Aug. 2, 2010

Courtesy of USA Baseball

TOKYO, Japan –
In a clash between a pair of unbeaten teams in pool play at the V FISU World University Championships, Matt Barnes (Connecticut) held Canada scoreless through seven innings and helped USA capture the No. 1 seed in Group A Monday night with an 8-1 win at Yokohama Stadium.

Barnes (3-0), who gave up just three hits, did not allow a runner to reach second base and finished with eight punch outs as USA improved its record to 14-2 on the summer. Sean Gilmartin (Florida State) made his fourth appearance working two-third of an inning where he allowed a run on two hits. Cal State Fullerton’s Nick Ramirez entered the game in the eighth inning with two outs and the bases loaded and struck out Nic Lendvoy to get out of the jam. The left-hander retired all four batters he faced which included a pair of strikeouts.

Nick Ramirez picked right up where he left off in USA’s last game, plating the first run of the contest for a 1-0 lead in the second inning. George Springer (Connecticut) doubled to right to start the inning then came around to score on the first of two hits by Ramirez.

USA added a pair of runs in the fifth frame extending its lead to 3-0. Mikie Mahtook (LSU) drew a leadoff walk then took third on a failed pickoff attempt by the Canada’s pitcher, Luis Castillo. Steve Rodriguez (UCLA) put runners on the corners with the second walk of the frame before Drew Maggi (Arizona State) roped a 0-2 fastball to left field scoring Mahtook. After Rodriguez was gunned down at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch, Nolan Fontana (Florida) pushed across Maggi on a ground out to second base.

Two errors by Canada in the sixth inning increased USA’s lead to 5-0. Ryan Wright (Louisville) started the stanza with a single to right center before taking third when Springer reached on a dropped fly ball by the left fielder putting runners in scoring position. Nick Ramirez drove in his second run of the contest on a ground out to first plating Wright. Springer capped the scoring when he crossed the dish on a passed ball.

Wright drove in his 10th run of the summer in the seventh inning with a single to left that scored Fontana for a 6-0 lead. Fontana singled through the right side with one out and took second on a ground out before touching home on Wright’s shot to left.

Jason Esposito (Vanderbilt) extended his current hit streak to eight games when he smashed his first home run of the summer to left field giving USA a 7-0 lead in the eighth inning.

Canada finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth when Blake Carruthers scored on a bases loaded walk to put the score at 7-1. USA added another run in the ninth off the bat of Nick Ramirez, his third RBI of the night, on a ground out to first pushing across Wright.

Starter Eric Brown was saddled with the loss after going just two innings where he allowed a run (earned) on two hits with a strikeout and a pair of walks. Luis Castillo spelled Brown in the third and tossed four innings of relief and was touched for four runs (two earned) on three hits with a pair of walks and strikeouts. Taylor King (5 H, 2 R, 2 K) pitched two innings and Shawn Hetherington (2 H, R, 2 K) tossed one inning from the bullpen.

USA will square off against China at Yokohama Stadium, Tuesday Aug. 3 at 11 p.m. (EST) in quarterfinal action.