FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
GENEVA, Ill. – The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team pounded out eight extra base hits and the pitching staff retired the final 16 batters of the game en route to a 12-3 victory Monday over the Crystal Lake Cardinals. Seven batters tallied at least two hits in the rout.
“We swung the bat well, which is good to see,” remarked manager Jim Schlossnagle. “Coming off the layoff and the travel, as well as our batting practice getting cut short, that’s the part you worry about because it’s about timing and repetition. It was good to see those kids break out, especially Sam Travis. We think he has a great chance to be special for us and we need him to have a good week against Cuba.”
At the plate, Sam Travis (Indiana) paced the Team USA attack with three hits and three RBIs. Skye Bolt (North Carolina) homered as part of a two hit game and drove in two. Also notching two-hit, two-RBI games were Alex Bregman (LSU) and Matt Chapman (Cal State Fullerton).
On the mound, Tyler Beede (Vanderbilt) started for Team USA and allowed three runs on three hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. Matt Imhof (Cal Poly) surrendered just one hit in 1 1/3 innings. David Berg (UCLA), Brandon Finnegan (TCU) and Preston Morrison (TCU) each fanned two in their lone inning of work, while Riley Ferrell (TCU) struck out one in a perfect ninth inning.
Team USA exploded for four runs in the top of the second inning to open up a 4-0 advantage. Michael Conforto (Oregon State) led off the frame with a base hit. Travis followed with a long home run to left for a 2-0 lead. Bradley Zimmer (San Francisco) walked and scored on another long home run, this one off the bat of Bolt.
Crystal Lake cut into the Team USA lead with a run on two hits in the bottom of the second. Daniel Delaney singled with one out and scored on a two out double off the bat of Joseph Kubera to cut the deficit to three, 4-1.
The offense for Team USA kept coming as it pushed across three more runs in the third to extend the lead to six, 7-1. Kyle Schwarber (Indiana) opened the inning with a double. After Taylor Sparks (UC Irvine) was hit by the pitch, Conforto laid down a sacrifice to push both runners into scoring position. Travis doubled home his third run of the game and scored on a two-run double from Zimmer.
A two-run fourth inning for the Cardinals pulled them closer as the Team USA lead was sliced to four, 7-3. Nathan Pollock led off the inning with a base hit. A hit batter followed to put two on with nobody out. With both runners in scoring position, Kubera grounded out to drive in the first run of the inning and Louie Payetta singled with two outs to drive in the second run.
After being held in check for four innings, Team USA exploded for five runs in the final two innings to to account for the final tally of 12-3.
In the eighth, Chapman (Cal State Fullerton) and Bolt reached base to lead off the inning. With one out, the duo executed a double steal and scored easily on a one-out single off the bat of Bregman for a 9-3 lead.
Three more runs scored in the ninth inning as the lead grew to nine. Sparks opened the inning with a base hit and moved to third on a one-out single from Travis. With two outs, Chapman lined a single into right center to drive in two more runs. Bolt followed with a base hit to drive in Chapman with the final run of the game.
Team USA (14-3) will wrap up play in Illinois on Tuesday afternoon against the Metro College Baseball of Illinois All-Stars. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva, Ill.