Larish Hits Third Home Run To Lead Team USA To 18th Straight Victory

July 25, 2003

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    STRONGSVILLE, OHIO -- Jeff Clement (C, Fr., USC) and Jeff Larish (IF, So., Arizona State) each hit their third homer of the summer and Justin Orenduff (RHP, So., Va. Commonwealth) worked seven and 2/3 innings to pick up his fourth win as the USA Baseball National Team defeated Northern Ohio 8-2 on Thursday evening.

    Larish finished 2-for-5 with a double, a three-run home run and three RBI to improve his summer batting average to .273 (18-for-66). Arizona State teammate Dustin Pedroia went 1-for-2 with two runs scored to help keep Team USA undefeated at 18-0. Pedroia is hitting .288 (19-for-66) with four doubles and six RBI while starting all 18 games at shortstop. He has not made an error in 70 total chances this summer.

    Orenduff allowed just two runs on six hits and struck out six batters to pick up the victory. Steven Register (RHP, So., Auburn) relieved Orenduff completing the final one and 1/3 innings and struck out the side in the ninth to end the game.. Register has made eight appearances for Team USA this summer, the second highest total on the team.

    Team USA got on the scoreboard right away with a run in the first inning. Eric Patterson (IF, So., Georgia Tech) opened the game with a walk and advanced to third base on two consecutive stolen bases. Danny Putnam (OF, So., Stanford) knocked a one-out RBI sacrifice fly to center field to score Patterson and give USA a one-run lead. Patterson is 12-for-12 in stolen bases this summer.

    The Red, White & Blue increased the lead to 2-0 in the fourth inning as Clement launched a two-out solo homer to left center. Team USA added two more runs in the sixth inning as Brent Lillibridge (OF, Fr., Washington) laced a two-out RBI double with the bases loaded to right center scoring Tyler Greene (IF, Fr., Georgia Tech) and Clement. Northern Ohio scored one run in the bottom half of the inning as Mike Martinez hit a two-out solo home run to break up the shutout.

    Team USA got the run back in the seventh inning as Greene hit a two-out RBI single to score Dustin Pedroia (IF, So., Arizona State) putting USA up 5-1. Northern Ohio would score one more run in the eighth inning as Tom Caple stole third base and scored on a throwing error from catcher Mike Nickeas (C, So., Georgia Tech).

    USA put the game away in the ninth inning as Larish greeted reliever Matt Hancock with a three-run homer over the left field wall to increase the USA lead to six. Larish and Clement tied Greene for the team lead in home runs. Larish and Nickeas each finished the night with two hits to lead Team USA at the plate.

    Arizona State teammate Nick Cadena, who made the Great Lakes Collegiate League All-Star team, went 0-for-3 for Northern Ohio. Right-handed pitchers Matt Leaf and Eric Van Slyke also play for the Northern Ohio club.

    Team USA and Northern Ohio will continue the series on Friday evening at 7 p.m. with Justin Verlander (4-0, 0.33 ERA, RHP, Old Dominion) scheduled to start for the Red, White & Blue. Each game of the four-game set with Northern Ohio is played at Mills Field. The Northern Ohio Baseball Club is a member of the Great Lakes Collegiate Baseball League.

    --www.USABaseball.com--
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