Usa 2 at Italy 6
WP: D'Angelo (1-0) LP: Outman (0-1) SAVE:Maestri (1)
HR: USA: Ruggiano
In what was probably one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, Team Usa fell to the underdog Italians, 6-2.
Former Clearwater Thresher Josh Outman (Philadelphia) got off to a slow start, walking the first two batters he faced, but double play and a strike out kept Team Italy of the board in the first inning. It would be a different story in the second inning though as back-to-back singles put runners in the corners. When Leonardo Zileri knocked a grounder to short, it looked like an easy out, but Brian Bixler (Pittsbugh) booted the ball which went a runner of the plate for Team Italy. A pair of singles later, Italy would take a 3-0 lead.
Team USA came back in the top of the third with Justin Ruggiano (Tampa) hitting for his first home run of the tournament. Colby Rasmus (St. Louis) doubled, and Jayson Nix (Colorado) would be hit by a pitch to get on base. Adam LaRoche (Dodgers) then doubled to bring in Rasmus, but Team USA came up one run short and could not tie the game.
Bixler's second error of the game, combined with a bad pick off attempt by southpaw Jerry Blevins (Oakland) lead to 2 unearned runs when Steven Shell (LA Angels) gave up back to back hits to Maximilliano Di Blaise and Mario Chinini in relief. Italy would exit the inning with a 6-2 lead and the Americans could find no offense through the rest of the contest.
Outman would work 3 innings, allowing three runs (none earned) on 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2. Shell pitched through 3.2 innings, allowing only 1 earned run on 2 hits while striking out 3.
Team USA takes on Team Japan on Saturday. In other group A action, South Africa defeated Spain, 7-4, Chinese Taipei took out Japan, 6-1, and Panama defeated Mexico 3-2.
Venezuela 4 at Australia 7
WP: Wiltshire (1-0) LP: Artega (0-1)
HR: Aus: T. Brice
Team Australia continued to roll, taking a 7-4 win over Venezuela in Group B play. Former Miracle Josh Hill (Minnesota) took the start for the boys from down under, giving up 4 earned runs on 4 hits and 4 walks while striking out 4 in 3 innings worth of work. Glenn Williams (Minnesota) was 2-for-4 with a walk and Luke Hughes (Minnesota) was 1-for-2 with 3 RBIs.
Hill struggled with his fast ball, hitting Luis Alen with a pitch to start the 2nd inning then advancing him to 2nd on a wild pitch. After getting Saul Torres to strike out, Hill then walked Jean Centeno. Following a Jose Aponte fly out, Hill issued another walk, this time to Dirimo Chavez to load the bases. Liu Rodriguez drove a 2-1 pitch deep into right centerfield for a 3-run triple, then came home on Lino Connell's single for the 4-0 lead.
Back-to-back doubles by Brett Roneberg (Independant) and Tom Brice (Independant) got Team Australia on the board in the fourth. Williams hit a double start off the sixth then came home on a throwing error by Chavez to cut the Venezuelan lead in half. Brice's single-shot home run gave the Aussies another point.
Another former Thresher, Brad Harman (Philadelphia), hit a double to start off the 7th and then came in when Justin Huber (Kansas City) hit a double to tie up the game.
In the 11th inning, Roneberg lead off with a double. With one out, Mathew Kent (Independant) was intentionally walked. New Britain's Luke Hughes (Minnesota), who came into the game as a late inning defensive replacement, then crushed a 2-0 pitch over the left field bleachers to give the Aussies their second consectutive walk off win.
Trent Oeltjen (Minnesota) continued his offensive onslaught, going 3-for-4 at the plate with a walk, but he did not figure into any of the scoring.
Former Miracle Tristan Crawford (Minnesota) pitched part of the 8th inning for the Aussies, walking Jose Labraton.
In other Group B play, Team Korea took a 18-2 mercy rule win over Thailand, Cuba defeated Team Canada 6-3, and Team Netherlands fell Team Germany 15-5.
Tom Stuifbergen's brother Nick pitched 2 innings for the Netherlands, giving up 1 earned run on 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2.