Doug Gillis and Todd Garcia lift USADoug Gillis and Todd Garcia combine to lift USA past Botswana
Christchurch, N.Z.---Todd Garcia (Woodbridge, CA) drove in two runs and Doug Gillis (Novi, MI) struckout 14 to lead the USA to a 2-0 win over Botswana in its opening game of the XI ISF Men’s World Championship.
Anytime you get a win it’s a good win,” said head coach Peter Turner. “We were just a hit away from breaking this game open and taking a bigger lead.
We knew they had a good pitcher and we would get their best game.”
The U.S. left the bases loaded in the second when Garcia grounded into a double play to end the inning but he would soon redeem himself.
In the fourth Steve Schott (Kelso, MO) led off the inning with a bunt single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored when Garcia singled up the middle. With only a 1-0 lead heading into the seventh inning, Garcia provided his team with an insurance run when he blasted a solo shot to right field to give the U.S. its final 2-0 margin of victory.
“I just tried to stay patient at the plate today and wait for my pitch,”
Garcia said. “Fortunately I was able to connect on a couple and help out the team.” Gillis was dominating in the circle allowing only a single hit in the first inning and fanning 14 in the complete game effort. He managed to strike out the side in four of the seven innings and had only one base runner the entire game.
“I was pleased with my performance since this is the first real game action I’ve had since the Pan Am Games last summer,” Gillis said. “This is the start I was looking for and will try and build on this as the tournament continues.
Mike Dryer (Blue Springs, MO) was the only other U.S. player to collect a hit in the game for the U.S.
The U.S. will resume play Friday, January 30 against Hong Kong at 3:30 p.m.
(CST). 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.