Youth National Team sweeps doubleheader on Sunday

August 12, 2007

  • Game 1 Box  |  Game 2 Box  |  Scoreboard/Results
  • CARY, N.C. The Youth National Team won both games of a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, defeating the Carolina Copperheads, 7-1, in game one before defeating the Dirtbags, 8-5, in game two.

    In game one, Team USA took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. After rightfielder Robert Refsnyder (Laguna Hills, Calif.) drew a one-out walk, he advanced all the way to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Two batters later, catcher Max Stassi (Yuba City, Calif.) was hit by a pitch to give Team USA runners on the corners. Refsnyder then scored on a wild pitch for the first run of the game.

    Pitcher Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) led off the bottom of the second with a single to center. Leftfielder Randal Grichuk (Rosenberg, Texas) then moved Maddox to second with a sacrifice bunt. Shortstop Nick Franklin (Longwood, Fla.) followed with an RBI-double to left center to score Maddox.

    The Copperheads got a bases-loaded RBI-single from second baseman Grier Harrington in the top of the fourth to make it a 2-1 ballgame.

    Team USA added a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth to go ahead 4-1. Third baseman Richie Shaffer (Charlotte, N.C.) drew a leadoff walk before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Zach Vincej (Saugus, Calif.). Grichuk then drew a walk and Franklin drove in Shaffer with an RBI-double to left center. Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) came in to pinch run for Franklin and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Second baseman Justin Charles (Galt, Calif.) then capped the frame with an RBI-single to right center to score Fontana.

    After Grichuk was hit by a pitch and stole second with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Franklin sent an RBI-double to left center, scoring Grichuk and giving Team USA a 5-1 advantage.

    Team USA scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to extend their lead to 7-1. First baseman Matt Davidson (Yucaipa, Calif.) lined a two-out double down the left field line to keep the inning alive. Catcher Nate Gonzalez (Clermont, Fla.) then hammered a 1-2 offering and sent a two-run jack over the left field wall to cap the scoring.

    Maddox picked up the win against the Copperheads after tossing three shutout innings with three strikeouts. A.J. Cole (Winter Springs, Fla.) fanned two in one inning of work and Franklin struck out four in three scoreless frames to pick up the save.

    Franklin led Team USA at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three doubles and three RBI, while Refsnyder was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored and Charles went 2-for-2 with an RBI. Gonzalez went 1-for-2 with a two-run homer, Davidson was 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored, Maddox finished 1-for-1 with a run scored and Shaffer and Grichuk both scored a run in the win.

    In game two, Team USA took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. After Maddox was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, he advanced to second on a wild pitch. Grichuk then laced an RBI-triple into the gap in right center to score Maddox.

    The Dirtbags tied it at 1-1 in the bottom half of the second on an RBI-single by leftfielder Jason Wallace and took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third when shortstop Chad Rothlin scored on an error.

    In the bottom of the fourth, rightfielder C.J. Beatty, a 2007 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American at North Carolina A&T, hit a three-run homer to put the Dirtbags up 5-1.

    Team USA would tie the game at 5-5 with a four-run outburst in the top of the sixth. Grichuk drew a leadoff walk before advancing all the way to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Vincej followed with an RBI-single through the left side to plate Grichuk. Vincej would then advance to second on a balk and Refsnyder drew a walk to give Team USA runners at first and second. Two batters later, Stassi delivered an RBI-double to right to score Vincej and move Refsnyder to third. Catcher Luke Bailey (La Grange, Ga.) capped the frame with a two-run single down the left field line, scoring Refsnyder and Stassi to tie the game.

    Team USA would then complete their comeback with a three-run seventh inning. After Vincej reached first on a fielder's choice, Refsnyder sent a two-out single up the middle to keep the inning alive. Fontana would then draw a walk to load the bases and Stassi delivered a three-run triple up the middle to put Team USA up 8-5.

    Steven Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.) then worked a scoreless seventh to pick up the win. Rodriquez had a pair of strikeouts in two shutout innings in the win. Shaffer started on the mound and held the Dirtbags to one earned run on three hits in three innings with four strikeouts.

    Stassi paced Team USA at the plate in game two, finishing 2-for-2 with an RBI-double and a three-run triple. Bailey went 2-for-4 with a two-run single and a double, Vincej was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored and Grichuk finished 1-for-3 with an RBI-triple and a run scored. Refsnyder went 1-for-3 and scored a pair of runs, while Maddox and Fontana both scored a run in the win.

    Team USA will take on the Cary Bulls on Monday night at 6:35 p.m. in their final tune-up before the IBAF World Youth Championships.

    The YNT will have their final practice on Tuesday morning before packing their bags in preparation for the trip to Venezuela. The team will also take in a Durham Bulls-Charlotte Knights game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

    Team USA will travel to Barquisimeto, Venezuela to compete in the IBAF World Youth Championships August 17-26.