June 30, 2007
BURLINGTON, NC-- Team USA (6-1) took advantage of early miscues by Chinese Taipei (1-1), and then broke open the game in the seventh, to win the first game of a five-game series 7-0 on Friday evening. Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) went 3-for-3 with a walk, three doubles and an RBI.
Brian Matusz (San Diego), Tyson Ross (California), Mike Minor (Vanderbilt) and Jordy Mercer (Oklahoma State) combined on a three-hit shutout, striking out a combined 15. It was Team USA's third shutout of the summer.
With a 3-0 lead, Matusz (2-0) worked out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth after pitching three perfect innings. He struck out one of his seven batters and then got an inning-ending fly out to keep the game scoreless. Matusz walked two over four pre-determined innings, allowing one hit on 71 pitches.
Ross retired the final five batters he faced, striking out four over the next three innings. Minor struck out two in the eighth
Brett Wallace's (Arizona State) two-run double in the first following two misplays by Taiwanese fielders allowed two unearned runs to score in the first. The U.S. scored another unearned run in the third to lead 3-0 off an RBI double from Alvarez. Team USA then broke open the game in the seventh with four runs to lead 7-0.
Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) hit his first home run of the summer in the seventh, a shot to right center, to give the Americans a 4-0 lead. It is believed to be the longest home run in the Royals minor league park this season. Justin Smoak (South Carolina) followed with a two-run double to make it 6-0.
Chi Hsiao Yu (0-1) pitched the first four and two-third innings for Chinese Taipei, allowing three unearned runs on four hits, striking out seven, while walking none on 59 pitches.
Brett Wallace has driven in five runs over his first two games... San Diego State's Steve Strasberg joined Team USA for the week after pitching three no-hit innings, while striking out seven Americans in last week's start for Torrington, CT in New England.... Taipei opened up their summer tour Thursday in Cary, NC, defeating Catawba Valley 13-1, less than 24 hours after landing in North Carolina.
The Chinese Taipei series will continue in Burlington, NC (June 30) at 7 p.m., before continuing to Cary, NC (July 1-2) and finish off in Kannapolis, NC (July 3). The 10-game home stand continues with Japan on July 4 to begin a five-game series.