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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Things don't get better for Mudcats, who face elimination tonight

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 12:04 AM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON It's Game 3 of the Carolina Mudcats' five-game homestand against a hot Tennessee Smokies club, and if for nothing more than to lift the mood in the clubhouse the home team needs a victory. Tennessee has been holding up its end of the deal recently in its three-way battle with in-state rivals West Tenn and Chattanooga, while the Mudcats - who come into the game with a "tragic number" of four with nearly two weeks left in the season - are going to have to get it going to finish fourth in the Southern League's North Division....

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rodriguez will be skipper for USA Baseball World Cup Team

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 11:58 PM

Eddie Rodriguez will have the reins for USA Baseball's World Cup Team in September. Rodriguez and his staff will lead a team made up of players not currently on 25-man big league rosters in the International Baseball Federation's (IBAF) world championships. Team USA is the defending champion in the event. The U.S. team will play its pool games in Regensburg, Germany, against Venezuela, China and the Germans, with the remainder of the tournament in The Netherlands and Italy. Rodriguez's staff will include pitching coach Kirk Champion, hitting coach Ernie Young, third base/bench coach Jamie Quirk and bullpen coach Rolando "Roly"...

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Hill, Diamond Jaxx take rubber game over Mudcats

Posted By on Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 11:06 PM

Nick Hill was just too much for the Carolina Mudcats. The West Tenn Diamond Jaxx southpaw fired a three-hit complete game, giving his team a 7-1 win over visiting Carolina and a 3 games to 2 victory in the series. Hill is 4-4. Hill (pictured), an alumnus of USA Baseball's National Team, had sat down 23 straight Mudcats batters after Shaun Cumberland's one-out single in the first to begin the ninth inning with a 7-0 lead. Carolina then broke the shutout with back-to-back doubles from Justin Tordi and Sean Henry. UNC alumnus Marshall Hubbard hit a solo homer...

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gold rush! Pomeranz gem sparks USA to Classic title

Posted By on Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 10:47 PM

Start up that classic '70s song from "Queen." USA Baseball's National Team has won the World Baseball Challenge. Drew Pomeranz (pictured) of Ole Miss took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, helping his team avenge an earlier defeat in an 8-1 pounding of Germany in the championship game in Prince George, B.C. After the Germans scratched out a run in the first, the USA dominated the rest of the way. Blake Forsythe of Tennessee tied the game in the bottom of the second with an RBI single. Then in the third, Rice's Rick Hague added an RBI single and Texas-Arlington's...

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Colon's leg broken in two places; obviously he's out for a while

Posted By on Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 5:06 PM

USA Baseball's National Team captain Christian Colon (pictured) will be unavailable for Sunday's championship game of the World Baseball Challenge in Prince George, B.C., after suffering a broken tibia and fibula Friday night. Colon, the shortstop out of Cal State-Fullerton, was carried off the field in the top of the eighth after Canada's Nic Lendvoy came in with a hard slide during a 5-6-3 double play. After the collision both benches cleared, but no further violence ensued. The USA won the pitchers' duel 1-0, after which the Americans declined to participate in a post-game handshake. Colon is scheduled to receive...

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Cole turns in a gem as USA Baseball reaches championship game

Posted By on Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 1:16 AM

Gerrit Cole (pictured) delivered the goods just when USA Baseball's National Team needed it. The big right-hander out of UCLA fired a two-hitter late Friday night, leading his team to a 1-0 victory over Canada and a berth in Sunday's championship game of the World Baseball Challenge in Prince George, B.C. The USA, which finished with only three hits of its own, got its run in the bottom of the second. Miami's Yasmani Grandal hit a two-out single, and then scored on a triple from Arkansas' Andy Wilkins. Cole struck out seven, walking one batter and hitting two and never...

