USA Softball

Feb 04 USA Men capture top spot in pool B

Feb. 04, 2004, 2:05 p.m. (ET)
USA Men capture top spot in pool B with 5-0 win over Great Britain
 
Christchurch, N.Z.---The USA Softball Men’s National Team remained undefeated and secured the top spot in pool B after defeating Great Britain 5-0 today at the ISF Men’s World Championship. With the win, the U.S. improves to 5-0 win one game remaining before heading into the playoff round.
 
The U.S. put up all the runs it would need in the bottom of the second inning. Back-to-back singles by Mike Dryer (Blue Springs, MO) and Todd Schultz (Williamston, MI) got the rally started for the U.S. A passed ball moved both runners into scoring position and a walk to Joe Morales (El Paso, TX) loaded the bases.
 
Adam LaLonde (Cheboygan, MI) executed a successful squeeze play to score Dryer but an errant throw by Great Britain pitcher Steve Jackson also allowed Schultz to score on the play. A single by Chris Miljavac (St. Joseph, MO) scored LaLonde to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead.
 
The U.S. offense was not able to put any runs up in the third or fourth innings but did pad its lead in the fifth and sixth. With two outs in the fifth, Mike Dryer (Blue Springs, MO) tripled to right field and scored when the catcher made a wild throw to third in a failed pick off attempt.
 
In the sixth, Morales scored the final run of the game after he singled down the left field line and scored on a single by LaLonde that was misplayed by the centerfielder.
 
U.S. hurler Michael White improves to 2-0 at the ISF World Championships and has now pitched 11 consecutive shutout innings with 11 strikeouts. Versus Great Britain he scattered six hits while striking out four.
 
Dryer was perfect on the day going 3-for-3 with two runs scored, while Miljavac, Morales and LaLonde each had two hits.
 
The U.S., which has won four of its four games by shutout, has also outscored its opponents 39-3. The pitching staff has a minuscule ERA of 0.68 and is averaging nine strikeouts a game.
 
With the win, the U.S. secured the top spot in Pool B with one game remaining versus Argentina. The U.S. will play Argentina at 12 a.m. CST on Wednesday, February 4.
 
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.
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