Junior National Team trials squad drops exhibition game to Chinese Taipei
Fielding errors, pitching woes, missed opportunities contribute to 6-3 setback
August 18, 2007
Box Score | Scoreboard/Results
JOPLIN, Mo. - Despite collecting 10 hits, the USA Baseball Junior National Team Trials squad proved to be its own worst enemy in dropping a 6-3 decision to the Chinese Taipei Junior National Team on Aug. 18 in an exhibition contest played at historic Joe Becker Stadium.
The matchup was the second of a three-game exhibition series for the JNT Trials team, which is composed of 33 players who are battling for a spot on this year's Junior National Team. The exhibition series concludes Aug. 19 with a 5 p.m. (Central time) game against Canada's Junior National Team at Joe Becker Stadium.
Following the exhibition game against Canada, a final 20-player Junior National Team roster will be selected and announced Aug. 19. After a three-day training period, which includes an exhibition game Aug. 21 against Canada, the squad will depart Aug. 23 for Ixtapa, Mexico, where the JNT will compete in the Confederation of Pan American Baseball Federations "AAA" Pan Am Junior Championships Aug. 24-Sept. 2. The Junior National Team participates in two major events in bi-yearly cycles - the COPABE Pan Am Championships and the International BAseball Federation World Championships. The Pan Am Championships serve as a qualifier for the ensuing year's World Championships.
Against Chinese Taipei, nine JNT Trials pitchers saw mound duty and combined to permit 10 hits. While striking out 12 and issuing just two walks, the JNT Trials hurlers totaled three wild pitches and four hit batsmen. To compound the situation, the squad committed three fielding errors and registered four passed balls, leading to a pair of unearned runs for Chinese Taipei (4-0 in games played in Joplin).
"Chinese Taipei is a very good team. They are disciplined, well coached and execute plays nearly every single time," JNT Head Coach Victor Solis said. "When you make mistakes against a team like that, you are going to get hurt. In addition, we had opportunities throughout the game that we just did not take advantage of," Solis added.
The JNT Trials squad (1-1 in Joplin) fell behind early by two runs but knotted the contest at 2-2 with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Eric Hosmer (INF; Cooper City, FL) had an RBI grounder to plate the team's first run while David Freitas (C; Wilton, CA) lashed a run-scoring single to bring home the other run.
But Chinese Taipei added a pair of runs in the sixth inning to take the lead for good then added two unearned runs in the eighth to make it a 6-2 contest. The JNT Trials team answered with a run in the bottom of the eighth. Garrison Lassiter (INF; High Point, NC), who notched three hits on the night, led off with an infield single. He moved to second base on a grounder and scored on an RBI single by Harold Martinez (INF; Miami, FL). The hit was the second of the game for Martinez.
Chia-Chu Chen paced Chinese Taipei with a 3 for 3 performance at the plate. He had a double and a solo home run in the fourth inning. Four Chinese Taipei hurlers teamed up to fan nine while inducing two double play grounders.
The USA Baseball Junior National Team is a perennial power on the international baseball scene. Only once in the 22-year history of the IBAF World Junior Championships has the United States failed to capture a medal. During this time, the JNT has earned five gold medals, 10 silver medals and six bronze medals.