Jeff Clement Slams USA Into Gold Medal Final

July 31, 2004

LOS ANGELES -- USC catcher Jeff Clement (Marshalltown, Iowa/Marshalltown HS) hit the game-winning grand slam home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the 2004 USA Baseball National Team a 5-2 come-from-behind victory over host Chinese Taipei in the semifinal game of the FISU II World University Baseball Championship Saturday night at Tainan Stadium.

Team USA continued its perfect run through the tournament with its seventh straight victory, setting up a showdown with Japan (6-1) in the Gold Medal game tomorrow evening at 5 p.m. local time (5 a.m. EST). The Americans have won 11 of their last 13 games to improve to 17-7 overall. Japan advanced to the championship final with a 5-0 victory over Korea.

The Red, White and Blue trailed 2-1 after seven innings before Clement's blast into the second deck in right-center field gave Team USA its second dramatic win of the tournament. Right fielder Travis Buck (So., Arizona State, Richland, Wash.) and first baseman Alex Gordon (So., Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.) set the stage for the comeback with consecutive singles to lead off the inning. After third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (So., Virginia, Virginia Beach, Va.) reached on an infield single, Clement drilled Kuo-Ching Lee's second offering into the second deck, an estimated 470-feet away.