USA Men's National Team UPDATE from 3 Nations Challenge

July 5, 2008

Saskatoon, SK

USA Men’s National Team UPDATE from 3 Nations Challenge
Game 1- Thursday, July 3
Canada 4 USA 2

In the Opening game of the 3 Nations Challenge in Saskatoon, the USA Men's National team pitching kept the powerful Canadian Men's Team off balance.  The Canadian hitters managed only four hits off of pitchers Sean Kelly (Homer, Mich.) and Cody Thomson (Herriman, Utah).  Kelly, the starter went five strong innings giving up four runs and four hits in five innings, walking three and striking out one.  Kelly dropped to 0-1 in the tournament.  The crowd of 1,950 was treated to early action as the Canadians led off the game with a solo home run by Ryan Wolfe.  Wolfe had a three- run homer in the fifth and accounted for three of the four Canadian runs.

The American bats have struggled to get key hits.  The USA outhit Canada five to four.  Leadoff hitter Blake Miller (Kingsville, Texas) went 2-for-3 and was the catalyst for the American offense. In the fourth, Miller led off the inning with being hit by a pitch and was advanced to third by a Steve Pinnochio (Merced, Calif.) bunt and a Canadian error.  Matt Palazzo (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) then scored Miller with an infield out.  In the fifth inning, right fielder Eddie Ketelhut (Canton, Mich.) led off with a single and scored on a single by Blake Miller.

The Americans moved to 0-1 in the Challenge while Canada moved to 1-0.

Canada   100 030 0   4   4  1
USA       000 110 0   2   5   0

Winning Pitcher: Frank Cox    Losing Pitcher:  Sean Kelly

Game 2 – Thursday, July 3
Japan 8  USA 3

The second game of the night was a slugfest as Japan and the United States combined for 20 hits in a three hour and twenty minute marathon.  Japanese shortstop Ryuji Hazeyama led the Japanese with a home run and two singles.  The Americans were led by right fielder Chase Turner (Stockton, Calif.) who had a single and a home run.  Nate Devine (Merced, Calif.) also went 2-for-3 after replacing USA centerfielder Chad Seeman (Chenoa, Ill.) who was lost for the tournament with a fractured finger that happened on a bunt attempt in the third inning.  The game was close until the fifth when the Japanese scored five, keyed by a Masateru Matsuoka grand slam.  The Americans continued to hit well, but left nine runners on base.

Losing pitcher Travis Price (Corona, Calif.) went 5 2/3 innings giving up nine hits and eight runs.  The Japanese threw four pitchers led by starter Tatsuya Hamag who went four innings and struck out nine.  The Americans dropped to 0-2 in the tournament.  Japan is now 1-0.

Japan   020 105 0    8  10  0
USA     000 002 1    3  10  0

About ASA

The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 83 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 240,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.

About USA Softball

USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won eight World Championship titles including the last six consecutive as well as claimed two World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.

Julie Bartel
ASA/USA Softball
Director of Communications
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