PHOENIX, ARIZONA (October 31, 2015) The 2015 USA Baseball Premier12™ Team battled Canada to a 2-2 tie Saturday afternoon at the Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix. A strong effort from the U.S. pitching staff provided fourteen strikeouts to hold Canada scoreless through the final seven innings.
USA Baseball alumni Casey Coleman ran into trouble in the second as Canada took an early 2-0 lead on a bases-loaded walk by Kellin Deglan and an RBI groundout from Skyler Stromsmoe.
Team USA starting second basemen Tyler Pastornicky (Philadelphia Philles) cut the lead in half with an RBI single to bring home Jacob May (Chicago White Sox), who reached base on an error to lead off the inning. May proceeded to steal second base and then advanced to third on a passed ball. Pastornicky finished the day going 2-for-3 with 1 RBI.
“I was impressed with today’s performance and it was nice to get the guys out here and have them perform under these conditions”, said Manager Willie Randolph. “The pitching staff threw really well, we had some good at-bats, but again very pleased with the first day out.”
Both teams were quiet in the middle part of the game before Team USA added a run in the seventh inning to tie the game at 2-2.
Brett Phillips (Milwaukee Brewers) singled to left field to start the inning and then stole second to set the table for May. The switch hitting center fielder came through for the U.S. as he hit a line drive base hit to center field to tie the game.
“They attacked early, I thought maybe they would need a day or two to get their legs under them, but they were very aggressive, took bases, attacked early in counts”, noted Randolph when asked about the young outfielders. “I like to see that enthusiasm, that’s what it’s all about for me. We’re gonna get this thing rolling and I’ve been trying to teach these guys to be aggressive right from the get-go.”
The Team USA pitching staff turned in a scoreless final seven innings, highlighted by right handed pitcher JB Wendelken. The right hander, who is in the Chicago White Sox organization, was impressive as he struck out the side in the bottom half of the ninth.
The USA Baseball Premier12™ Team will be back in action against Canada for game two of the three game set, on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET from Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix.