U.S. National Team shuts out Czechs
5-0 win puts National Team in good position entering FISU
Matt den Dekker (Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) reached on an error to leadoff the first inning and later scored on a groundout from Jared Clark (Cal State Fullerton; Castaic, Calif.).
That proved to be all the offense five Team USA pitchers would need as the staff tossed its fourth shutout of the tour. Starter Andrew Oliver (Oklahoma State; Vermillion, Ohio) earned the victory after allowing four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over five innings.
A.J. Griffin (San Diego; El Cajon, Calif.) struck out three over two innings, while Kyle Gibson (Missouri; Greenfield, Ind.) and Tyler Lyons (Oklahoma State; Lubbock, Texas) combined to strikeout the side in the eighth. Kendal Volz (Baylor; Bulverde, Texas) struck out one in the ninth in a non-save situation.
The game remained 1-0 until Team USA's four-run seventh. After Hunter Morris (Auburn; Huntsville, Ala.) and Scott Woodward (Coastal Carolina, Markle, Ind.) walked to lead off the inning, Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton; Corona, Calif.) scored pinch-runner Blake Smith (California; Modesto, Calif.) with a single up the middle.
The Czech team managed only five hits on the night, four of which came in the fourth and fifth innings. Czech starter Radek Prochazka, who actually is the team's pitching coach, was saddled with the loss; he allowed one unearned run on three hits and a walk with two strikeouts over five innings.
Colon had two of Team USA's five hits on the day. Woodward reached safely three times, walking once and getting hit by a pitch twice.
Team USA returns to action Friday in the Federation of International University Sports (FISU) World Championships. The U.S. opens pool play against the Korean National Team at 4 a.m. EDT (10 a.m. local).