CNT: Team USA remains perfect with 11-3 win
Squad pounds out 17 hits in victory over Fayetteville
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- A 17-hit night helped the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team stay perfect on the tour with an 11-3 win over Fayetteville on Monday night. LSU's Alex Bregman notched three hits in his tour debut, and Indiana's Kyle Schwarber had three RBIs.
"I thought tonight was a positive in some ways, and in other ways I thought we have a long ways to go," remarked manager Jim Schlossnagle. "It was exciting to see the guys who literally just got off the plane, Alex Bregman, Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis, step out there and do a great job for us."
A quartet of pitchers held the SwampDogs to three runs (two earned) on nine hits. Brandon Finnegan (TCU) started and allowed just two hits in four innings. Preston Morrison (TCU) was touched for an unearned run and struck out three in two innings. Tommy Thorpe (Oregon) gave up a pair of runs and struck out two in two innings. Nick Burdi (Louisville) pitched a scoreless ninth.
"It was a fun day and an eventful day," said Bregman. "It was a blast being out here with all these guys. I couldn't have dreamt it up any better. I was thrilled. I got some good pitches to hit, and it was a good day at the park."
The Red, White and Blue wasted no time getting on the board, as it struck for a run in the first inning. Brad Zimmer (San Francisco) singled with one out, stole second and was standing on third with one out after a wild pitch. Bregman lined a double to right-center to put Team USA out front.
A leadoff walk to Grayson Greiner (South Carolina) in the second kick-started an inning that saw Team USA push across three runs. Jake Peter (Creighton) followed with a base hit, and an error by the third baseman allowed Greiner to score. With one out and two in scoring position, Zimmer bounced a single up the middle to make it a 4-0 contest.
Team USA put together a furious two-out rally in the fourth to stretch its lead to six. Bregman started the rally with his third hit of the night and scored easily on a double from Schwarber. Matt Chapman (Cal State Fullerton) drove in the second run of the frame with a base hit to center.
Four more runs crossed the plate in the fifth to give Team USA a commanding 10-0 lead. Austin Cousino (Kentucky) drew a one-out walk and was standing on third after a base hit by Trea Turner (NC State). Two batters later, the bases were loaded with one out, and Schwarber delivered a single to center to drive in two more runs. Sam Travis (Indiana) and Chapman hit back-to-back RBI singles to cap the scoring in the frame.
A pair of two-out errors in the sixth helped Fayetteville score its first run of the game. Three straight hits to open the seventh turned into two more runs for the SwampDogs. The damage could have been worse, as Fayetteville had two in scoring position with only one out. Thorpe buckled down and retired the next two hitters to end the inning with Team USA still in control, 10-3.
Will Maddox (Tennessee) led off the ninth inning with a base hit. With one out, he was standing on third for A.J. Reed (Kentucky). The first baseman singled through the left side to drive in Team USA's final run of the contest.
The Collegiate National Team moved its record to 3-0 in the Coastal Plains League. Up next for the Red, White and Blue is a Tuesday night contest at the Wilson Tops. Texas A&M's Daniel Mengden will make the start for Team USA at 7:05 p.m.