June 9, 1998
TUCSON, Ariz. – The USA Baseball team remained unbeaten in its summer exhibition season, posting a 12-0 victory Monday over the Mexico national team in the third game between the teams at Hi Corbett Field. The four-game series concludes Tuesday night, with Texas Tech junior righthander Shane Wright scheduled to take the mound for the USA.
Notre Dame sophomore third baseman Brant Ust (Redmond, Wash.) drew his second straight start and again went 1-for-3, with two fielding assists. Notre Dame freshman righthander Aaron Heilman (Logansport, Ind.) has yet to pitch for Team USA.
Baylor sophomore righthander Jason Jennings tossed six strong innings, allowing four hits and no walks while striking out six. The USA scored three runs in the third, behind a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Clemson centerfielder Patrick Boyd, an RBI single by Texas Tech catcher Josh Bard and a run-scoring double by UNLV designated hitter Ryan Ludwick.
The Americans added three runs in the sixth, five in the seventh and one in the eighth. Rice sophomore righthander Jeff Nichols had two strikeouts and two hits allowed in the seventh and eighth innings before Texas sophomore righthander Dan Wright closed things out with a perfect ninth inning.
A total of 15 players combined for the USA’s 16 hits, with Washington leftfielder Kyle Woods going 2-for-3 with a run scored. Seven players drove in runs, led by Boyd’s two RBI, while 10 players scored a run, paced by two each from North Carolina second baseman Brian Roberts and Arizona shortstop Keoni DeRenne.
Team USA plays a five-game series versus Canada from June 10-14 before departing for the World Championship qualifier in Managua, Nicaragua (June 17-26).
USA Baseball ultimately will select 22 players to comprise the national team, from the current player pool of 44. The team is in the midst of playing 33 games in preparation for the World Championship ( July 21 – Aug. 2), which will feature reigning world champion Cuba, host country Italy, Korea, Japan, Taipei, China, the Netherlands, Spain and Russia. Five additional teams will qualify from the Americas while the African champion and Oceanian champion also will compete.
In addition to the United States, the 10-team qualifier tournament will feature Argentina, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela.