Japan Takes Game Three Of Series Over Team USA, 3-1
Courtesy of USA Baseball
June 27, 2001
Akita, Japan - Japanese righthander Kazuhito Tadano (1-0) pitched eightinnings and struck out 11 American batters, holding Team USA to just one runon six hits as the Japanese Collegiate All-Stars earned a 3-1 victory in GameThree of the 30th Annual Series between these two countries, Wednesdayevening at the Jukai Dome in Akita.
Stanford's Sam Fuld had a pair of hits (2-for-2) and also walked twice hitting in the leadoff spot, while Tim Cunningham made his first appearance for the Americans, pitching 2/3 of an inning in relief without allowing a run. Carlos Quentin, Stanford's other member of Team USA, did not play.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third, when Japanese firstbaseman Takeo Kinugawa tagged Team USA starter Mike Esposito (RHP, Fr,Arizona State) for a solo homer to right field, to put the home team on top,1-0. Two outs later, a base hit off the bat of Singo Maeda and a two-runblast by Japanese designated hitter Toru Fujiwara made it 3-0.
Team USA's only run came on a pinch-hit, solo home run by Omar Quintanilla(IF, Fr, Texas) that led off the ninth inning and knocked Tadano out of thegame. Ryuichi Furukawa came on to get the final two outs of the game andnotch the save.
Team USA's strongest, big-inning threat came in the fourth when Sam Fuld (OF,Fr, Stanford) led off with a single. Jeremy Reed (IF, So, Long Beach State)followed with a double that put runners at second and third. But Ryan Hubele(OF, So, Texas) struck out, Michael Aubrey (OF, Fr, Tulane) popped up, andChris Snyder (DH, So, Houston) lined out to end the inning.
Esposito (0-1) lasted 4.2 innings, giving up three runs on three hits whilefanning four. He did walk five batters, and was able to strand all five ofthose runners on base. Team USA actually out-hit Japan 6-4, but that was oflittle consolation.
The Americans now face a two games to one deficit in the five-game series,and will have to take both of the final two games in Tokyo, if they are tobecome to first American Team to win this event overseas since 1979.
Game Four of the Series will be on Saturday at 6:00 pm at Meiji-Jingu Stadiumin Tokyo, Japan. Bobby Brownlie (RHP, So, Rutgers), who is 2-0 with a 0.00ERA, will start for the Americans.