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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

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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 the fourth.

The USA, batting in the bottom of each frame, evened the score in the fourth on an RBI double from Arkansas' Andy Wilkins and a wild pitch by Corey Parsons.

The winners then exploded in the fifth as Hague blasted a solo shot, Brentz a two-run tater and Choice another solo clout for a 6-2 lead.

Wheeler (3-0) pitched seven full innings, striking out 10.

The USA will play its first medal-round game Friday night at 10 (EDT) against the No. 2 seed, Canada's National Team, with UCLA's Gerrit Cole on the hill. The winner will get an automatic spot in Sunday's title game.

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