Doug Kroll of CSTV checks in this week previewing the top third basemen in the country. Pedro Alvarez is listed as the top prospect which is expected since he has been one of the top players in the entire nation for his first two seasons with Vanderbilt. He also talks about Logan Forsythe of Arkansas, Matt Hague of Oklahoma State, and a few other players from around the nation. The full article is available here.
The Arkansas Traveler writer Cory Crawford checks in on the Arkansas baseball program where they have welcomed 20 new players. The Hogs will be looking to fill in the starting rotation where they were decimated by the MLB where they had three starting pitchers picked in the first two rounds. They will also replace five position players who were lost to the MLB draft. The full article is available here.
Courtesy of USA Baseball
ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS— Cuba (8-0 WPT) ran the table on the rest of the World Port Tournament, eliminating Team USA (25-12, 4-4 WPT) from the finals and ending their summer, following a 5-1 victory. The Cubans will take on Chinese Taipei, who also beat the USA twice over the last 10 days, in the finals starting at 7 a.m. Eastern.
The Americans sent the go-ahead run to the plate in the eighth against reliever Yulieski Gonzalez with two outs, after putting two runners on with no outs against starter Arley Sanchez. Gonzalez got a hard lineout, followed by a strikeout and then walked Jordy Mercer (Oklahoma State) to load the bases. Gonzalez though got Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) to strikeout, part of a nine-pitch at-bat, to keep Cuba in front 4-1.
Gonzalez then pitched a scoreless ninth, after Cuba added a run in the top of the inning, for the two inning save.
Three Cuban home runs were more than enough for Sanchez, who tired after seven-plus innings. Sanchez allowed a single unearned run on seven hits, while striking out six and walking one. Sanchez allowed a walk and a single in the eighth, before being relieved by Gonzalez.
Mike Minor (5-2, Vanderbilt), took the loss, going the first four innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on four hits, two of which that left the ballpark. Cody Satterwhite (Ole Miss) and Brett Hunter (Pepperdine) each gave up single runs in their relief appearances.
A one-out error by Danny Espinosa (Long Beach State) at short came back to haunt the Americans as Tournament RBI leader, Yosvani Peraza, hit a two-run homer to give Cuba a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Minor had a 33-pitch first inning.
A solo home run by Jose Julio Ruiz gave Cuba a 3-0 lead in the fourth. Hector Olivera’s solo home run off of Satterwhite in the seventh made it 4-0.
Josh Romanski (San Diego) made a nice diving catch in the fourth, towards the line, to rob Alexei Bell of a hit… Cleanup hitter LF Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) missed the last five games, minus a pinch-hit performance yesterday, with a sore foot… 3B Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) was the designated hitter the last four days due to a sore arm… Danny Espinosa (Long Beach State) ended the summer on an eight-game hit streak, while Jordan Danks (Texas) ended it on a seven-game streak.
WORLD PORT NOTES
Japan (0-7) and the Netherlands (3-4) close out the regularly scheduled tournament games tonight… Chinese Taipei (4-4), who finished yesterday, gained the tiebreaker with the USA yesterday, forcing the USA to win today to advance, based on number of wins against (2-0), if the USA and Taipei were tied and in runs allowed between the three tied teams, if the Netherlands were to finish in a three-way tie with the USA and Taipei (12 runs for Taipei to 13 runs for the USA to 21 runs for the Netherlands)… Games can be followed live on the internet at http://www.worldporttournament.nl/… Stats are available at: http://utopia.ision.nl/users/hwede/stats07/wpt07/ and under live scoring.
FINAL TEAM LEADERS FOR THE SUMMER
Hitting–Average (Alvarez-.315), Home Runs (Alvarez/Kieschnick-7), RBIs (Alvarez-30), Runs (Danks-37) Hits (Alvarez-40), Walks (Danks-25), Doubles (Smoak-10), Triples (Danks-2), Multi-Hit Games (Alvarez-12); Pitching—Wins (Minor-5-2), ERA-Reliever (Hunter-0.66), Saves (Satterwhite-4), ERA-Starter (Ross-0.82), Strikeouts (Ross-39), Appearances (Hunter-14)
ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS— Team USA (23-8, 2-0 at World Port Tournament) posted their third-straight shutout of the summer, defeating host Netherlands (1-1 at World Port) 11-0 on Saturday evening behind Tyson Ross (4-0, California) and a sellout crowd of 3,000 at Neptunus Stadium.
Ross, who has yet to allow a run in two starts and 14 innings against the Dutch, went seven scoreless innings, giving up eight hits, while striking out four. Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) homered and went 2-for-3, while Jordan Danks (Texas) was 3-for-4 in the eight-inning, run shorted game.
Team USA scored three runs early, as a first inning, bases loaded single by Logan Forsythe (Arkansas), followed by a double play ball gave Team USA a 2-0 lead before Ross even took the mound. Danny Espinosa’s (Long Beach State) single in the second inning upped the lead 3-0.
Team USA then broke the game open in the fifth, scoring three times to lead 6-0. A home run by Alvarez (5) started the inning, before a misplayed Justin Smoak (South Carolina) double over the head of centerfielder Dirk van’t Klooster scored two and gave the Americans a 6-0 lead.
Diegomar Markwell gave up six runs on nine hits over five and one-third innings for the loss, as the Americans added four runs in the seventh to lead 9-0.
It was Ross’ second start against the Netherlands, pitching seven shutout innings of two-hit, eight-strikeout baseball on July 28 in Durham, NC… The game was called after eight innings after the Americans scored two runs in the top of the inning, based on the international mercy rule (10-run lead after seven innings)… Dutch starter, Diegomar Markwell, is the cousin of Atlanta Brave centerfielder Andruw Jones, another member of the national team… The Americans had more hits in their first two at-bats, then in all of their opening game against Japan (1)… Team USA is 22-4 all-time against the Netherlands… with Japan’s 3-1 loss to Chinese Taipei earlier today, the Japanese fell to 0-3 in the tournament… games can be followed live on the internet by clicking here… Stats are available here.
The Americans will play Chinese Taipei on Sunday (1 p.m. Eastern), and Cuba on Monday (8 a.m.) to finish off the first round of competition… another set of four games starts on August 7, before the Finals on August 12.
Team USA was one-hit by Japanese pitcher Yuske Iwamato but picked up a 1-0 victory on the first day of the World Port Tournament. As the game entered the ninth inning, Team USA had no hits off of Iwamato but Jordan Danks (Texas) got a lead-off walk. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Tommy Medica (Santa Clara). He then advanced to third on a flyball from Brett Wallace (Arizona State). Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) then hit a single to drive home Danks with the eventual winning run. Ryan Berry (Rice) started for Team USA and went 7.1 strong innings while only giving up three hits and three walks but got the no-decision. Brett Hunter pitched the final 1.1 innings without allowing a hit while striking out three batters to up his record to 3-0. Yuske Iwamato was the tough luck loser pitching a complete game while allowing the only hit and four walks. Team USA is off on Friday before playing The Netherlands on Saturday.
Team USA Recap
World Port Tournament Schedule
Hognation.net which is a fan site for Arkansas Razorbacks fans has posted the 2008 schedule. The Razorbacks open up on February 22nd when they host Wright State for a three game set. They will also take part in the Aggie Baseball Classic where they will play Louisiana Tech, Texas A&M, and Ohio State. The other highlights on the schedule is a two game sets at Arizona State and at Nebraska. These tough out of conference games should prepare the Razorbacks well for the tough SEC.
DURHAM, NC— Tyson Ross (3-0, California) took a no-hitter into the sixth, striking out eight over seven innings in leading Team USA (19-7) to a 14-0 victory over the Netherlands in the first of a three-game, two-day series. Ross allowed just two hits while walking none, in his first appearance since the Gold Medal Game eight days ago.
Brett Wallace (Arizona State) drove in five with a three-run home run and a two-run double, while Ryan Flaherty (Vanderbilt) went 3-for-5 with four RBIs a day after turning 21 years old. Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) went 3-for-4, as the trio all hit home runs.