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

USA Baseball wins third straight to gain top seed

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 10:41 PM

Now they're on a roll again. USA Baseball's National Team won its third straight game, walloping British Columbia 12-2 in a contest stopped by the mercy rule after eight innings, to earn the top seed for the medal round of the World Baseball Challenge in Prince George, B.C. Rice's Rick Hague, Middle Tennessee's Bryce Brentz (pictured) and Texas-Arlington's Michael Choice each homered during the big fifth-inning rally for the Red, White and Blue. B.C. took a 2-0 lead off Cody Wheeler of Coastal Carolina as Devon Franklin hit a solo shot in the first and Mike Collins added another in...

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USA Baseball tied for first place after rout

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 1:49 AM

Rice's Rick Hague (pictured) went 3-for-4 with a homer Wednesday night, leading USA Baseball's National Team to a 10-2 romp over the host Prince George Axemen at the World Baseball Challenge in British Columbia. Team USA improved to 3-1 in round-robin play and into a three-way tie for first place, while the Axemen fell to 2-2. The Axemen took the lead in the first inning on Darrin Doucette's double, but the Americans responded with four runs in the fourth. The big blows in that inning were a solo homer from Texas-Arlington's Michael Choice and a two-run shot from veteran Christian...

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

USA Baseball bounces back against pesky Bahamians

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 1:16 AM

Team USA bounced back Tuesday night. The Citadel's Asher Wojciechowski struck out nine in seven innings and Arizona State's Matt Newman (pictured) stole home as USA Baseball's National Team walloped the Bahamas 8-1 in the World Baseball Challenge in Prince George, British Columbia. The win, which improved the Americans to 2-1 in the event, came one day after they had dropped a 6-3 loss to Germany. Desmond Russell pitched a complete game for the Bahamians, giving up rallies to the USA both early and late. Hawaii's Kolten Wong hit an RBI double in the first and then Newman (Arizona State)...

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Henkenjohann, Germans bomb USA Baseball at World Challenge

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 9:34 AM

The Germans are apparently a lot better at baseball than most Americans might think. Former Minnesota Twins farmhand Tim Henkenjohann (pictured) fired a solid 8 2/3 innings while teammates blasted three home runs, leading Germany to a 6-3 win over USA Baseball's National Team in the World Baseball Challenge late Monday night in Prince George, British Columbia. The USA is 1-1 so far in the six-team event, which includes three Canadian squads, while the Germans are 2-1. The tournament consists of a round-robin, moving on to the elimination round on Friday with the title game on Sunday at 7 (EDT)....

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Grandal leads the way as USA gets back into the win column

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 9:41 AM

Yasmani Grandal (pictured) blasted a two-run homer in the sixth, giving USA Baseball's National Team the lead for good in a 5-2 win over host Canada in the World Baseball Challenge in Prince George, British Columbia. The win in the opener of the event broke the Americans' two-game losing streak. Christian Colon of Cal State-Fullerton gave the USA a lead in the first with his solo homer. The Canadians took the lead by scratching out two in the bottom of the frame off Ole Miss' Drew Pomeranz. Kevin Atkinson scored the first run on a sacrifice fly, while Nic Lendovy...

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

11th-inning errors give Japan series win

Posted By on Thu, Jul 16, 2009 at 5:22 PM

It all ended in an extra-inning heartbreaker. USA Baseball's National Team came within a whisker of knocking off homestanding Japan in their 37th annual Collegiate Friendship Series, but a pair of errors in the 11th inning spelled doom in an 8-7 loss at Jingu Stadium in the deciding Game 5. Vanderbilt's Sonny Gray made an errant pickoff attempt to move Shota Kioke to third base with two outs. And then the team's only returning player from last season, Cal State-Fullerton's Christian Colon, kicked a ground ball at short to give the Japanese the victory. The Americans seemed to have the...

