O’Brien Homers In Win…
Taipei, Taiwan – Pete O’Brien (Bethune-Cookman) hit his fourth home run of the season and drove in two runs to help the Collegiate National Team (CNT) snap its two-game skid against Chinese-Taipei Tuesday with a 6-3 victory at Hsinchuang Field. With the win Team USA improves to 10-2 on its summer tour.
O’Brien’s fielder’s choice RBI in the fourth inning broke a one-all and gave USA the lead for good at 2-1. George Springer (Connecticut) singled to right to start the inning and moved over to second when Nick Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton) was hit by a pitch. Jason Esposito (Vanderbilt) advanced the runner’s on a sac bunt towards first before Springer sprinted home on O’Brien’s grounder to short.
Gerrit Cole (UCLA) posted his second win of the season after working a pre-determined four innings. Cole (2-0) allowed one run (unearned) on two hits with four punch outs and a pair of walks. Matt Barnes (Connecticut) also went four frames surrendering two runs on two hits with six strikeouts. Cal State Fullerton’s Noe Ramirez notched his team-leading fourth save tossing a perfect ninth with a strikeout.
Drew Maggi (Arizona State) scored on a wild pitch in the first inning staking USA to an early 1-0 lead. Maggi drew a leadoff walk then promptly swiped before Nolan Fontana (Florida) walked putting men at first and second with no outs. Jackie Bradley, Jr. moved both runner’s up 90-feet on a sac bunt prior to Maggi scoring during Ryan Wright’s (Louisville) at-bat.
Chinese-Taipei knotted the game at one in the bottom half of the first when Wei-Ting Lin scored on a passed ball with two outs. Lin singled to right and took second when USA outfielder Mikie Mahtook (LSU) misplayed the ball. Chen-Yu Hung pushed Lin over to third on a ground out back to Cole setting up the tying run.
O’Brien extended CNT’s lead to 3-1 in the sixth with a towering solo home run down the left field line.
RBI base knocks by Bradley, Jr. and Nick Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton) highlighted a three-run seventh for Team USA that pushed the lead to five, 6-1. Maggi reached on a bunt single, advanced to second on a wild pitch then stole third before crossing home when Bradley, Jr. singled back to the pitcher. With one out and runners on first and second, Springer loaded the bases with the third infield single of the inning, a high chopper to second shortly before Nick Ramirez reached on a fielder’s choice that scored both Fontana and Bradley, Jr.
Chinese-Taipei plated a pair of runs in the bottom half of the seventh cutting the lead in half, 6-3.
Starter Chuang-Ju Liao suffered the loss allowing two runs (both earned) on three hits in three innings. Hao Chiu allowed one run and Hung-Cheng Lai gave up three runs each in an inning of work. Yu-Hsun Chen and Yu-Ching Lin tossed two innings hitless relief.
Team USA will look to even the series Wednesday, July 28 when the two teams square-off in the final game of the four-game international friendly series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 a.m. (EST).
Notes: Drew Maggi is a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts on the summer after swiping two on Tuesday night … Gerrit Cole improved to 6-0 for his career with Team USA.
(USA Baseball Release)