CNT: Team USA blanks Chinese Taipei, 3-0
U.S. earns top seed in Honkbal Week playoff rounds, will play Chinese Taipei in semifinals
HAARLEM, The Netherlands - The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team posted yet another shutout, its fifth in the last seven games, as it cruised past Chinese Taipei, 3-0, in the final game of the double round-robin portion of Honkbal Week at Pim Mulier Stadium on Friday.
With the win Team USA improves to 16-3-2 overall this summer, including a 5-1 record at Honkbal Week. It will advance to the sudden-death playoff rounds as the number-one seed and will play Chinese Taipei again on Saturday in the semifinals at 2 p.m. (8 a.m. ET). Vanderbilt right-hander Carson Fulmer will get the start on the mound. The winner will advance to face the victor of Saturday's nightcap between Japan and the Netherlands.
"We have done a really good job of bouncing back. We lost the first game here, 1-0, and I am really proud of our guys for coming back to win five straight to set ourselves up as the number-one seed in the sudden-death, single-elimination portion of the tournament," Team USA manager Dave Van Horn (Arkansas) said.
"We just continue to get outstanding starting pitching and [Jake] Lemoine kept that going today. Even though we made a couple of errors, it was one of the better defensive games we have played as well. Our middle infielders made a number of big-time plays, turned some double plays and did some things that shortened innings for us. The intensity was a little down in the dugout today and we were just a touch flat, so we need to pick that up again with a big game coming up tomorrow."
The shutout is Team USA's fourth in six games at Honkbal Week, during which it has allowed a total of two runs. It also marks the fourth time the U.S. has shut out Chinese Taipei, including two times at Honkbal Week and two during the five-game series the teams played in North Carolina. In total, the Collegiate National Team has recorded nine shutouts in 21 games this summer.
Jake Lemoine (Houston) started Friday's game, giving the U.S. five shutout frames and allowing just three hits while striking out six. His performance was the seventh consecutive effort of 5.0-plus shutout innings by a U.S. starter, including all six games at Honkbal Week.
Andrew Moore (Oregon State) added three innings of relief work, striking out four, before Tyler Jay (Illinois) recorded the final three outs of the game for his first save as a member of Team USA.
At the plate, Blake Trahan (Louisiana Lafayette) posted his third consecutive multi-hit contest, finishing 2-for-4 with the team's only RBI. Over his last three games, Trahan is 8-for-11 (.727) with three RBIs and three runs scored. DJ Stewart (Florida State) and Nick Banks (Texas A&M) tallied two hits each on Friday as well.
After four scoreless innings to open the contest, Team USA got the scoring started with a run in the fifth. A pair of singles, sandwiched around a hit batter, loaded the bases for the U.S. squad before a wild pitch allowed it to stake claim to a 1-0 lead.
The U.S. would add another run in the sixth inning thanks to a balk with runners on the corners and an RBI groundout by Trahan in the ninth accounted for the game's final tally.
For the most up-to-date information on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, visit USABaseball.com and follow @USABaseballCNT on Twitter.