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hot Japanese pitchers force Game 5

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 10:23 PM

It's all coming down to one last game. Japanese pitching combined for 14 strikeouts, leading the home team to an 8-3 win over USA Baseball's National Team in Game 4 of their 37th annual Collegiate Friendship Series in Tsuruoka. The result meant Thursday's Game 5, at 5 a.m. (EDT) at Tokyo's Jungu Stadium, will determine the winner of the series. The Japanese took a 3-0 lead off UCLA's Trevor Bauer (1-1). Takahiro Araki hit a two-run single in the first and Shota Ishimine added an RBI single in the second. Tennessee's Blake Forsythe (pictured) made it 3-1 with an RBI...

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Colon's clout gives USA 2-1 series lead

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 10:05 AM

A three-run homer in the fourth inning from Christian Colon (pictured) of Cal State-Fullerton provided the big blow as USA Baseball's National Team blew past Japan 8-4, giving the Americans a 2 games to 1 lead in their 37th annual best-of-5 Collegiate Friendship Series. Vanderbilt's Sonny Gray (2-0) pitched 5 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to hold down the Japanese, who scored three times in the first inning to delight the partisan crowd in Sendai. Takahiro Araki had an RBI triple and Masayoshi Kato a two-run triple in Japan's big rally. Team USA scored four runs in the second to...

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Unearned runs tie series for Japanese

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2009 at 9:28 AM

Six unearned runs in one inning will do it every time. Japan rallied for a half-dozen in the third inning, and then held on for a 7-5 victory over USA Baseball's National Team at the Tokyo Dome to tie the 37th Collegiate Friendship Series at one win apiece. It's an annual best-of-5 series, and Game 5 will be played even if somebody sweeps the next two. Yuki Saito, a national hero in Japan known as "The Handkerchief Prince," was the winning pitcher while Ole Miss' Drew Pomeranz (2-1) took the loss. Arizona State's Matt Newman (pictured) - who finished 3-for-5...

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pitching staff sizzles as USA wins opener

Posted By on Sun, Jul 12, 2009 at 9:34 AM

Score one for the Red, White and Blue. USA Baseball's National Team got the kind of pitching performance it was looking for, as UCLA's Gerrit Cole (pictured) struck out nine in seven innings in a 3-0 victory over Japan in the opener of the college squads' 37th annual Friendship Series in Matsuyama, Japan. It was the opener of their best-of-5 series, in which all five games are set to be played even if someone clinches early. Cole allowed just two hits and one walk in his stint before Vanderbilt's Sonny Gray and Chad Bettis of Texas Tech each fired one...

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Ouch! Japanese college team smacks down USA Baseball guys

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 11:55 AM

The 35-game winning streak for USA Baseball's National Team is a thing of the past. Takayuki Fujii hit a two-run triple, part of a three-run rally that got his team going as Budo University whipped the Red, White and Blue 7-1 on Friday in Chiba, Japan. The game was the opener of a six-game tour of Japan, which includes the five games of the 37th annual Friendship Series with the Japanese National Team beginning late Saturday night (EDT). That is the most important series of the year for Team USA, which committed three errors against Budo. The USA, batting in...

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Brentz leads the way as USA Baseball steals one in Holyoke

Posted By on Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 11:21 PM

Domestic opposition may be giving USA Baseball's National Team its first serious competition of the season, but for the second straight day the Red, White and Blue won a three-run victory. Bryce Brentz (pictured) of Middle Tennessee led the way with a double and a single for two RBI in a 5-2 victory over the Holyoke Blue Sox of the New England Collegiate Baseball League. The crowd of 4,811 was a park record. Jake Rosenbeck of Buffalo homered for Holyoke in the first inning off Kansas' eventual winning pitcher T.J. Walz (2-0), just the second homer USA pitching has allowed...

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Team USA finally gets a close game

Posted By on Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Finally, a competitive game. USA Baseball's National Team took on an outside domestic opponent for the first time this season, beating the All-Stars of the New England Collegiate Baseball League 4-1 on Sunday in Manchester, N.H. t was the first time Team USA, which opened with a five-game series against Canada's 18U team followed by a four-game set against a weak Guatemala club, had beaten an opponent by fewer than six runs this season. The contest was part of a doubleheader, the second half being an Eastern League squabble between the host New Hampshire Fisher Cats and the Portland...

