USA BASEBALL NATIONAL TEAM RALLIES TO DEFEAT JAPAN 6-5
Todd Frazierís solo homer breaks tie in the ninth as US claims the series.
July 28, 2006
Box Score | Scoreboard/Results
GREENSBORO, N.C. --- Todd Frazierís (Rutgers) solo homer in the top of the ninth inning broke a 5-5 tie to lead the USA Baseball National Team to a 6-5 win over Japan Friday night at First Horizon Park.
With the win the US captured the series and improved to 18-2 on the summer. It snapped a two year series losing streak to Japan and kept the USAís undefeated series streak in this country in tact at 18-0.
Japan fell to 1-3 in the USA Tour, having lost the last two games by just a run.
The US, sparked by a five RBI performance by third baseman Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt), had a 5-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Japan then used the longball to get back in the game when Hiroaki Takaya launched a two-run homer to right to cut the lead to 5-4. They had runners at first and second with two outs and tied the game in the bottom of the eighth when Akira Nishikawa came through with a sharp bouncing ball to third that got over Alvarez and into left field.
Frazier then led off the ninth with a solo blast to left on the first pitch by Ken Miyamoto (0-1).
Cole St. Clair (3-0) picked up the win in relief, while Daniel Moskos came on in the ninth to close it out and pick up his sixth save of the summer and second of the series.
Japan took a 2-0 lead in the second courtesy of Hisayoshi Chonoís two-run homer to left off of USA starter Nick Schmidt (Arkansas).
The US came right back in the third when Frazier had an infield bunt base hit and Julio Borbon (Tennessee) and Jemile Weeks (Miami) walked to load the bases with two outs. Pedro Alvarez then hit a towering grand slam homer that hit the scoreboard in rightfield to give the team a 4-2 advantage.
Alvarez added to his solid night with a RBI double in the seventh to extend the lead to 5-2. He finished the game 3-for-4 with five RBI and a run scored.
Frazier and Weeks also chipped in with two hits to help lead the 10-hit American attack. Hiroaki Takaya, Noriharu Yamazaki and Akira Nishikawa had two hits each to lead the 11 hit Japanese effort.
Nick Schmidt allowed two runs on six hits with six strikeouts and no walks in the no decision. Kenji Ohtonari gave up five runs on eight hits in seven innings of work with nine strikeouts and four walks/
The teams will play the final game of the series tomorrow night at 7:15 p.m. ET in Fort Mill, S.C., home of the Charlotte Knights.
004 000 101 -6 10 1
020 000 210 -5 11 1
Schmidt, Hunter (7), St. Clair (8), Moskos (9) and Arencibia, Clark. Ohtonari, Miyamoto (8) and Takaya. W- St. Clair 3-0, L- Miyamoto 0-1 . SV- Moskos (6). HR- USA: Alvarez (3). Frazier (3). Japan: Chono (2), Takaya (1).