Trials game three ends in 7-7 tie

August 9, 2007

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  • CARY, N.C. Red Team catcher Luke Bailey (La Grange, Ga.) hit a towering two-out solo shot to left to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth as the third Youth National Team Trials game ended in a 7-7 tie on Thursday night at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

    Trailing 7-6 with two outs in the final frame, Bailey turned on an inside pitch and sent the solo home run sailing over the left field wall to end Thursday's game in a tie.

    The Red Team took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Centerfielder Randal Grichuk (Rosenberg, Texas) singled through the left side to start the inning. After advancing to second on an error, Grichuk moved to third when rightfielder Robert Refsnyder (Laguna Hills, Calif.) flew out to right. Leftfielder Brian Ragira (Arlington, Texas) then sent a sacrifice fly to center to drive in Grichuk.

    The Blue Team answered with a pair of runs in the top of the third to take a 2-1 lead. Second baseman Justin Charles (Galt, Calif.) lined a leadoff single through the left side to begin the frame. Shortstop Zach Vincej (Saugus, Calif.) followed with a double down the right field line to move Charles to third. First baseman Matt Davidson (Yucaipa, Calif.) then reached on an error that allowed Charles to score and Vincej to advance to third. Vincej would then score when third baseman Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) reached on a fielder's choice.

    Davidson led off the top of the fifth with a double to right center before moving to third on a groundout by leftfielder Colton Cain (Waxahachie, Texas). Fontana then delivered an RBI-single to left to plate Davidson. Fontana would move to second on a wild pitch before advancing to third on a single by catcher Nate Gonzalez (Clermont, Fla.). Centerfielder Andrew Aplin (Suisun, Calif.) then scored Fontana when he beat out a suicide squeeze bunt to give the Blue Team a 4-1 advantage.

    The Red Team closed the gap to 4-3 with a two-run fifth inning of their own. Second baseman Nick Franklin (Longwood, Fla.) tripled to left field to start the frame. After third baseman Richie Shaffer (Charlotte, N.C.) reached on an infield single, Franklin scored when catcher Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) grounded out to first. Grichuk would then be hit by a pitch and Shaffer would steal third before scoring on a fielder's choice.

    The Blue Team then added a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to extend their lead to 6-3. After third baseman Jo Jo Maldonado (River Forest, Ill.) drew a leadoff walk to begin the frame, Vincej reached base on a throwing error that allowed Maldonado to advance to third. Maldonado would then score and Vincej would move to second on a wild pitch. Davidson then flew out to right, moving Vincej to third and Cain capped the frame with an RBI-double to center.

    The Red Team scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to cut the Blue Team's lead to 6-5. Maddox drew a one-out walk and Grichuk singled through the left side to start the inning. Bailey then laced a two-run double to center, scoring Maddox and Grichuk.

    Vincej sent a one-out single to center in the top of the eighth and Davidson drove him in with an RBI-double to left center to give the Blue Team a 7-5 lead.

    Pitcher Peter Tago (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) lined a leadoff double to center to begin the bottom of the eighth before moving to third on a groundout by shortstop Eric Brady (Cary, N.C.). Tago then scored on a groundout by Franklin to make it a 7-6 ballgame.

    Bailey finished 2-for-3 with a home run, a double and four RBI to lead the Red Team at the plate, while Franklin went 3-for-5 with a triple, four stolen bases, an RBI and a run scored and Grichuk was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Tago went 1-for-1 with a double and a run scored, Shaffer finished 1-for-4 with a run scored and shortstop Ty Forney (Gilbert, Ariz.) was 1-for-3. First baseman Cody Stubbs (Waynesville, N.C.) finished 1-for-2, Refsnyder was 1-for-4, Maddox had an RBI and a run scored and Ragira had an RBI for the Red Team.

    Gonzalez went 3-for-3 to pace the Blue Team on the night, while Davidson finished 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, an RBI and a run scored. Vincej was 2-for-5 with a double and three runs scored, Fontana went 1-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored and Cain finished 1-for-4 with an RBI-double. Charles added a hit and a run scored and Aplin had a hit and an RBI in the game.

    Red Team starter Paco Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.) tossed two shutout innings with three strikeouts and reliever Mat Batts (Pfafftown, N.C.) fanned three batters in three innings of work. Tago had two strikeouts in two and a third innings and A.J. Cole (Winter Springs, Fla.) worked a scoreless ninth with three strikeouts for the Red Team.

    Blue Team starter Mike Spence (Jacksonville, Fla.) held the Red Team to one unearned run on four hits in two and two thirds innings with one strikeout and Joe Kurrasch (Laguna Hills, Calif.) had two strikeouts in two innings. Kurt Heyer (Huntington Beach, Calif.) tossed three relief frames and Cole struck out one batter in the ninth.

    The final trials game will be on Friday at 6:05 p.m.

    The Youth National Team Trials currently has 36 players competing for 18 roster spots to be announced on Friday, August 10. Following the announcement of the squad, Team USA will remain in Cary for four days of training before departing for Barquisimeto, Venezuela to compete in the IBAF World Youth Championships August 17-26.