July 27, 1998
Arizona State's Willie Bloomquist went 2-for-2 with two RBI, a triple, a walk and a run scored as the USA Baseball National Team defeated Russia 10-1 on Saturday night before a capacity crowd of approxiamately 3,000 at Stadio Conca D'Oro. The contest was halted in the bottom of the eighth inning due to the international run-differential rule when the Americans built their lead to ten runs. The USA evened its tournament record at the International Baseball Association's World Championship at 2-2, while Russia drops to 0-4.
After a scoreless first inning, the Americans registered two runs in the bottom of the second to take a 2-0 lead. Bloomquist cracked a two-out, two-run triple into the left centerfield gap to drive in designated hitter Brad Cresse and rightfielder Ryan Ludwick who opened the inning with a pair of singles.
Ryan Mottl earned the complete game victory for the United States, his first win of the tournament. He hurled eight innings and allowed jsut three hits and four walks, while striking out nine batters. Mottl did not yield a basehit until the fifth inning as he retired the first 12 Russian hitters that stepped to the plate.
The USA Baseball National Team will face Nicaragua on Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m. local time in Palermo, Sicily, as the World Championship continues. Jason Jennings is scheduled to start for the Americans.