USA Men continue to struggle at 3 Nations Challenge

July 6, 2008

Saskatoon, SK

For Immediate Release: 7/6/08
USA Men continue to struggle at 3 Nations Challenge
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan ---   The USA Softball Men’s National team will conclude play today in the 3 Nations Challenge after the Americans finished pool play at 0-4. The U.S. will battle Japan for its third time in as many days looking to muster its first win of the tournament. The game will begin at 1 p.m. MST with the winner moving on to play Canada at 3:30 p.m. MST for the championship title. 
The Japanese finished 3-1 while Canada finished at 3-1 and earned the No. 1 seed with a Saturday evening 9-2 win over Japan.
See below for recaps from Friday and Saturday.

Saturday, July 5 – Japan 13 USA 6
Team USA closed the pool play portion of the 3 Nations Challenge, with a loss to Japan on Saturday night, 13-6 in five innings.  Team USA pitching struggled with the powerful Japanese bats giving up four home runs.  The Japanese have hit seven home runs in twelve innings against Team USA in this tournament.  The U.S.grabbed its first lead of the tournament in the top of the first when Kyle Magnusson (Salt Lake City, Utah) hit a solo home run. 
The lead moved to 2-0 in the top of the second when Eddie Ketelhut (Canton, Mich.) got on base on a Japanese error, and stole second base.  He then scored on a Bryan Hansen (Denmark, Wis.) single.
The Japanese responded with nine runs in the bottom of the inning off American starter Paul Algar (Lexington, Ill.) and reliever Sean Kelly (Homer, Mich.).  Algar went one and a third inning giving up eight runs (five earned) while walking four. Kelly relieved going one and two thirds of an inning giving up four earned runs.  Travis Price (Corona, Calif.) closed out the game going one and a third inning allowing one run.

Magnusson led the American hitters going 2-for-3.  Chase Turner (Stockton, Calif.) went 1-for-3 and Steve Pinocchio (Merced, Calif.) went 1-for-1 hitting a pinch hit grand slam in a four-run fourth inning for the Americans.  Takuto Tsutsui hit two home runs for the Japanese, while Youhei Ono went 1-2 with a grand slam in the second inning.

USA     110 40      6   6  0
Japan   090 31    13 10 3
Winning Pitcher:  Kunihiko Iida            Losing Pitcher:    Paul Algar

Friday, July 4 – Canada 9 USA 5
The USA Men's National Team continued to struggle to find a break in a tough luck loss to Canada on Independence Day in Saskatoon, SK.  The Canadians beat the Americans 9-5 before 1,231 fans at Bob Van Impe Stadium.  The Americans continued to hit well, out hitting the Canadians nine to five, but left five runners stranded while playing the Canadians close through five innings.  
Starter Gerald Pyle (Simi Valley, Calif.) went four and one third innings giving up three hits and two earned runs.  Cody Thomson (Herriman, Utah) relieved for Team USA going an inning and two thirds.  Canada's Trevior Either was the winning pitcher throwing four innings and was relieved by Frank Cox.

The Canadians opened up a three-run lead in the first, scoring three runs, two of which were unearned.  The Americans began their scoring in the third inning with three runs, all with two outs.  A Nate Devine (Merced, Calif.) double scored Chase Turner (Stockton, Calif.) for Team USA's first run, and then Devine scored when Frank DeGroat, Jr. (Ringwood, N.J.) hit a long home run to right field.  The Americans scored a single run in the sixth when Kyle Magnusson (Salt Lake City, Utah) led off the inning with a single and then scored on a Matt Palazzo (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) double.  Nate Devine (Merced, Calif.) closed out the American scoring in the seventh with a towering home run estimated at over 370 feet that drew a loud ovation from the Canadian crowd.

USA          003 001 1   5  9  2
Canada     310 032 x   9  5  1

Winning Pitcher:   Trevior Either             Losing Pitcher:    Gerald Pyle
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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