USA Men crush Czech Republic 18-0
Christchurch, N.Z.---The USA Men’s National Team avoided any let down that might have occurred after its win over Japan by crushing undefeated Czech Republic 18-0 in five innings to sit atop the standings in Pool B at the XI ISF Men’s World Championship.
“We have to continue to take this thing one game at a time,” head coach Peter Turner said. “I thought we came out today and really controlled the game from start to finish. The more at bats these guys get the stronger they are going to be.”
The U.S. managed to load the bases in the first inning but were unable to push a run across until the top of the second frame. Tom Owen (Ankeny, IA) walked, advanced to third on a single by Steve Schott (Kelso, MO) and scored on Chris Miljavac’s (St. Joseph, MO) single to left field.
A solo home run by Chad Boom (Barnesville, MN) in the third put the U.S. up 2-0 and chased Czech starter Ales Jetmar from the game. Jonas Mach entered the game in the fourth and did not fair well against the U.S. offensive arsenal.
The U.S. scored eight runs in the inning off just four hits and but were aided by two defensive errors. Boom continued to pile up the RBIs slamming a bases loaded double to right center that plated three runs. Owen provided the other highlight of the inning with a two run shot to centerfield.
In the fifth the offensive onslaught continued as the U.S. matched its run production from the previous inning scoring eight more runs. Although it picked up only four hits in the inning, the U.S. used four walks to its advantage. Chris DeLarwelle (Appleton, WI), who led off the inning with a walk and scored, also batted around to drive in the final two runs of the game. Boom hit his second double of the day to bring his total of RBI for the game to five and increase his batting average to .700 for the tournament. Joe Morales (El Paso, TX), Adam LaLonde (Cheboygan, MI), Miljavac and Todd Schultz (Williamston, MI) each had an RBI in the inning.
Travis Price (Santa Ana, CA), making his international debut, got the win after allowing just three hits in the shutout effort and fanning six. Price gave up back-to-back singles to lead off the game but settled down and was in control the remainder of the way. Doug Gillis (Novi, MI) pitched an inning of relief and managed to strike out the side to end the game.
“I’ll have to say I was nervous out there the first inning but once we scored I began to get in a groove and feel a lot more comfortable,” Price said. “To have hitters like these guys behind you really gives you the confidence to go out and pitch your game.”
LaLonde and Miljavac each had two hits in the game, while Boom went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a home run and five RBI. The U.S., which has won three of its four games by shutout, has also outscored its opponents 34-3. The pitching staff has an ERA under 1.00 at 0.89 and is averaging 10 strikeouts a game.
With the win, the U.S. is sits atop Pool B with two games remaining. It will face Great Britain 4:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, February 3.
The U.S. is the No. 3 seed at the XI ISF Men’s World Championship and looks to capture its first World title since 1988. The U.S. is paired with Japan, Czech Republic, Argentina, Botswana, Great Britain and Hong Kong in Pool B. The gold medal game of the championship is scheduled for Saturday, February 7 at 9 p.m. EST.