. for a pair of contests Monday and Tuesday. The games will be the final tune up before the team heads to Japan on Wednesday. Monday night’s contest will pit Team USA against the Catawba Valley All-Stars and will be played at L.P. Frans University Stadium at 7:05 p.m.