June 18, 2008
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TORRINGTON, Conn. - The USA Baseball National Trials Team took out two-years-and-a-day's worth of frustration Tuesday night at Fuessenich Park. After falling to the Torrington Twisters of the New England Collegiate Baseball League each of the past two years and dropping a 5-2 decision at the Pittsfield Dukes earlier in the day, the U.S. squad pounded four home runs en route to a 15-0 victory over Torrington and improved to 4-2 in the trials portion of the tour.
Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton; Corona, Calif.), Kentrail Davis (Tennessee; Theodore, Ala.), Aaron Senne (Missouri; Rochester, Minn.) and Blake Smith (California; Modesto, Calif.) all homered for the Americans, and each had two hits on the night. Josh Fellhauer (Cal State Fullerton; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
Meanwhile, five U.S. pitchers combined on a six-hit shutout. Starter Mike Minor (Vanderbilt; Chapel Hill, Tenn.) earned the victory, his second in as many starts on the tour. He held Torrington scattered four hits and no walks with one strikeout in a predetermined 4.0-inning start. Tyler Lyons (Oklahoma State; Lubbock, Texas), A.J. Griffin (San Diego; El Cajon, Calif.), Brooks Raley (Texas A&M; Uvalde, Texas) and Kevin Rhoderick (Oregon State; Scottsdale, Ariz.) closed out the shutout for the U.S. staff.
Lyons scattered two hits and a walk with four strikeouts over 2.0 innings. Griffin struck out the side around two walks in the seventh. Raley struck out two and walked one in the eighth, and Rhoderick retired all three batters he faced in the ninth with one strikeout.
The U.S. squad scored three runs on only one hit - Davis' RBI single - in the first inning. Davis pushed the lead to 5-0 with a two-run homer in the second. The lead moved to 7-0 in the third thanks to an RBI single from Ryan Ortiz (Oregon State; San Diego, Calif.) and a Dusty Coleman (Wichita State; Sioux City, S.D.) sacrifice fly.
A six-run fourth put the game away. Colon led off the inning with a home run to left. After two outs and two walks, Aaron Senne lined a homer over the left-field fence to make it 11-0. Coleman and Fellhauer added run-scoring hits to cap the frame. Smith clubbed a solo homer in the fifth. The National Trials Team closed the scoring in the sixth as Shaver Hansen (Baylor; Grand Junction, Colo.) led off with a pinch-hit single and later scored on a Brian Fletcher (Auburn; Fayetteville, Ga.) RBI groundout.
The U.S. squad got a surprise in the bottom of the seventh inning when former Major Leaguer and current Chinese National Team pitching coach Steve Ontiveros took the mound, donning a Torrington Twisters jersey. Ontiveros, who retired after the 2000 season after 10 seasons with the Athletics, Phillies, Mariners and Red Sox, struck out the side.
Davis and Senne had three RBI each, while Coleman had two RBI. Smith scored three times; Colon, Davis and Mike Leake (Arizona State; Fallbrook, Calif.) each scored twice.
Wednesday brings a break in the National Trials Team's tour through the NECBL as the U.S. team faces the Chinese National Team at Fuessenich Park in Torrington, Conn. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. EDT.
USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The organization selects and trains the United States Olympic Baseball Team (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball National Team (collegiate); the USA Baseball 18U, 16U and 14U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women's National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. For more information on USA Baseball please visit usabaseball.com