Japan defeats Team USA for third straight win
July 7, 2007
Box Score | Scoreboard/Results
DURHAM, NCó Team USA (11-5) took advantage of three walks and two errors in the seventh to score six times and take the final game of the five-game series over the Japan University All-Stars (4-4), 7-3 on Sunday evening.
Shortstop Tetsuya Kokubo's one-out error proved to be costly as all six runs were unearned in the seventh. Three-straight bases loaded walks gave the Americans a lead before a two-out, double by Justin Smoak (South Carolina) off the 37-foot wall gave the U.S.a 7-3 lead. Smoak's hit plated two, as an error by left fielder Yukinaga Tanaka allowed the sixth run in the inning to score.
Loser Yuki Saito, the fifth pitcher for Japan, and second of three in the inning, walked two straight with the bases loaded to allow the Americans to tie it at 3-3. Reliever Tomoyuki Kaida then walked another to give the U.S. a 4-3 lead. Saito gave up five runs in the inning.
American starter Lance Lynn (Ole Miss) lost the no-hitter and the lead in the fifth as Japan plated two runs to lead 2-1. Lynn pitched to the minimum over the first 13 batters, before a double, error and two-run double by Noriharu Yamazaki made it 2-1. Lynn struck out seven over the first five innings, giving up two runs.
The Japanese added a run in the seventh off a swinging bunt to first base with a runner on third with one out to lead 3-1.
Backup catcher Tommy Medica (Santa Clara) hit a solo home run down the leftfield line and over the Durham Bull in the third to give the Americans a 1-0 lead.
Shinya Muramutsu got two saves and did not allow a run in three appearances and 4.2 innings, as he was named Japan's MVP.... Pedro Alvarez was named Team USA's MVP... Team USA lost its first series to Japan on U.S. soil, now in its 36th meeting overall, yesterday. They finished the series 2-3... The U.S. is 18-1 in series in America and 3-14 in series in Japan... Medica's home run in the third was Team USA's first homer since July 4... the series in Durham averaged 5964, a record for the Japan-USA series in Durham... a total of 23, 856 fans saw the four games. A total of 37,312 fans saw the five-game series.
The team then heads to processing in Washington DC on July 9 before heading to the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The open play up with the Dominican Republic on July 14, before playing Nicaragua on July 15 and host-Brazil on July 16.