Game Notes: The 2007 IBAF World Cup
USA beats Netherlands, go for Gold
USA 5 - NETH 0
Nov. 17, 2007
TEAM USA RESULTS
|USA 3 - MEX 0
|USA 7 - PAN 0
|ITL 6 - USA 2
|USA 5 - JPN 1
|USA 12 - SPAIN 1
|USA 4 - S Africa 2
|USA 10 - Taipei 7
|USA 3 - Korea 1
|USA 5 - NETH 0
TEAM USA SCHEDULE (Elimination rounds)
Sunday, November 18
Cuba, Tien-Mou Stadium, 4:30 PM
GOIN' FOR GOLD; USA BEATS NETHERLANDS 5-0; GETS CUBA IN FINALS: After nearly a full month together with stops in Arizona, Los Angeles, Taichung and Taipei City, team USA found themselves here at Tein Mou Stadium in the semi-finals of the 2007 IBAF World Cup. All that stood between them and a trip to tomorrow's cup final was the Netherlands, the European champs who earlier this year punched their ticket to Beijing by winning the European Championship. The Netherlands, managed by former major league shortstop Robert Eenhorn, reached the semi's by compiling a 6-2 record in the tournament that included a stunning 11-inning come-from-behind win against host Chinese Taipei in the quarter-finals.
U.S. wasted no time getting on the board when leadoff hitter Colby Rasmus swatted a homerun to right in the first to put them up 1-0. Netherlands starter David Bergman settled in and pitched a gem, tossing seven innings and giving up just two more hits, shutting Team USA down. But U.S. had a secret weapon of their own in starter Matt Wright who threw six scoreless innings, striking out six and scattering only four hits.
In the eighth, Team USA broke through. After shortstop Brian Bixler led off the inning with a walk, Ramus and Jayson Nix followed with singles, plating Bixler and ending the night for Bergman. After Andy LaRoche was intentionally walked to load the bases, Steve Pearce dropped a single down the right field line scoring Rasmus and Nix and giving the U.S. a 4-0 lead. Two batters later Justin Ruggiano's sac fly scored LaRoche to make it 5-0.
Neal Musser and Lee Gronkiewicz pitched scoreless seventh and eighths, respectively, and in the ninth Chris Booker closed it out, sending Team USA to it's first gold medal game at the IBAF World Cup since 2001.
Team USA will face off against nine-time defending IBAF World Cup champion Cuba, Sunday at Tien-Mou Stadium at 4:30PM local time. Cuba beat Japan 5-3 in the other semi-final tonight. The last time Team USA's professional team faced off against Cuba was in September, 2006 when the U.S. stunned Cuba in Havana to win the COPABE Tournament of the Americas. Both the USA and Cuba clinched Olympic berths during that tournament.
TOURIST 101: Some members of Team USA went to visit the 101 Building in Taipei City. The seven-year-old skyscraper is believed to be the tallest building in the world. The high speed elevators take you to the 91st floor observatory deck in less than forty seconds
NOTES: Centerfielder Colby Rasmus was 2-3, HR, 2R, 1RBI, BB; Team USA last won gold at the IBAF World Cup in 1974 (33 years). Team USA and all other 2007 IBAF World Cup action can be seen live online at www.stadeo.tv.
(1) USA 5 - (3) Netherlands 0
(1) Cuba 5 - (3) Japan 3
QUARTER FINAL RESULTS:
(1) USA 3 - (4) Korea 1
(3) Japan 3 - (2) Australia 0
(3) Netherlands 6 - Chinese Taipei 3, 11innings
(1) Cuba 6 - (4) Mexico 0