Team USA throttles Canada in finale
17-5 win gives Olympic Team 3-1 series victory
Hessman's (Fountain Valley, Calif.) second and third home runs of the series came in the fifth and sixth innings of the U.S. rout, pushing the power-hitting club to a 3-1 series win. Team USA registered at least one run in each of the seven innings.
The U.S. sent its final two starters to the mound on Monday night, with Baltimore Oriole prospect Jake Arrieta (Farmington, Mo.) throwing the opening three frames and San Diego State phenom Stephen Strasburg (San Diego, Calif.) hurling the following three innings.
In the top of the first, Terry Tiffee (North Little Rock, Ark.) hit a solo shot that just cleared the fence in right-center. The Los Angeles Dodgers farmhand finished the series as the leading hitter for Team USA with a .500 (6-12) average.
In the second, Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) sent a towering drive over the Durham Bulls Athletic Park's Blue Monster that ricocheted off the side of an office building in deep left for the circuit.
Tiffee continued his hot hitting in the third with a two-run double that fell just out of the reach of a diving Mike Saunders.
Arrieta gave up no hits over his first two innings but came unraveled in the third. After he gave up a walk, sacrifice bunt and a single, Saunders laced a ball to left-center for a two-run double. The Canadian right fielder scored three pitches later on a Scott Thorman single that dropped right in front of LaPorta.
Philadelphia Phillies farmhand Lou Marson (Scottsdale, Ariz.) had an RBI double in the fourth.
Strasburg entered in the bottom-half of the inning to a home crowd that cheered him on only a few weeks earlier when he starred for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. The tall righty wasn't as sharp out of the gate, however, giving up one run on three hits in his opening frame.
Canada's run in the fourth came on a softly hit ball just in front home plate by Emmanuel Garcia. Stubby Clapp scored from third while Garcia was called out at first. The call brought both U.S. and Canada's Managers Davey Johnson and Terry Puhl out of the dugout. Puhl was eventually thrown out of the game, as was Canada's first base coach, Steve Green.
Team USA answered in the top of the fifth, when John Gall (Stanford, Calif.) slapped a two-run single up the right-field line. Gall scored one batter later on Hessman's two-run shot, which nearly hit the famed Durham Bull sign in left.
Marson, Taylor Teagarden (Dallas, Tex.) and Brian Barden (Templeton, Calif.) loaded the bases following Hessman's bomb, and the two catchers scored after Team Canada first baseman Scott Thorman dropped a Tiffee pop fly. Nate Schierholtz (Reno, Nev.) continued his hot hitting, sending a Jonathan Lockwood offering past a diving Thorman, scoring both Barden and Tiffee. Schierholtz was pushed home four pitches later on a LaPorta single to left.
Hessman's home run to left-center was the only Team USA run in the sixth.
Gall ripped an RBI single down the left-field line, scoring Schierholtz in the seventh. LaPorta later scored on a wild pitch after a fielding error by Canadian David Davidson put him aboard.
Garcia led off the Canada half of the seventh with a solo home run to deep right, but Team USA reliever Blaine Neal settled down and retired the side, bringing an end to the game at 17-5 in a 10-run-rule-shortened seven innings.
The U.S. outscored Canada 36-12 over the four-game series, highlighted by 11 Team USA home runs.
Notes: Following the seventh inning, the U.S. and Canada played one exhibition inning so that all pitchers could get work in before leaving the country...Team USA will leave for Beijing on Tuesday morning (EST) and will land in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon in China...Monday's attendance was announced at 2,853.