USA Men open pool play

Jan. 20, 2006, 1:22 p.m. (ET)
USA Men open pool play with 8-0 win 
ORLANDO, Fla.---The USA Softball Men’s National Team opened pool play competition at the 2006 AAU International Men’s Fast Pitch Tournament with an 8-0 win over the Ambassadors of the Virgin Islands. Landy Rodriguez (West Haverstraw, NY) was sensational in his national team debut going 3-for-3 with two home runs, three RBI and a stolen base to lead the USA to the opening round victory.

The U.S. took an early 2-0 lead after Chris Miljavac (St. Joseph, Mo.) doubled to left center and scored on a single by Rodriguez in the bottom of the first. A lead-off double by Matt Darling (Waukee, Iowa) led to the second run when Ben Fjelland (Slater, Iowa) singled up the middle to score him in the bottom of the second.

A big two out rally in the third pushed the U.S. lead to 5-0. Back-to-back home runs by Rodriguez and Frank DeGroat, Jr., (Ringwood, NJ) got the rally started. Consecutive walks to Tom Owen (Elkhart, Iowa) and Darling put runners in scoring position for Craig Daniels (Stockton, Calif.) who came through with an RBI single.

After being shutout in the fourth inning, the USA closed out the game with three runs in the fifth. Rodriguez led off the inning with his second home run of the day. A single by Darling set the stage for Daniels who launched a walk-off home run to left field to end the game.

Michael White (Eugene, Ore.) collected the win after pitching four shutout innings and allowing only one hit while striking out seven. Cody Thomson (Riverton, Utah) struck out the side in one inning of relief work.

The U.S. closes out pool play today with games at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.