Aug. 14, 1999
WICHITA, Kan. – The USA Baseball national team saw its 1999 summer season come to an end on Saturday night, dropping an 11-9 game to the San Diego Stars in an elimination game at the National Baseball Congress World Series.
Notre Dame junior-to-be righthander Aaron Heilman (Logansport, Ind.) had a rocky start but received five runs of support during his short outing. Heilman allowed four runs on six hits and two walks over two and two-thirds innings, with just one strikeout.
The inconsistent USA bullpen failed to deliver, despite holding a 9-6 lead with two outs in the eighth. The Stars rallied to tie the game in the eighth and tacked on a pair of two-out runs in the top of the ninth for the winning margin.
University of Arizona righthander Ben Diggins suffered the loss, allowing a ninth-inning single before Wichita State second baseman Koyie Hill made a costly error. Diggins then walked two batters before uncorking a run-producing wild pitch.
The USA ends the summer with an overall record of 24-15. San Diego advances to Sunday’s action, as one of six teams remaining in the 34-team amateur tournament.
San Diego’s Ramsey Ochoa tied the game in the eighth, with a two-run double into the left-center field gap versus University of Houston righthander Kyle Crowell.
The Stars jumped ahead in the second inning, when Cole Holland and Aaron Strangefeld hit back-to-back doubles. The national team answered in the bottom of the inning, when Texas A%M rightfielder Daylan Holt singled and scored on a two-out double from University of California catcher Mike Tonis.
San Diego erupted for four runs in the third, with Brian Sos plating Adrian Mora on a sacrifice fly and Holland following with a two-run, opposite-field home run that knocked Heilman out of the game. San Diego then added a walk and two singles for a run versus Houston lefthander Shane Nance.
Team USA matched San Diego with four runs in the bottom of the third. The USA rally include an RBI triple from Arizona shortstop Keoni DeRenne, plus two singles and an error.
The national team took advantage of some sloppy San Diego defense by scoring three unearned runs in the sixth. A pair of errors, a bases-loaded walk to DeRenne and a run-scoring wild pitch by reliever Walter Harrington gave the USA an 8-5 margin.
San Diego picked up a run in the seventh but the USA stretched to a 9-6 edge in the bottom of the inning, after doubles by Holt and North Carolina centerfielder Tyrell Godwin.
Stars reliever Todd Holverson earned the victory, allowing one run on three hits and no walks over the final three innings.