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Wilkins, USA Baseball rip Quetzals in another snoozer; don't blame the baseball people for the schedule

Posted By on Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 12:58 AM

At least it's over. USA Baseball's National Team finished a four-game sweep of Guatemala on Saturday night with an 18-1 victory that wasn't a bit out of context. Arkansas' Andy Wilkins (pictured) hit a 435-foot grand slam while Sonny Gray of Vanderbilt was the winning pitcher as the home team rocked the Quetzals for a fourth straight night in front of a full house at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on the city's traditional July 4 fireworks night. Team USA players all wore No. 4 jerseys saluting Lou Gehrig on a night Major League Baseball used to promote awareness of ALS....

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Only the fireworks are pretty: USA demolishes Guatemala 18-0

Posted By on Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 10:28 PM

COLEMAN FIELD/CARY It's Game 3 of what has so far been a very lopsided series between the USA National Team and Guatemala. In Game 1 on Wednesday night in Kannapolis the USA pitching staff combined for 24 strikeouts and then on Thursday night on this field the staff combined for the first official no-hitter in team history. The crowd is a little bigger on a very pleasantly warm evening at the National Training Complex, perhaps drawn in by the post-game fireworks. And maybe there will be some during the game, too. The USA is in camo uniforms tonight to celebrate...

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Four for July: USA quartet makes history as Guatemalans go hitless

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 11:14 PM

COLEMAN FIELD/CARY It's Game 2 of the USA National Team series against Guatemala, and the main suspense is to see whether or not the visitors can get closer than Wednesday night's 15-1 loss in Kannapolis. It's partly cloudy and warm - temperatures in the high '80s - and the crowd for this one is pretty sparse. There are no food freebies for the media tonight. Bummer. At least I've called ahead to find out and had a good meal at home with the family. Already today I've been at Durham Bulls Athletic Park to do an interview with a player...

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Pomeranz mows down 17 as the competition doesn't get any tougher

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 12:08 AM

Guatemala provided no more competition for the USA National Team than the high schoolers from Canada had - at least in Wednesday night's series opener. Ole Miss' Drew Pomeranz (pictured) broke the National Team strikeout record with 17 in just six innings, leading the Red, White and Blue to a 15-1 victory at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium in Kannapolis. The old record was 14. Pomeranz allowed a run on two hits without a walk in team's 30th straight win including the six in international friendlies this season. Louisville's Tony Zych and T.J. Walz of Kansas came on in relief, tying a...

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Monday, June 29, 2009

USA finishes off a sweep despite a blast from B.C.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 10:55 PM

COLEMAN FIELD/CARY It's the finale of the big five-game series between the USA National (Collegiate) Team and the high school boys from Canada. Before the game there's a huge networking event among a couple of dozen Chamber of Commerce organizations, etc. The Carolina Hurricanes and the Durham Bulls and the Carolina Railhawks all have booths, as do numerous well-known local restaurants. At least what serves as the press meal is healthy tonight - until they bring in the leftover chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon bagels. Bill Coleman, long-time former Cary town manager, throws the ceremonial pitch on a night the...

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

USA pounds the kids from up North again

Posted By on Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 10:22 PM

DBAP/DURHAM OK baseball fans, today I'm "Safe at Home in Durham" (although I live in Brier Creek now) for Game 4 of the USA National Team's five-game set with Canada. The Red, White and Blue, which has won all three by comfortable scores, will be favored once again. Not just because the U.S. is just better than Canada in baseball at the amateur level, but also because the Canucks have sent an 18U team.  Good for the young boys from Canada to get some experience - I mean every golfer would like to play a round with Tiger Woods, right?...

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