Babe Ruth, Dixie, Legion win on first day of TOS

Three exciting games open the 2008 Tournament of Stars

June 17, 2008

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CARY, N.C. -- Nick Franklin (INF; Longwood, Fla.) lined a tie-breaking single in the seventh inning and Dixie held off a ninth inning PONY rally to register a 6-3 win June 17 during opening-day action of the 16th Annual USA Baseball Tournament of Stars presented by Major League Baseball.

The tournament, which showcases 144 of the nation's elite age 18-and-under high school and college athletes, is being played this week at Thomas Brooks Park at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

In other opening-round contests June 17, Max Stassi (C; Yuba City, Calif.) and Andrew Susac (C; Roseville, Calif.) collected three hits apiece to lead Babe Ruth past NABF 9-3. Meanwhile, Austin Maddox (C; Jacksonville, Fla.) drove in three runs with a pair of hits to power the American Legion past RBI 8-6. Two other teams in the eight-team field - AABC and the USA Stars - did not play on opening day.

Three contests are on tap for June 18. RBI (0-1) meets Dixie (1-0) at 1 p.m. (Eastern time). Then, at 4 p.m., NABF (0-1) takes on the USA Stars (0-0). The final game at 7 p.m. features AABC (0-0) against Babe Ruth (1-0). PONY (0-1) and the American Legion (1-0) do not have scheduled games on June 18.

With the game tied at 3 entering the top of the seventh, Ronnie Richardson (OF; Eagle Lake, Fla.) singled with one out for his third hit of the game. After moving up one base on a grounder, he scored the go-ahead run on Franklin's RBI single. Franklin moved to third on a double by Donavan Tate (OF; Cartersville, Ga.), who had three hits including a two-run homer in the first inning. Franklin then scored on a passed ball to make it 5-3. Dixie took a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth. But PONY, which had just four hits, scored one run and had the winning run at the plate before a groundout ended the game. Anthony Figliolia (RHP; Winter Springs, Fla.), the third of four Dixie pitchers, picked up the win with 3.0 innings of one-hit, scoreless relief. He escaped a bases- loaded, no-out jam in the sixth be recording two of his five strikeouts and getting an infield grounder.

Babe Ruth 9, NABF 3: Stassi ripped a two-RBI triple to give Babe Ruth an early lead against NABF then scored during a four-run fourth inning that snapped a 2-2 tie and gave Babe Ruth the lead for good. Steven Proscia (INF; Suffern, N.Y.) notched a two-run single in the winner's decisive inning. Tom Lemke (RHP; Phoenix, Ariz.) hurled one-inning of scoreless relief and added a two-run single in a three-run eighth for Babe Ruth, which had 10 hits. Babe Ruth starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (RHP; Valencia, Calif.) tossed four scoreless innings, allowing six hits while striking out six. NABF committed five fielding errors that led to five unearned runs. Reed Gragnani (INF; Richmond, Va.) paced NABF with three hits, a run scored and an RBI.

American Legion 8, RBI 6: The Legion bats erupted for 12 hits while a quartet of pitchers limited RBI to six hits. The Legion broke a 3-3 deadlock with three runs in the third inning highlighted by Maddox's go-ahead two-run double. The winners extended their advantage to 8-4 before RBI tallied on a wild pitch and a run-scoring single from Jonathan Singleton (INF; Lakewood, Calif.) after two were out in the bottom of the ninth to make it 8-6. But RBI, which committed eight errors in the field, left the tying run on base to end the game. Keenyn Walker (OF; Salt Lake City, Utah) had three hits for the Legion.

The eight-team tournament concludes on June 22 with the-medal games and consolation-round play.

USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and 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.

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