UCLA's Gerrit Cole Pitches USA Baseball Past Japan, 3-0

July 11, 2009

MATSUYAMA, JAPAN - UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole registered nine strikeouts and allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings to lead the USA Baseball National Team (Collegiate) past Japan, 3-0, at Matsuyama Stadium on Sunday afternoon in Japan.

Cole (3-0) collected his third victory in as many starts for the U.S. National Team (12-1) this summer, allowing five baserunners in seven innings. The right-hander from Santa Ana, Calif., retired the first nine batters he faced.

Team USA captured a 2-0 lead with two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton) tripled to right-center field with one out, sending home Tyler Holt (Florida State) from first base. A single by Matt Newman (Arizona State) down the left field line plated Colon.

The U.S. added their third and final run of the game in the top of the ninth. Newman led off the frame with a single, advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an ensuing single to left field by Andy Wilkins (Arkansas).

Relief pitchers Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt) and Chad Bettis (Texas) each tossed one scoreless inning in relief. Bettis registered the save for Team USA. Japan starter Karuhito Futagami (0-1) absorbed the loss.

Cole, a rising sophomore and All-Pac-10 selection in 2009, has allowed just five hits in 19.1 scoreless innings in three starts for Team USA. He has recorded 32 strikeouts and seven walks.

Game two of the best-of-five series, the 37th Annual USA vs. Japan Collegiate Championships, will be Monday, July 13. Game time at the Tokyo Dome is 6 p.m. (2 a.m. Pacific time). Drew Pomeranz (Ole Miss) will take the mound for Team USA.

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