August 8, 2006

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  • August 8, 2006 BARQUISIMETO, Venezuela - Tyler Hibbs took a no-hitter into the 7th inning for Team USA, and combined with Alex Panteliodis to pitch a 2-hitter in their 8-1 win over Mexico. Team USA improved to (4-0), staying the only unbeaten team in the tournament.

    Hibbs earned the win (7 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 9 K), with Panteliodis finishing the game (2 IP, 1 R, 0 ER). Offensively, Team USA used a 6-run 4th to crack the game open. D.J. Hicks had two hits and two runs batted in overall.

    Acting as the road team for the first time in the tournament, Team USA threatened immediately, in the top of the 1st off Mexico's starter Carlos Leal, but couldn't capitalize, as D.J. Hicks (Altamonte Springs, FL) bounced into a 6-3 double-play stranding Jaff Decker (Phoenix, AZ) at third. Decker had singled, and Harold Martinez (Miami, FL) had an infield hit.

    Starter Tyler Hibbs (Odenton, MD) worked a perfect 1st with a strikeout.

    In the 2nd inning, Kyle Skipworth (Riverside, CA) grounded an infield single off the pitcher's glove with one out. Tyler Rahmatulla (Mission Viejo, CA) was then hit by a pitch, giving Team USA two runners. Mychal Givens (Tampa, FL) followed with a soft line-drive single to center, loading the bases for Tyler Hibbs with one out. After working the count to his advantage (3 and 1), Hibbs hit a one-hopper double play ball to the third-baseman (5-3 double play) to end the rally, and the game remained scoreless. For the second consecutive inning, Team USA collected two hits, but didn't score.

    Hibbs shut down Mexico again in the 2nd, with another 1,2,3 frame.

    In the 3rd inning, Jaff Decker was hit by a pitch with one out, following an L.J. Hoes (Mitchelville, MD) strikeout. Harold Martinez flied to center, but D.J. Hicks singled to right, sending Decker to third. Max Stassi (Yuba City, CA) christened the scoring with an RBI single to left, chopping it through the hole, scoring Decker, and sending Hicks to second. Team USA claimed a 1-0 lead, as the rain started to wet the stadium. Kyle Skipworth bounced out to second to end the inning. For a third straight inning, Team USA had two hits off Leal.

    Team USA starter, Tyler Hibbs, continued to ease past Mexico's hitters, working another perfect inning in the 3rd, as the rain continued to descend in Barquisimeto.

    Leading 1-0, the 4th inning started in auspicious fashion for Team USA, as Tyler Rahmatulla lashed a double to left-center. Mychal Givens sent a deep fly to center, where the ball was dropped by the center fielder, pushing Rahmatulla to third, as Givens reached second. The lead grew to 2-0 on a Tyler Hibbs sacrifice fly RBI, scoring Rahmatulla. L.J. Hoes proceeded to bounce a single up the middle scoring Givens for a 3-0 advantage. Jaff Decker reached for a third straight plate appearance by walking, advancing Hoes to second. Hoes stole third base, and Harold Martinez walked to fill the bases. That chased Mexico's starter, Leal, in favor of Jose Avelino - a lefty. D.J. Hicks delivered with a chopper into right, driving home Hoes and Decker, for a 5-0 lead for Team USA. With runners on the corners, Max Stassi grounded to third, and Martinez was left at third base, with Hicks moving up to second. Kyle Skipworth reached on a two-base throwing error by Mexico's third-baseman, which allowed Martinez and Hicks to score unearned runs, as the lead swelled to 7-0. Rahmatulla flied out to end the inning. It was a 6-run 4th inning. The rain had dissipated, as did Mexico's chances of winning.

    In the home 4th, Hibbs lost his perfect game when a grounder went past Martinez at third, for an error. Hibbs utilized his effective fastball / slider combination to maintain his no-hitter.

    Team USA didn't score in the 5th inning - Dimitri De La Fuente (West Covina, CA), replaced Givens, and reached on an error by the shortstop to lead off the inning, but was stranded at first base.

    In the bottom of the 5th, Hibbs allowed his first walk, coming with one out to Luis Millanez, but held onto his no-hitter, retiring the next two batters. In three of the four games for Team USA, their starting pitcher has taken a no-hitter into the 5th (Ryan Weber, a St. Petersburg, FL native, pitched a 7-inning no-hitter vs. Venezuela on August 6th).

    Team USA was dealt their first 1,2,3 inning offensively, in the 6th.

    Tyler Hibbs preserved his no-hitter, with a perfect 6th inning.

    Team USA was held hitless in the top of the 7th, as the game remained frozen at 7-0 since the 4th inning.

    Hibbs's no-hitter was broken up on a 7th inning leadoff single to left, by Cesar Osuna, but he was stranded, and Hibbs had preserved the shut-out. Due to a pre-determined pitch count, Hibbs's afternoon concluded (7 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 9 K). Alex Panteliodis (Tampa, FL) would start the 8th.

    In the top of the 8th inning, L.J. Hoes opened with a walk, advanced on a passed ball, and scored on Harold Martinez's double to right-center with one out, boosting the Team USA lead to 8-0.

    Panteliodis started the bottom of the 8th on the mound, with an 8-0 lead for Team USA, and worked an unblemished inning.

    Team USA was held scoreless in the top of the 9th, stranding Rahmatulla and Panteliodis, each of whom had singled.

    Mexico scored their only run of the game (unearned) in the bottom of the 9th, when a batter reached on a Martinez error, and scored on a double.

    Head Coach Garye LaFevers commented on the win and Hibbs's dominance - "for the fourth game in a row, Hibbs did an outstanding job as a member of the pitching staff for the fourth day in a row. It was a very solid performance, mixed in on a difficult day. We had played back-to-back emotional games in a row. We were a little flat today, not to take anything away from Mexico. It's just another way to deal with adversity. Rahmatulla had a good day at the plate, Decker had a good day, D.J. (Hicks) had a good day."

    Team USA will play Aruba at 10am on August 9th, in their fifth game.

    Team USA………………001600010
    Team MEXICO………....000000001

    WP: Hibbs (1-0)
    LP: Leal (0-1)

    USA 4-0
    MEXICO 3-2
    CUBA 1-2
    COLOMBIA 1-3
    ARUBA 1-3
    BRAZIL 1-3

    August 8th: ARUBA 14 COLOMBIA 2