USA Men advance to final four with 3-2 win over Samoa at World Championships
Christchurch, N.Z.—The U.S. moves on at the 2004 Men’s Softball World Championships after defeating Samoa 3-2 in an elimination game today in Christchurch. It is now one of final four teams remaining in the tournament and needs one more win to move into the medal round on Sunday.
“These guys know that if we intend reach our goals we have to win every game,” said head coach Peter Turner. “It took us a while to put the runs on the board in this one but the guys got it done.”
After leaving four runners stranded in the first four innings, the U.S. offense finally pushed a two runs across in the fifth inning. Todd Garcia (Woodbridge, CA) led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a single by Steve Schott (Kelso, MO).
With runners on the corners and Adam LaLonde (Cheboygan, MI) pinch-running for Schott, Chris Miljavac (St. Joseph, MO) grounded out to first base allowing Garcia to score. An error by the Samoan shortstop Gene Lutton on a grounder by Ross Dey (Sedalia, MO) allowed LaLonde to score and push the lead to 2-0.
The Samoan’s responded in top of the sixth inning with two runs to knot the game at 2-2. Jeremy Stanley led off with a double and scored on a double by Wayne Laulu. With two outs pinch-hitter Michael Fenton singled to left to tie the game.
In the bottom of the inning the U.S. regained the lead for good after Todd Schultz (Williamston, MI) singled to center field, stolen second and scored on a single by Joe Morales (El Paso, TX).
With the win the USA advances to the final four and keeps its hopes alive for its sixth World Championship gold medal. It will now face Australia at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 7.
For additional information or to arrange an interview with a USA player please contact Brian McCall via email at firstname.lastname@example.org