National Team takes opener over Japan, 7-2
July 4, 2007
Box Score | Scoreboard/Results
DURHAM, NC — Tyson Ross (1-0) pitched seven strong innings, while Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) had a solo home run and an RBI double to lead Team USA (10-2) to a 7-2 victory over Japan (1-3) in the first game of a five-game annual series.
The sellout crowd of 10,063 is believed to be the most for a Team USA game at the Durham Bulls Ballpark. It is the 36th meeting between the two teams, with Team USA winning all 19 meetings on American soil.
Alvarez finished his night 2-for-4 for his team-best sixth multi-hit game, while Brett Wallace (Arizona State) added a 3-for-5 day with three RBIs. Both players are batting over .400 for the summer.
Ross (California) went the first seven innings, striking out six and walking one, while giving up a single run on six hits. Brett Hunter (Pepperdine) pitched a perfect eighth and a scoreless inning. The duo retired nine in a row heading into the ninth. Hunter picked up the save for his efforts, coming in with a 5-2 lead.
Alvarez's solo home run off the 371-foot scoreboard in center gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Japan tied it at 1-1 in the second off a botched comeback to Ross, before Team USA scored four runs in the third to lead 5-1.
The first two runs in the third came off of the Blue Monster in left center. An RBI double 30 feet up the wall by Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) made it 2-1, before Alvarez's double, nearly off the same location, made it 3-1. A two-run single by Wallace then made it 5-1, chasing Shota Oba from the contest.
Oba gave up five runs on four hits, throwing three wild pitches and hitting a batter as well.
Thursday's game will feature LHP Mikinori Kato against LHP Brian Matusz... Japan had opened their American tour with a win, following two losses in their last at-bat... Team USA pitching coach Bill Kinneberg, head coach at the University of Utah, turned 50 today.
The 10-game North Carolina home stand continues with Japan on July 5 in Kannapolis, NC and back to Durham, NC (July 6, 7, 8).