Team USA Defeats Host Dominican Republic 2-0 To Remain Unbeaten In Pan Am Games
Aug. 4, 2003
SANTO DOMINGO, D.R. -- Jered Weaver (Long Beach State) extended his scoreless inning streak to 40 innings and combined with Huston Street (Austin, Texas) for a two-hit shutout as the USA Baseball National Team defeated the Dominican Republic 2-0 on Monday evening at the 2003 Pan American Games. The win for Team USA improves the squad's record to 25-0 and 3-0 in pool play at this year's Pan Am Games. Danny Putnam (Escondido, Calif.) went 3-for-4 with one RBI to lead USA at the plate.
Arizona State's Jeff Larish went 2-for-4 with a triple and one run scored. Sun Devil sophomore All-American shortstop Dustin Pedroia was 0-for-1 with a sacrifice bunt, but left the game in the fifth inning with an apparent wrist injury sustained when he was tagging out a Dominican player on a hard slide at second base. The extent of Pedroia's injury was unknown at press time via the USA Baseball National Team Press Officer.
'Jered has been good all summer and this has to rank up there as one of his best performances of the year,' said USA head coach Ray Tanner (Columbia, S.C.). 'When you take into account these conditions with the crowd and the pressure. He was great, period, and he had to be against a great Dominican Republic team. This is what baseball is all about. There is no place better then the Dominican Republic when it comes to passion about the game of baseball.'
Weaver allowed just one hit on the night in 7 1/3 innings pitched and struck out four batters to improve his record to 4-0 on the summer. Street came on in relief for Weaver in the eighth inning and closed the game out to earn his seventh save of the summer. In addition to Weaver's scoreless streak, Street has also pitched 19 innings without allowing a run this summer. The only two hits for the Dominican Republic on the night came from former MLB baseball player Luis Polonia.
'I've never experienced anything like this; 20,000 people in the stands, it's the experience of a lifetime,' said Jered Weaver. 'I let it all hang out tonight and it turned out great.'
Team USA opened up a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. A one-out double by Putnam scored Eric Patterson (Kennesaw, Ga.) to give the USA a one-run cushion. The game remained 1-0 until the eighth inning when the USA loaded the bases with one out. Mike Nickeas (Westlake Village, Calif.) worked D.R. reliever and former MLB pitcher Jose Paniagua to a 3-2 count and took ball four, just high enough out of the strike zone to score Larish and increase the USA lead to two runs.
'They're an unbelievable team,' said Putnam, a junior-to-be outfielder at Stanford. 'We got a good challenge tonight. I couldn't hear myself call off a fly ball.'
Dominican Republic features 13 former MLB players on their roster. Estadio Quisqueya was filled to the rafters with an overflow capacity crowd. The crowd this evening was the largest that Team USA has played in front of this summer.
'I knew that it would be a tough game tonight, the Dominicans are always tough,' said Weaver. 'When you have 20,000 people screaming against you, you can't beat it.'
Monday night's game was delayed by 16 minutes due to a power outage down the right field line light poles. Team USA completes pool play on Tuesday morning vs. Nicaragua. First pitch is set for 10 a.m. at Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo. The scheduled starter for Team USA is Justin Verlander (RHP, So., Old Dominion/5-0, 0.79 ERA).