Game Notes: The 2007 IBAF World Cup
USA Baseball clinches spot in the BWC quarterfinals
USA 4 - S. Africa 2
Nov. 13, 2007

TEAM USA RESULTS  

Game Date WP LP SV
USA 3 - MEX 0 11/7/07 Karstens (1-0) Rodriguez (0-1) Booker (1)
USA 7 - PAN 0 11/8/07 Wright (1-0) Pinto (0-1) None
ITL 6 - USA 2 11/9/07 D'Angelo (1-0) Outman (0-1) None
USA 5 - JPN 1 11/10/07 Duensing (1-0) Kawasaki (0-1) None
USA 12 - SPAIN 1 11/11/07 Trahern (1-0) Rizo (0-1) None
USA 4 - S Africa 2 11/13/07 Musser (1-0) Ekermans (0-3) Booker (2)

USA BEATS SOUTH AFRICA; CLINCHES SPOT IN QUARTERS: Team USA took the field against South Africa today knowing that a win will punch their ticket to Taipei and a spot in the 2007 IBAF World Cup quarter-finals. Right-hander Matt Wright (1-0) made his second start of the tournament. Wright, only scheduled to pitch three innings, struck out 4 while giving up one run and yielding just one hit. The USA jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first. Colby Rasmus led off with a single then stile second base. After Michael Hollimon's grounder to short moved Rasmus to third Andy LaRoche doubled scoring Rasmus. Delwyn Young then walked to move LaRoche to second and two hitters later Steven Pearce knock in LaRoche with the second run. In the U.S. second back-to-back singles from Rasmus and Brian Bixler were followed by a LaRoche sacrifice fly scoring Bixler and giving the USA a 3-0 lead. South Africa scratched across a run in the bottom of the second to make it a 3-1 game.
Neal Musser relieved Wright in the fourth and pitched two scoreless innings. In the U.S. fourth Rasmus walked and when Hollimon flied out to South African right-fielder Ian Butcher, Rasmus ended up on third after Butcher threw the ball into the first base dugout. Andy LaRoche's two-out blooper to center scored Rasmus giving the USA a 4-1 lead.
Jeff Stevens pitched a perfect sixth for Team USA, striking out two and Chris Perez worked a perfect seventh with one punch-out.
Lee Gronkiewicz came in to pitch the ninth for Team USA and after striking out the first two batters gave up three consecutive hits pulling South Africa within two runs, 4-2.
Chris Booker came in to pitch the ninth and pick up his second save of the tournament and Team USA clinched a spot in Taipei among the final eight which will start on Friday.
With a Team USA win over Chinese Taipei tomorrow they will clinch the top seed in their bracket going into the elimination rounds. With an Italy loss tonight against Japan the USA will clinch at least a second seed.

FAMILIAR FACE: New York Yankee pitcher Chien-Ming Wang played host to his Yankee teammate Jeff Karstens on the off day yesterday. Wang along with his wife and bodyguard took Karstens to the Beyonce concert in Taipei. The group was followed by a few carloads of fans the entire two hour trip from Taichung to Taipei. Wang's wife also gave Karstens a box of Sun Cakes, a delicious Taiwan pastry for the entire team to share.

NOTES: Six U.S. pitchers combined for 10K's, 2R and 1BB in their victory against South Africa. Andy LaRoche was 3-4, 3RBI, 1R and Steve Pearce was 3-4, 1RBI. Team USA plays its final game in pool play tomorrow night when they face off against the host Chinese Taipei team. The game, at Intercontinental Stadium is sold out.

Team USA and all other 2007 IBAF World Cup action can be seen live online at www.stadeo.tv.

2007 IBAF WORLD CUP STANDINGS: (as of Tuesday afternoon 11/13)  

Group A W L PCT GB
USA 5 1 .820 --
Chinese Taipei 4 1 .750 .5
Italy 3 2 .667 1
Panama 3 2 .600 1
Japan 3 2 .600 1
Mexico 2 3 .400 2
Spain 1 4 .200 3
South Africa 0 6 .000 5
 
Group B W L PCT GB
Cuba 5 0 1.000 --
Australia 5 1 .820 5
Canada 3 2 .600 2
Korea 3 2 .600 2
Netherlands 3 2 .600 2
Germany 1 5 .200 4.5
Venezuela 1 4 .200 4
Thailand 0 5 .000 5