Flaherty, Kieschnick and Jordan Danks (Texas) all hit home runs as part of an eight-run eighth inning.
Ross was perfect through the first 14 batters, before an error by second baseman Ryan Flaherty allowed the first Dutch base runner to reach base in the fifth. Ross finished off the inning by striking out the side. Ross’ no-hit bid was broken up an inning later, by Danny Rombley, with a one-out base hit to center field.
Five of the Americans first six runs came with two outs to give them a 6-0 lead after three.
The Americans tallied back-to-back, two-out RBI singles from Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) and Kieschnick to take a 2-0 lead in the first. Wallace’s two-out, two-run single in the second then made it 4-0.
A Kieshnick homer in the third gave the Americans a 5-0 lead in the third, before a two-out, RBI double from Josh Romanski (San Diego) made it 6-0. Dutch righthander Rob Cordemans gave up six runs on seven hits over the first two and two-third innings.
Wallace’s homer in the eighth made it 9-0, after reliever Diegomar Markwell pitched four and one-third scoreless innings. Wallace’s blast was one of three homers and eight runs in the inning, as Flaherty added a three-run shot and Danks followed with a solo shot.
It was second baseman Ryan Flaherty’s 21st birthday last night… shortstop Danny Espinosa made a nice play off the glove of Ross in the first inning to rob Dirk van’t Klooster of a base hit… these same two teams will play in Holland in Rotterdam starting next week at the World Port Tournament… the four home runs was a summer-high… high school senior Tyler Stovall, a Team USA junior team invitee, pitched the ninth inning.
The nine-game American trip will continue with the Netherlands on Sunday in Cary (morning game at 11 a.m.), and Durham (afternoon game at 5 p.m.), before closing out with and Russia on Monday (one night game) in Cary, NC at 7 p.m… the team closes out their schedule at the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands starting on August 2.
BIRMINGHAM, AL— China’s Kun Chen, Youhua Guo and Quansheng Zhao out dueled Team USA’s Lance Lynn (2-1) and Jordy Mercer as the Chinese (1-2) won the third game of the five-game series over the Americans (17-7), 2-1, on Wednesday evening. Team USA had won the first two games of the series.
Chen went the first six and two-thirds, giving up one run on seven hits, before yielding to Guo. Guo went an inning and one-third before yielding to Zhao in the ninth, who posted the save, despite putting the tying run on second base.
Brett Wallace (Arizona State) and Danny Espinosa (Long Beach State) each had three of the Americans nine hits, who rested starting outfielders Jordan Danks (Texas) and Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) to begin the night.
Espinosa’s bunt base hit in the ninth sent the winning run to the plate against Zhao with one out. Espinosa was then balked to second. Zhao though got a flyout and strikeout to end the game.
An RBI single followed by a groundout gave China a 2-1 lead in the second, the second time in two nights the Chinese led early.
Lynn went the first four innings, giving up two runs on two hits. Mercer went the final six innings, not allowing a hit the rest of the way. He struck out eight on the night and did not walk a batter.
Wallace gave the Americans a 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI single.
The game was delayed by over an hour due to a rain storm which started around 90 minutes prior to first pitch… Manager Mike Weathers played in the Oakland A’s minor league system in Birmingham, AL in the mid-1970’s for three years… RHPs Jacob Thompson (Virginia) and Brian Matusz (San Diego), neither of which are injured, left the team for precautionary reasons due to a high number of innings pitched over the previous eight months… Thompson finished the summer 1-2 with a 1.27 ERA, Matusz was 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA… junior national team invitee, Tyler Stovall, a lefthander/outfielder from Hokes Bluff (AL) High School joined the team on Wednesday and will be with the team through the end of the week… Team USA is now 2-2 against Communist-led governments over the last four games (China and Cuba).
The five-game series with China continues in Rome, GA on Thursday and Ft. Mill, SC on Friday, finishing off the nine-game (two-day) American trip with the Netherlands and Russia in North Carolina… the team closes out their schedule at the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands starting on August 2.
