July 25, 1998
MESSINA, Sicliy – The USA baseball team used a potent offensive attack and a three-hit effort by Clemson sophomore righthander Ryan Mottl to defeat Russia, 10-0, in fourth-day action at the International Baseball Associations XXXIII World Championship, held Saturday night before 3,000 fans at Stadio Conca DOro.
The USA–which opened with 3-1 losses to the Netherlands and Korea before beating Taiwan 13-6–evened its record at 2-2 at the 16-team World Championship and 28-11 overall. Russia fell to 0-4 in Sicily.
The USA will return to Palermo, Sicily for Sunday night’s group B game versus Nicaragua. Baylor sophomore righthander Jason Jennings is scheduled to start for the USA. The top four teams from groups A and B will advance to the quarterfinals, following seven-game round-robin play.
Notre Dame sophomore third baseman Brant Ust (Redmond, Wash.) started Saturdays game but his statistics were unavailable, as a full boxscore was not provided by USA Baseball.
The game was halted in the bottom of the eighth inning due to the international run-differential rule.
Mottl (3-0) faced just 27 batters–three above the minimum–after allowing three hits and four walks while benefiting from a USA defense that threw out four baserunners. He totaled nine strikeouts and retired the first 12 batters he faced before yielding a hit in the fifth.
Arizona State sophomore centerfielder Willie Bloomquist opened the scoring with a two-run triple in the second inning. Stanford sophomore first baseman John Gall added a solo home run to left-center field in the third before an RBI triple by Miami shortstop Bobby Hill and a run-producing error by Russian pitcher Anton Shirokiy gave the USA a 5-0 lead.
Gall added a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and the USA tacked on two more runs in the seventh, behind doubles by Texas Tech sophomore catcher Josh Bard and UNLV sophomore rightfielder Ryan Ludwick and a single by Cal State Fullerton sophomore pinch-hitter Ryan Owens.
Ludwick capped the onslaught with a two-run double in the eighth, giving him a 4-for-5 game with three RBI and two runs scored.