CNT: Pitching dominates in 3-0 win at Wilson
Team notches second shutout of the tour
WILSON, N.C. -- Five pitchers combined to shut out the Wilson Tobs as the USA Collegiate National Team tallied a 3-0 win Tuesday night. Virginia's Nate Irving led the offense with three hits, while Texas A&M's Daniel Mengden pitched four shutout innings.
"Maybe my favorite game that we have played to this point simply because it was really good pitching, we had the one error, but it was outstanding defense," said manager Jim Schlossnagle (TCU). "We made some aggressive mistakes on the bases, but you are never going to find out what your limits are until you test them."
Mengden set the tone for the night with four strong shutout innings. He allowed just two hits, struck out four and retired 12 of the 15 batters he faced. North Carolina's Trent Thornton allowed two hits, walked one and fanned five in 2 2/3 innings. Cole Irvin (Oregon) got the final out of the seventh inning, while Preston Morrison (TCU) pitched a scoreless eighth. Ryan Burr (Arizona State) struck out the side around two walks to earn his second save of the tour.
"I was really pleased with the way we pitched," said Schlossnagle. "I thought Mengden was outstanding, Thornton was really, really good, Cole Irvin got the out we needed him to get and Preston bridged us to the ninth inning and Burr closed it out. Without question, this was my favorite game we've played."
The Tops had the game's first threat in the bottom of the first inning after a one-out single from Sean Godfrey. With one out, Godfrey was standing on second after a stolen base. Jimmy Luppens hit a hot shot up the middle, but the ball deflected off Mengden and Taylor Sparks (UC Irvine) corralled the deflection to get the out. On the next play, Trea Turner (NC State) made a diving stop up the middle to end the inning.
On a night Team USA struggled to get the bats going, it was finally able to string back-to-back hits together in the fourth. Alex Bregman (LSU) got things going with a one-out double to straight-away center. Brad Zimmer (San Francisco) broke the scoreless tie with a bouncer through the right side. Sam Travis singled and Kyle Schwarber walked to load the bases. A fielder's choice off the bat of Sparks made it 2-0 and Irving capped the scoring in the inning with a single.
Wilson had its chances to get back in the game. Three times the Tobs got two runners on in an inning, but each time Team USA had the answer on the mound.
Thornton gave up back-to-back singles with one out in the sixth, but settled in to strike out the final two batters of the frame. In the seventh, a two-out walk to Wilson's Kevin Carr prompted a pitching change. Irvin got out of the inning, getting Bradley Morton to ground out to Bregman. The Tobs final chance came in the ninth when Burr issued two walks, but his fastball was too much and he struck out the side to lock up the victory.
Team USA improves to 4-0 on its trek through the Coastal Plains League. The team will return to the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. Wednesday to take on the Southern Collegiate League All-Stars. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (ET). Cal Poly's Matt Imhof will get the start for Team USA.