Team USA crushes Canada, 9-1
Schierholtz's grand slam highlights U.S. power surge
Knight (Oxnard, Calif.) got off to a quick start with a nine-pitch first inning. By the time he exited after the fifth, he had recorded 10 strikeouts, yielding only two hits and one walk.
Sunday marked the first time Knight has pitched since last Saturday for the New York Mets. The righty gave up four earned runs over five innings in a no-decision against the St. Louis Cardinals. Knight was called up only days after being named to the U.S. Olympic Baseball Team, and following his start in Shea, rejoined Team USA.
The U.S. struck first with a three-run second inning. Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) put Team USA on the board with a solo shot over the centerfield fence. It was the Cleveland Indians prospect's second home run of the series, his first coming in the 4-3 Game 1 loss in Cary, N.C. on Friday.
After a Nate Schierholtz (Reno, Nev.) single, Mike Hessman (Fountain Valley, Calif.) followed with a two-run blast to center. Upon leaving the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens, the third baseman was among the Minor League leaders in home runs with 32.
The power surge continued in the third when Terry Tiffee (North Little Rock, Ark.) hit a solo home run off the right field foul pole. Team USA's bats were quiet over the next four frames, but in the eighth, a run-scoring single from Matt Brown (Bellevue, Wash.) opened the flood gates.
After Brown's single, the U.S. loaded the bases and, with a towering blast to right-center, Schierholtz cleared them. The grand slam was his second home run in as many nights for Team USA, and for the game, the right-fielder was 3-4 with two runs scored and four RBI.
Team Canada starter Chris Begg went six innings, giving up four runs on five hits with five strikeouts. Second baseman Stubby Clapp went 1-3 with a run scored. In total, five Canadians had one hit in the game.
The Canadians' run came in the sixth, when Clapp was pushed across following an error by U.S. shortstop Brian Barden (Templeton, Calif.). They threatened again in the eighth, but an attempted tag from third by Ryan Radmanovich was thwarted by a strong throw home from LaPorta.
Team USA pitchers combined for the five-hitter, striking out 15 batters and allowing just the one unearned run.
Knight recorded six strikeouts in a row at one point, over the second through fourth innings...The Bound for Beijing series finale is tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park...Team USA will leave for Beijing on Tuesday morning (EST) and will land in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon (CST)...Team USA signed autographs for fans before Sunday's game.