July 25, 2002
HAARLEM, THE NETHERLANDS - Arizona State freshman shortstop drove home the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the fouth inning to help lift the USA Baseball National Team to a 4-1 win over the Cuban National Team Thursday night at the 2002 Haarlem Baseball Week.
American righthander Brad Sullivan (RHP, So, Houston) threw 6.1 innings and limited Cuba to just one run on five while striking out seven to earn the win on the mound.
Abe Alvarez (LHP, So, Long Beach State) and Chad Cordero (RHP, So, CS Fullerton) combined to work the final 2.2 innings to complete the victory. Sullivan improved to 5-0 on the summer by keeping the Cubans at bay for most of the night. After allowing two runners on base in the seventh, he was relieved by Alvarez, who came on to induce a double-play ground ball to get out of the jam. Cordero worked a scoreless ninth to notch his first save for Team USA.
In the bottom of the first, Rickie Weeks (OF, So, Southern) reached second base on an error by Cuban first baseman Juan Miguel Miranda. Michael Aubrey (IF, So, Tulane) then immediately drove Weeks home with a base hit to right-center field that gave the Americans an early 1-0 lead. But a two-out, run-scoring double by Marcos Naranjo in the top of third knotted the game at 1-1.
Team USA got back on top in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Dustin Pedroia (IF, Fr, Arizona State) that scored Conor Jackson (DH, So, California), who had walked to lead off the inning. But Cuban starter Norberto Gonzalez (0-1) was unable to get out of the fourth, as he lasted 3.2 innings and was relieved by Livan Gonzalez. The Americans opened it up to 4-1 by adding two more in the fifth - the key blow coming off the bat of Jackson who scorched a double over the head of Naranjo in left field, plating Weeks and Carlos Quentin (OF, So, Stanford).
The 2002 USA Baseball National Team is now 17-3 overall as the squad prepares to next face Japan on Friday morning, July 26 at 10:00 am local time (4:00 am EDT, 1:00 am PDT) in Haarlem, The Netherlands. Philip Humber (2-1, 2.12, RHP, Fr, Rice) will take the mound for Team USA.
For a complete boxscore and play-by-play of this game, plus live stats and updated statistics, point your web browser to www.usabaseball.com.
The USA Baseball National Team is preparing to compete in the first-ever FISU Collegiate World Baseball Championships in Messina, Italy, August 3-11.