USA Men improve to 2-0 at AAU Tournament
ORLANDO, Fla.---The USA Softball Men’s National Team powered its way to a 14-3 win over Team Florida to improve to 2-0 in pool play at the 2006 AAU International Men’s Fast Pitch Tournament. The U.S. offense blasted five home runs in the game to take control of Pool B at the 28-team tournament.
After a quiet first inning, the bats of the Red, White and Blue came alive in the second to score five runs off legendary pitcher Darren Zack of Canada.
Sonny Perkins (St. Michaels, Ariz.) led off the inning with a solo shot to centerfield. Frank DeGroat, Jr. (Ringwood, NJ) followed with a double, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored when Chad Seeman (Chenoa, Ill.) reached on a fielding error. A double by Blake Miller (Albany, Ga.) scored Seeman and a home run by Adam LaLonde (Kentwood, Mich.) pushed the lead to 5-0.
A lead-off home run by Chad Boom (Barnesville, Minn.) kept the hit parade going in the third inning and was followed by DeGroat, Jr. with a solo shot of his own to take a 7-0 advantage.
Team Florida responded with a run in the fourth and fifth inning to cut the lead to 7-2.
Seeman reached as a lead-off in the top of the sixth after a fielding error by Team Florida and scored on a blast by Miller to deep centerfield.
In their last at-bat the U.S. put together a two out rally that produced five more runs. Craig Daniels (Stockton, Calif.) started the rally with a single to right and moved to third on a single by Matt Darling (Waukee, Iowa). An RBI single by Seeman scored Daniels and placed Darling on second.
Miller, who was red hot at the plate going 3-for-4 with five RBI, doubled to left center to plate Daniels and Darling. Ben Fjelland (Slater, Iowa) completed the scoring for the U.S. with a two run home run to right field for their 14th run of the game.
Sonny Perkins (Eugene, Ore.) picked up the win after pitching three innings of relief. Starter Terry Luster (Bunceton, Mo.) pitched three perfect innings and fanned six but split time with Perkins to allow both pitchers to get in some innings before bracket play begins. Cody Thomson (Riverton, Utah) pitched the final inning allowing one run on one walk and struck out one.
Darren Zack was tagged with the loss for Team Florida after allowing five runs in an inning and 2/3 of work.
The U.S. closes out pool play tonight at 5 p.m.