Game Notes: The 2007 IBAF World Cup
Italy upsets USA, 6-2
Nov. 9, 2007
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TEAM USA RESULTS
|USA 3 - MEX 0
|USA 7 - PAN 0
|ITL 6 - USA 2
TEAM USA SCHEDULE
Game One Wednesday, November 7 6:00 p.m. Mexico (Intercontinental)
Game Two Thursday, November 8 12:00 p.m. Panama (Intercontinental)
Game Three Friday, November 9 12:00 p.m. Italy (Taichung)
Game Four Saturday, November 10 6:00 p.m. Japan (Intercontinental)
Game Five Sunday, November 11 6:00 p.m. Spain (Taichung)
Off-Day Monday, November 12
Game Six Tuesday, November 13 12:00 p.m. South Africa (Taichung)
Game Seven Wednesday, November 14 6:00 p.m. Chinese Taipei (Intercontinental)
Off-Day Thursday, November 15
Quarter-Finals* Friday, November 16 TBD
Semi-Finals* Saturday, November 17 TBD
Finals* Sunday, November 18 TBD
ITALY UPSETS TEAM USA:
USA started Josh Outman didn't start off as he'd planned, walking the first two batters that stepped to the plate for Italy but a quick 5-4-3 double play and a strikeout quickly erased the threat and pushed Team USA's scoreless inning streak to 19. It would end there. In the second inning after two quick outs back-to-back singles gave Italy runners at the corners. Outman got Italy's ninth place hitter Leonardo Zileri on a grounder to short but Brian Bixler booted the ball giving Italy a 1-0 lead; two singles later and the Italy lead stretched to 3-0.
Team USA bounced right back in the top of the third when left-fielder Justin Ruggiano led off the inning with his first homerun of the tournament, a 3-1 blast into the left field seats. Two batters later, Brian Bixler laid a perfect bunt down the third base line for an infield hit but was picked off first with Colby Rasmus batting. Rasmus then doubled to left and after Jayson Nix was hit by a pitch Adam LaRoche doubled to left-center scoring Rasmus and cutting the Italy lead to 3-2.
Italy struck for three more runs in the bottom of the 4th. Lefty Jerry Blevins relieved Outman and after SS Brian Bixler second error of the game on a tough chopper up the middle Blevins handcuffed first basemen Andy LaRoche on a pickoff attempt for Team USA's third error of the game. Steven Shell then relieved Blevins and after a groundout plated a runner Shell gave up back to back hits to Maximiliano Di Blaise and Mario Chirini and Italy extended their lead to 6-2 on five unearned runs. Shell pitched shutout ball through the eighth but the damage had already been done. Six Italy relievers pitch six shutout innings while striking out six as the U.S. managed just two hits the rest of the way as Italy beat the heavily favored Team USA 6-2.
HALL OF A SURPRISE:
Team USA manager Davey Johnson found out over breakfast today that he was one of the ten names placed on the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee ballot that will be voted on in December. Initially shocked, Johnson was visibly moved by the recognition and said "It's a great, great honor to be mentioned along with those other names by the Hall Of Fame Vet Committee."
SCORELESS INNING STREAK SNAPPED:
Team USA pitchers saw their scoreless inning streak snapped after 19-consecutive innings in the second inning of today's USA-Italy game. During the streak nine U.S. pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts and just three walks. .
Justin Ruggiano was 2-2 with a HR, RBI, SB, R and 2 BB for Team USA; Italy beat the U.S. for the first time since the 1986 World Cup in Holland; Team USA looks to rebound on Saturday night when they take on Japan at 6:00 PM (local time) at Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan.