Duke's Marcus Stroman shut the door for Team USA once again, picking up his second save in three games in a 4-3 win over Japan on Tuesday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The victory was the USA’s third in as many games and the clincher in the 38th annual best-of-5 Collegiate Friendship Series, setting off a lengthy celebration between the players and the full house on hand to see the city’s rain-postponed Independence Day fireworks show.
The teams had been scheduled to play Monday night, but when that game was postponed by heavy rains a day-night doubleheader was set for Tuesday.
The USA had won the early game in Cary 8-2.
DBAP/DURHAM It’s Game 1 of the annual Collegiate Friendship Series between Team USA and Japan.
This will be the 38th rendition of the annual five-game set, which is played to a fifth game even if one team quickly wins three times.
Japan has taken the series only once when it was held in the United States, that being in 2007 with the deciding game at DBAP.
This time Games 1 and 2 will be played here, with Game 3 in Cary before the set finishes with single games in Kannapolis and Omaha.
The crowd will certainly build during this contest, as there is a single admission for this one and tonight’s Bulls game against the Gwinnett Braves.
Pitcher-infielder Marcus Stroman of Duke is a rare local entry on Team USA, but will not start this game.
Stanford rising junior Mark Appel (0-0, 0.00) will start for the USA on a hot afternoon against Yusuke Nomura.
And the hosts outhit the Japanese in a 7-6 comeback win in which each team commits three errors.
DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK/DURHAM The ACC baseball conference season starts tonight, and they seem to make schedules a lot differently in this sport than in most others.
Duke, which has moved 18 home games to the Durham Bulls' digs this season and is playing many of the rest at USA Baseball's Coleman Field in Cary, is hosting archrival UNC tonight in the opener of their three-game series. Yep, the weekend of the ACC Basketball Tournament.
And the rains seem to be ending just in time for the first pitch.
The Tar Heels, who are looking for their fifth straight trip to the College World Series, are 11-2 and ranked as high as No. 11 nationally. Duke, coming off its best season in 15 years last year, is 9-3.
The Tar Heels dominate a slugfest, winning 21-9 with their highest run and hit totals of the season as they snap Duke's eight-game winning streak and give the Blue Devils their first home loss.
The Koreans are coming to the Triangle.
USA Baseball has announced that its Collegiate National Team will square off in a five-game friendly series with the Republic of Korea from July 14-18, with the first two of five games in Cary and the final two in Durham.
Korea, currently ranked No. 3 in the world, will be the highest-ranked visiting team in the Triangle since USA Baseball's headquarters relocated here in 2003. The USA is ranked No. 2 and Cuba No. 1.
Korea's last visit was in 2006, when the Americans won two out of three games at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Korea's Collegiate National Team last visited North Carolina in 2006, playing the U.S. in a three-game series at the DBAP. Team USA took the series two games to one.
The Triangle games will be July 14 at 7 p.m. and July 15 at 7:30, both at Cary's Coleman Field. Games at Durham Bulls Athletic Park - which will be part of the Bulls' season-ticket and some mini-plan packages - are July 17 at 7:05 p.m. and July 18 at 5:05. The location for a July 16 game has not been announced.
USA Baseball has also announced some name changes for its top teams. The former National Team will now be known as the Collegiate National Team, partly to avoid confusion with various youth age-group and women's "National Teams" sponsored by the organization.
There will also no longer be an entity called the "Professional Team;" instead the World Cup Team and World Baseball Classic Team will simply be referred to by the primary event in which they will participate.
The organization also had two personnel transactions, as Nate Logan was named Director of the 14U National team and Ashley Bratcher Director, Operations & Women's National Team.
Maybe the Cuban baseball dynasty is beginning to crumble a little bit.
Lucas May blasted a three-run, second-inning homer and Team USA poured on six more runs in the seventh, topping the Cubans 10-5 to win the IBAF World Cup in Nettuno, Italy.
It was the 14th straight win for the Red, White and Blue, which had also beaten the Cubans on Thursday and lost just one of its 19 games after the group of top-level minor leaguers was assembled for the first time earlier this month.
The USA was the defending champion of the tournament, also defeating the Cubans in 2007. Team USA has won the World Cup four times, including its other back-to-back titles in 1973-74.
