HAARLEM, The Netherlands – Four pitchers – Carson Fulmer (Vanderbilt), Tyler Jay (Illinois), Dillon Tate (UCSB) and Ryan Burr (Arizona State) – combined to throw the third no-hitter in the history of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team on Saturday as it defeated the Netherlands, 3-0, in front of a packed house at Pim Mulier Stadium during Honkbal Week.
The no-hitter is the third in the history of the Collegiate National Team and the first on international soil. Both of its previous no-hitters came in Cary, N.C, where it held Korea hitless on July 14, 2010, and no-hit Guatemala on July 2, 2009.
“That was a great ball game and just a special day at the ball park,” Team USA manager Dave Van Horn (Arkansas) said. “Our pitching staff threw such a great game yesterday and suffered kind of a heart-breaking loss, 1-0. Today they just hung in there again when both teams were going at it pitch-for-pitch. We were facing a veteran (Rob Cordemans) who didn’t make any mistakes and just flat knows how to pitch.
“Fulmer came out and he was dominant to the point where you could tell they were struggling against him bad. They weren’t getting good swings off of him, a lot of defensive swings. Obviously he could have gone a little longer, but we have to take care of these guys and the other three guys did a tremendous job as well. It was fun to be a part of fun, fun to watch and fun to coach those guys.”
Fulmer was absolutely dominating on the mound to start the game for Team USA, firing six hitless innings before being lifted due to a predetermined pitch count. The flame-throwing right-hander faced just two over the minimum, striking out five while walking two and hitting a batter but picking one of them off.
Jay, Tate and Burr followed with one scoreless inning each to complete the no-hitter. Jay and Tate struck out one batter apiece before Burr fanned two in the bottom of the ninth en route to earning his second save of the summer.
After being held off the scoreboard for the first 17 innings of its stay at Honkbal Week, Team USA finally strung together a few hits and put three runs on the board to break a scoreless tie in the top of the ninth. Christin Stewart (Tennessee) opened the frame with a leadoff single through the right side and moved into scoring position on a sac bunt by Mark Mathias (Cal Poly).
An intentional walk to DJ Stewart (Florida State) would put two on for Alex Bregman (LSU) who punched a two-strike single right back up the middle to bring in the first run of the tournament for the U.S. Tate Matheny (Missouri State) would knock in two more runs two batters later when he laced a a two-out single to center.
Team USA got a pair of two-out singles in the second and fourth innings, respectively, but it wasn’t until the seventh that it really put together much of a scoring threat when a Netherlands error put runners on the corners with two outs. Although Matheny flew out to deep right in that at-bat, he would come through with the big hit the U.S. needed to seal the game just two innings later in the ninth.
The Netherlands starting pitcher Rob Cordemans, a veteran of four Olympic Games, three World Baseball Classics and countless other international competitions, matched the U.S. staff nearly pitch-for-pitch the first eight innings, holding Team USA scoreless on just three hits while striking out four. Kevin Kelly suffered the loss after being charged with all three of the game’s runs in 0.2 of an inning.
The Collegiate National Team will have a day off before continuing the double round-robin portion of the tournament on Monday with a 2 p.m. local (8 a.m. ET) matchup with Chinese Taipei ET). Louisville right-hander Kyle Funkhouser will get the nod on the hill for Team USA.