Saturday, November 17, 2007

Team USA progresses to Semi-Final Round

Aussies Fall to Japan, play consolation game on Friday

Trent Oeltjen
Trent Oeltjen

Korea 1 at USA 3

WP: Karstens (2-0) LP: Chang (1-1) SAVE:Stevens (1)
HR: USA: LaRoche

Team USA took an early lead and hung on to it to defeat Team Korea 3-1 in the first round of Semi Finals Friday.

Jayson Nix (Colorado)singled to lead off in the bottom of the first inning. Andy LaRoche (LA Dodgers) then went yard over the left field seats for his 3rd home run of the tournament.

Nix would lead off for USA in the 3rd as well, this time with a double. Following a walk to LaRoche, Nix would be plated by Steve Pearce's (Pittsburgh) single to left field.

Jeff Karstens (NY Yankees) would throw 7 innings for Team USA, striking out 7 and allowing 5 hits. Two of those hits came back-to-back in the 6th inning with Joo Chan Kim and Seaung Hwa Lee helping Korea to their sole run of the game.

Lee Gronkiewicz (Toronto) pitched the 8th while Jeff Stevens (Cleveland) mopped up in the 9th for the save.

Team USA will face the Netherlands in Tien-Mou Stadium on Saturday. Team Netherlands took a 6-3 win over Chinese Taipei, which may silence some of the doubters who felt that Cuba dumped their last game against the team to let the Dutchmen into the Semi-finals over Canada.

The game would go to through 11 innings, with Team Netherlands getting 4 runs in the final stanza to secure the win. Minnesota prospect Loek Van Mil pitched 3.2 innings for the Dutch, allowing 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 2.

USA Baseball

Japan 3 at Australia 0

WP: Settsu (3-0) LP: T. Blackley (0-1)
HR: JPN: Chono

Things did not go so well for the Aussies, who were blanked by Team Japan, 3-0, in Friday's Quarterfinal Round.

Minnesota prospects Trent Oeltjen and Glenn Williams were both 1-for-4 in the game, while Luke Hughes was 0-for-3.

Williams and Brett Roneberg (Pittsburgh) hit back-to-back singles with 2 outs in the 3rd, but Hughes flew out to strand the men.

Team Japan would get their first run in the 3rd inning with 2 outs when Hisayoshi Chono went yard over the left field fence off Travis Blackley (San Francisco). Blackley would go on to pitch a total of 5.2 innings, allowing 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4.

Another pair of back-to-back hits, this time by Tom Brice (Independent) and Williams in the bottom of the fourth with 1 out gave the Boys from Down Under a chance to tie the game, but Roneberg and Andrew Graham (Detroit) both flew out to finish the stanza. Brice last played state-side in 2006 for the St. Paul Saints.

Oeltjen's single came in the bottom of the 5th, but he went nowhere with it, as he was caught stealing.

Former Lakeland Flying Tiger Brendan Wise (Detroit) replaced Blackley with 2 outs and 2 men on base in the 6th, but got Kanichi Yokoyama to ground out to keep Japan at bay.

In the top of the 7th, Kenji Suzuki singled then advanced to 2nd on Tsutomo Sasaki's ground out. Kanya Suzuki would plate Kenji Suzuki with a single, but would then be taken down at 2nd base.

Michael Collins (LA Angels) came in as a pinch hitter for Team Australia in the bottom of the inning and singled with 1 out, but Hughes and Oeltjen both struck out to end the frame.

Adam Bright (Colorado) would replace Wise with one out in the top of the 7th and allowed a single to Toshiyaki Hayashi after getting Yasuyuki Saigo to ground out. Tristan Crawford (Minnesota) would then step on the mound to get the final out.

Crawford would stay on the mound for the start of the 9th, allowing a single to Sasaki, who would then advance to second when the umpires called a balk on Crawford. Takashi Yoshiura would be issued an intentional walk, and Kanya Suzuki would single to load the bases. Dushan Ruzic (Cincinnati) was called into the game to replace Crawford, and got Hisayoshi Chono to strik out, but then walked Yasuyaki Saigo to force in Japan's 3rd run of the game.

The Aussies will play a consolation match on Saturday against Team Mexico, which replaced Panama in the semi-final round after it was determined that 5 players on Team Panama did not have insurance coverage during 2 of the games, and were therefore ineligible to play. Team Cuba thumped the Mexican's 6-0 during their Quarter-final game.

Aussie Play-by-play
Australian Baseball

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