Dixie Lone Remaining Unbeaten team at USA Baseball Tournament of Stars

Dixie slips by American Legion 3-2, AABC tops USA Stars 7-2; PONY 10th-inning homer subdues RBI 4-3

June 20, 2008

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CARY, N.C. -- Nick Franklin (INF-RHP; Longwood, Fla.) tossed scoreless relief over the final two innings, stranding five runners, as Dixie edged the American Legion 3-2 June 20 to remain the lone unbeaten team after the fourth day of the 16th Annual USA Baseball Tournament of Stars presented by Major League Baseball.

The eight-team tournament, which showcases 144 of the nation's elite age 18-and-under high school and college athletes, concludes June 22 with the-medal games and consolation-round play. Action is taking place at Thomas Brooks Park at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

In other June 20 games during the final day of pool play, Deven Marrero (INF; Davie, Fla.) scored three times and pounded out four hits to highlight a 15-hit attack in AABC's 7-2 victory against the USA Stars. In the day's finale, Bobby Borchering (INF; Alva, Fla.) blasted a homer to lead off the top of the 10th inning to propel PONY to a 4-3 win against RBI. The event's two other teams - Babe Ruth and NABF - did not play June 20.

With pool play now complete, four contests are on tap for the semifinal round June 21. Action begins with RBI (0-3) facing the USA Stars (1-2) at 11 a.m. (Eastern time). Then, at 1 p.m., PONY (2-1) meets NABF (2-1). Babe Ruth (1-2) takes on the Legion (1-2) at 2 p.m. The final game at 5 p.m. features AABC (2-1) against Dixie (3-0).

Dixie took a 3-0 lead and then staved off the Legion over the final two innings to protect a one-run lead. Franklin fanned four in his two-inning stint, including his final one to end the game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. Jake Stewart (OF; Fort Collins, Colo.) and Austin Maddox (C; Jacksonville, Fla.) registered two hits apiece for the Legion, which amassed six hits. Dixie starter Patrick Schuster (LHP; Holiday, Fla.) tossed three perfect innings, fanning six of the nine batters he faced. The victory earned Dixie, which had seven hits, the No. 1 spot in its four-team pool for semifinal action.

AABC bolted to a 3-0 first-inning cushion and were never headed against the defending champion Stars in a rematch of last year's gold-medal game. Matt Helm (INF; Queencreek, Ariz.) drove home three runs, including a two-RBI triple in AABC's first-inning uprising. Helm also had a run-scoring three-bagger in the sixth, driving in Marrero who had doubled. That tally gave AABC a 6-2 advantage. Mike Trout (INF; Millville, N.J.), Danny Hayes (INF; Rancho Murrieta, Calif.) and Wes Hatton (OF; Norco, Calif.) each had two hits for AABC. Randal Grichuck (OF; Rosenberg, Texas) and Chad Kettler (INF; Coppell, Texas) notched a pair of hits apiece for the Stars. Christian Jones (LHP; Danville, Calif.) fanned five in 4.1 innings of relief to pick up the win for AABC.

Borchering socked a drive over the rightfield fence for the extra-inning game-winner against RBI. He also knocked in another run with a seventh-inning grounder to give PONY, which managed just three hits, a 3-1 advantage. But RBI rallied with single runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to knot the contest. Zach Wilson (INF; Long Beach, Calif.) had two of RBI's four hits and drove in a pair of runs, including the tying run in the eighth. Justin Charles (INF; Galt, Calif.) garnered two hits for PONY. Andrew Aplin (OF-LHP; Suisun City, Calif.) hurled the final two innings for PONY and worked out of a two-on, one-out jam in the bottom of the 10th to secure the victory.

The Tournament of Stars serves as part of the player selection process for the USA Baseball 18U National Team, which competes annually in international competition. At the conclusion of the tournament, 32 players will be invited to participate in the 18U National Team Trials, which will be conducted July 11-17 in Phoenix, Ariz. From that group, the 2008 18U National Team final 20-player roster will be chosen.

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.

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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