Tom Slater and USA Baseball National Team Wraps Up Gold Medal With 18-9 Win At FISU World Championship

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Aug. 16, 2006

HAVANA, Cuba - The USA Baseball National Team captured its second straight FISU (International University Sports Federation) World Championship with an 18-9 win over Chinese Taipei Tuesday night at Latino Stadium.

The National Team, for which Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater was an assistant, finished its summer campaign with a 28-2-1 mark and successfully defended its gold medal won in the 2004 FISU tournament in Taiwan. The .919 win percentage is the best ever by a USA Baseball collegiate team and the tournament win was the first ever for a USA Baseball National Team in Cuba.

The offense finished the season in style recording season highs in both hits (22) and runs (18).

The US rallied from a 3-0 first inning deficit with two runs in the bottom half, followed by a big four-run inning in the second to take a 6-3 lead.

Preston Clark (Texas) opened the second with a triple down the left field line and scored on a single by Zack Cozart (Ole Miss) to tie the game at 3-3. Jemile Weeks (Miami) would later add a two-run single and Arencibia capped it off with a RBI double to right-center.

The National Team continued the onslaught with two more runs in the third, both courtesy of a double by Julio Borbon (Tennessee).

The US extended the lead to double digits with a five-run fourth to make it 13-3. Todd Frazier (Rutgers) had a sacrifice fly, Borbon added a RBI single and Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) had a three-run double to make it 13-3.

Nick Schmidt (Arkansas) moved to 3-1 on the summer after giving up three unearned runs on two hits in five innings of work. He struck out five and walked four and finished the summer with a 1.31 ERA to go along with 38 strikeouts and 13 walks in 34.1 innings.

Casey Weathers (Vanderbilt) came on in relief in the sixth and ran into control problems as he allowed three runs on two hits with four walks and a strikeout.

Todd Frazier (Rutgers) opened the bottom of the sixth with a massive homer into the third set of bleachers in left field, his fourth blast of the summer. Jemile Weeks added a RBI single to make it 15-6.

Taipei scored three unearned runs in the seventh to cut the deficit to 15-9. Ross Detwiler (Missouri State) gave up two unearned runs in an inning of relief, before Daniel Moskos (Clemson) came on with two outs in the seventh. He gave up an unearned run before recording a strikeout to end the inning.

Sean Doolittle (Virginia) led off the seventh with a double to left to become the final starter to get a hit on the evening. He later scored on a throwing error by the Taipei shortstop to make it 16-9.

Doolittle came through again with a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth to make it 18-9. Daniel Moskos had a two-out hit in his first at-bat of the season and Darwin Barney followed with a double into the gap in right-center, his third hit of the night.

Julio Borbon had four hits to lead the US, while Barney had three and the rest of the starters all had two hits each.

Chinese Taipei took advantage of two miscues in the field to score three unearned runs in the top of the first to take a 3-0 lead. The big hit of the inning was a RBI double by Ling-Hung Yu. The inning was kept alive on a grounder to third by Kuo Chun Yu that was misplayed by Pedro Alvarez with two outs. Taipei then added two more runs on a throwing error by Zack Cozart.

The three run total in the first tied the amount of runs Chinese Taipei scored in a full game in any of the previous eight meetings this summer.

Tennessee's J.P. Arencibia came through again for the National Team in the bottom of the first with a two-run homer down the left field line, his ninth homer of the summer and fourth of the tournament. The round-tripper plated UT teammate Julio Borbon who led off the frame with a single up the middle.

Arencibia was named the MVP of the tournament after a stellar display at the plate. He finished 14-for-34 (.412) with three doubles, two triples, four homers and a tournament best 23 RBI in the eight games. Also named to all-tourney team were Pedro Alvarez and Julio Borbon.

The team will head back to the United States tomorrow and disband with the coaches and players heading back to their respective homes from Miami.

CHINESE TAIPEI 300 003 300 -9 6 4

UNITED STATES 242 502 10x -18 22 3

Ming, Chun (1), Wei (2), Wei (3), Jen (4), Fu (6) and Yu, Yi. Schmidt, Weathers (6), Detwiler (6), Moskos (7) and Arencibia. W- Schmidt 3-1, L- Ming 0-1. SV- None. HR- USA: Arencibia (9), Frazier (4).