Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wins boost USA, Team Australia into Quarterfinals

Trisan Crawford

South Africa 2 at USA 4

WP: Stevens (1-0) LP: Eckermans (0-2)

Team USA remained in first place in Group A play, tied with host Chinese Taipei, each with a 5-1 record.

Andy LaRoche (LA Dodgers) went 3-for-3 with 3 RBIs to lead the USA offense over South Africa.

Colby Rasmus (St Louis) lead off in the bottom of the first inning with a single, then stole 2nd base. Michael Hollimon's (Detroit) grounder to short moved Rasmus to 3rd, and LaRoche doubled him in. Delwyn Young (LA Dodgers) walked to put LaRoche on second. Steve Pierce (Pittsburgh) would eventually plate him.

Rasmus and Brian Bixler (Pittsburgh) hit back-to-back singles to sent the stage in the bottom of the 2nd. LaRoche would bring Rasmus in on a sac fly. South Africa had put a run across the plate in the top of the 2nd though, making it 3-1 Team USA.

Rasmus walked in the fourth, moved to 2nd on a Holliman fly out and to 3rd after South Africa's Ian Butcher threw the ball into the first base dugout. LaRoche then hit a bloop single to center to bring him in, making it 4-1.

South Africa would try to rally in the 8th, but only managed one run on 3 hits.

Cleveland's Jeff Stevens picked up the win, striking out 2 in 1 innings worth of work. Chris Booker (Washington) took home the save for the States.

The victory clinched a spot in the Quarter finals for Team USA, with Chinese Taipei picking up another berth, by blanking Panama 10-0. Japan shut out Italy 10-0 as well, and Spain fell to Mexico 19-1 in other Group A action.

USA Baseball

Australia 4 at Germany 2

WP: Mitchinson (1-0) LP: Marquez (0-2)

The Aussie's also picked up a berth in the Quarter Finals along with undefeated Team Cuba, after the downed Germany 4-2.

Trent Oeltjen (Minnesota) opened the game with a line drive and advanced to second on a wild pitch off Ramirez Marquez. Brad Harman (Philadelphia) would draw a walk and Justin Huber (Kansas City) singled to load the bases. Glenn Williams (Minnesota) would strike out, but a Michael Collins (LA Angels) sac-fly would plate Oeltjen. Harman would adance to 3rd and Huber to 2nd on a throwing error, but Mathew Kent (Independent) ground out to end the inning.

Still it was a good start as pitchers Dushan Ruzic (Cincinnati) and Scott Mitchinson (Philadelphia) kept the Germans off the board for 7 innings.

The Aussies would add to their lead in the 4th when Williams singled, and Collins walked. Kent ground into a fielders choice that took Collins out at 2nd, followed by Gavin Fingleson's (Independent) pop out. Tom Brice (Independent) then singled to bring in Williams and Luke Hughes (Minnesota) followed that up with a line drive to plate Kent. Oeltjen hit a line drive as well, but Brice would be taken out at home to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 7th, Oeltjen singled to lead off, and advanced to 3rd on Huber's line drive to left. Williams ground ball single brought in Oeljen to make it 4-0 for the Boys from Down Under.

Mitchinson would get into trouble in the 8th when Jendrick Speer (Independent) singled his way onto base. Jens Heymer (Independent) would draw a walk before Mitchinson was replaced on the mound by Tristan Crawford (Minnesota). Crawford would allow a double to Kai Gronauer (Independent) to score the pair, but got Simon Guring (Independent) to fly out and Dominik Wulf (Independent) to ground out to end the inning and the German threat. Brad Thomas (Seattle) finished off the game to pick up the save.

In other Group B play, Cuba tamed Thailand 11-1, Canada defeated Canada 6-3, and the Netherlands downed Korea 5-1. Minnesota's Loek Van Mil picked up the save for the Dutch team, allowing 2 hits and striking out 1 in 3 innings worth of work.

Aussie Recap
Australian Baseball

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