Tournament MVP Justin Smoak, former Durham Bull Jon Weber (pictured), Terry Tiffee and May all had RBI singles in the seventh-inning spree. Weber and Tiffee joined Smoak on the all-tournament team.
Brad Lincoln was the winning pitcher in relief of Cory Luebke.
Team USA will go into the championship game of the IBAF World Cup on a 13-game winning streak.
Kasey Kiker (pictured) allowed just one hit in six innings while Buck Coats had three hits for three RBI on Friday as the Red, White and Blue topped The Netherlands 8-2 in their final game of pool play.
The defending champion Americans will play Cuba in the gold medal game on Sunday in Nettuno, Italy, with the game shown live on the MLB Network.
Ike Davis had his fourth homer of the competition for Team USA, while former Durham Bull Jon Weber added two hits with an RBI.
The big inning was the sixth, in which the Americans rallied for six runs after two were out.
Team USA won the warmup game, and now the Americans just have to wait until Sunday to see if they can repeat it and win the IBAF World Cup championship game again.
A two-run homer from Terry Tiffee (pictured) provided the biggest blow on Thursday in Nettuno, Italy, giving the Red, White and Blue a 5-3 victory over Cuba in pool play.
Team USA, which has won 12 straight games since dropping its tournament opener to Venezuela in an extra-inning tiebreaker, will attempt to defend its title on Sunday. The USA is 1-6 against the Cubans in World Cup finals.
Jason Castro had an RBI single for the Americans. Lucas Harrell was the winning pitcher in relief of Trevor Reckling, while Ehren Wasserman collected the save.
Team USA will take on The Netherlands while Cuba plays Canada in their final pool play games today.
Todd Redmond pitched 8 1/3 shutout innings while three teammates including former Durham Bull Jon Weber (pictured) homered, leading defending champion Team USA to a 3-0 victory over Puerto Rico in Florence, Italy and a berth in the title game of the IBAF World Cup.
Ike Davis had a solo homer to right in the second inning, while Buck Coats soloed to right in the fifth and Weber added a blast to center in the eighth.
Redmond (3-0) allowed just four hits and struck out four before former Bull Jason Childers came on to close and earn his first save of the tournament.
The USA will face Cuba on Thursday at 2 p.m. (EDT) in Nettuno in a game to be shown live on MLB Network. Team USA will then close out Round Three against The Netherlands on Friday before playing in Sunday's 10 a.m. (EDT) title game which will also be shown live on MLB Network.
Team USA took advantage of a balanced offense, avenging its only loss of the IBAF World Cup with a 6-3 win over Venezuela in Florence, Italy.
The result clinched for the Red, White and Blue a spot in the tournament's medal round this weekend.
Pedro Alvarez (pictured) ripped his fourth homer of the tournament for the Americans, while Tug Hulett was 2-for-2 with a pair of runs and veteran Terry Tiffee added two RBI.
Trevor Plouffe extended his hitting streak to 10 games in the win.
Brad Lincoln (2-0) pitched 6 2/3 innings in the victory while Team USA's fourth pitcher of the night, Geno Espinelli, picked up his first save.
Team USA is 4-0 in Round 3 because of a 3-0 record against Pool G qualifying opponents, and held a 2 1/2-game lead over Australia, Canada and Chinese Taipei following the win.
The next game is against Puerto Rico on Wednesday at 2 p.m. (EDT) in Florence.
Trevor Plouffe's walk-off homer made the difference as Team USA beat Australia 4-3 in the IBAF World Cup in Bologna, Italy, clinching the top seed in Group G for the Final Round.
After the Aussies took a 1-0 lead, Justin Smoak extended his team record with his ninth homer of the tournament to tie the game in the sixth. Former Durham Bull Jon Weber gave the Red, White and Blue the lead with an RBI grounder later in the inning.
Australia scored twice in the seventh, but Plouffe (pictured) tied the score again with an RBI grounder in the bottom of the frame to make it 3-3.
His two out homer to left in the ninth then ended the game.
Cory Luebke had a six-inning quality start in the no-decision. Former Durham Bull Jason Childers then added two innings of scoreless relief, striking out three, before Ehren Wasserman got the win in his first decision of the tournament.
The USA will take on Venezuela today at 2 p.m. (EDT) in Firenze, Italy. Venezuela defeated Team USA in its first game of the tournament, 13-9 in an extra-inning tiebreaker.