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL— Cody Satterwhite (Ole Miss) saved both ends of Team USA’s (15-5, 4-0 Pan Am Games) doubleheader at the Pan American Games, defeating Brazil 7-5 in the play-in game and then moving onto the Gold Medal Game following a 2-1 victory over Mexico. The Americans, who have won one gold medal (1967) and eight silver medals since 1951 at these Games, will face Cuba, who won their pool following a 4-0 victory over Nicaragua.
“Our goal for the summer was to play for a goal medal, and that’s where we are at,” said Manager Mike Weathers. “To win a double header in international play, is very difficult, and I’m proud of our guys today and the obstacles they had to face. We will be ready to go tomorrow.”
Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) had two multi-hit games today, giving him four for the Games, as he went 3-for-4 with the game-winning RBI against Mexico, after going 2-for-3 with a key two-run single against Brazil.
“I felt good today. Playing for a gold medal means a lot,” said Satterwhite. “Good hitting got us into the finals, and we continue to play well.”
Brian Matusz (1-0, San Diego) threw six and one third innings in the semifinal win, giving it over to the bullpen with a 2-1 lead after giving just three hits and five strikeouts. Francisco Campos countered with two runs on seven hits, pitching into the seventh, taking the loss for Mexico.
“It was exciting to pitch in a semifinal game, maybe outside the gold medal, our most important game,” said Matusz. “I didn’t know a lot about Mexico, but I knew they had some power by the way they swung the bat. My off speed pitch was not great, but I was spotting my fastball and my changeup was getting grounders and popups.”
USA reliever Brett Hunter retired six in a row and two and one-third overall, before Benjamin Gil hit a two-out double in the ninth. Satterwhite, after walking a batter, got a lineout of Ivan Terrazas to pick up his third save of the summer.
Team USA took a 2-1 lead on Mexico in the fifth with an RBI double by Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) and an RBI single from Forsythe.
The Americans guaranteed the No. 1 seed in Pool A earlier in the day, holding on for a 7-5 win over host Brazil, thanks to a five-run seventh inning.
Joe Kelly (1-0, UC Riverside) got the win in relief, as Satterwhite came on with the bases loaded and no outs with a three-run lead in the ninth and got the save.
Claudio Yamada, the third of four pitchers in the seventh, threw eight-straight balls to walk the go-ahead run in for the Americans to ignite the inning. A Forsythe two-run single followed, before a Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) double made it 7-2.
Ryan Berry (Rice) gave up four hits and two runs over five and one third innings, but walked five, as the Americans tied the game in the sixth and second innings.
U.S. PAN AMERICAN NOTES
The Americans have won a medal in 14 out of the previous 16 games since the games started in 1951. They won their only gold medal in 1967 in Canada, and finished a runner-up another eight times. In their last series in 2003, when Manager Mike Weathers and assistant Mark Scalf were assistants, Team USA finished with a silver medal to Cuba… Team USA’s pitching staff was called for 12 walks on Wednesday, after averaging just under three per game over the first 18 games.
With Mexico winning the continued game over Venezuela 3-2 in 10 innings, Cuba earned the No. 1 seed in Pool B and Mexico was the No. 2 seed…. Nicaragua defeated the Dominican Republic 2-0 in the other play-in game, giving Nicaragua and the Dominican 1-2 records in Pool B, and guaranteeing the Americans a medal game about 90 minutes prior to USA’s final pitch against Brazil.
Team USA picked up a 5-1 victory over the Dominican Republic to open up pool play. Tyson Ross (Cal) started on the mound and kept the Dominican offense off balance with solid off-speed stuff and a good fastball. He lasted 6.2 innings while giving up four hits and one run while striking out seven batters. Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) went 3-4 with an RBI while Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) went 2-5 with an RBI to lead Team USA offense. The Dominican team consisted of former major league players in Jose Offerman, Raul Mondesi, Delvi Cruz, Enrique Wilson, and Luis Polonia.
Team USA will be back in action on Monday when they play Nicaragua and will play Brazil on Tuesday in the final game of group play.