ALL WORLD CLASSIC: Nationals Down Americans 9-4


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NC Dino Looney Game MVP

A balanced attack helped lead the National squad past the American team 9-4 in the 4th Annual international exhibition game as part of the 9th Annual POWER SHOWCASE All World/All American Baseball Classic at Marlins Park in Miami on Friday. The National team got just the right mix of offense, pitching and defense to hold their opponents at bay and claim the victory.

North Carolina’s Dino Looney scored the winning run to break up a tie ball game in the seventh inning. Looney earned the Carolina Club MVP honors for his overall performance, finishing 2-for-3 with a triple, two runs and two RBI’s. After Mexico’s Jorge Leon lined a single to left field in the eighth and then stole two bases to get into scoring position, Looney blasted a shot deep to center field and raced all the way around the bases for the RBI triple. Arizona’s Chad McClanahan drove Looney home on a sacrifice fly out, popping a shot to deep center field with enough distance to bring Looney home.

Leon proved a nice compliment in the lineup to the MVP Looney. After Looney singled and Alabama’s Hayden Freeman followed with a nice liner through the right side on a hit-and-run, Leon came through with a blooper to center field that brought home both runners with the winning runs. Leon tallied two runs in the game, and also had an impressive over-the-shoulder grab on a bloop up the middle in the fourth.

The American club took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Florida’s Gabriel Lozada drew a bases loaded walk to drive in Venezuela’s Ricardo Leonett.

After the Nationals responded to go ahead, the American squad slowly chipped away to even things back up. Pennsylvania’s Jake Jessel led off the fifth with a gap shot to left-center field that went for a standup double, and Massachusetts’s Stephen Thibault sent a grounder past second for the RBI single. Florida’s Blake Beyel and Texas’ Zeke Bear each drew a walk to lead off the sixth, and Georgia’s Austin Biggar reached on an error to load the bases. Jessel drew a walk to drive in Beyel, and Texas’ Zander Brown bounced an RBI single past the shortstop to score Bear and even the score at four runs apiece.

The Nationals got on the board in the top of the fourth. Florida’s Gio Soto lined a single to left field, but was erased at second on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Pennsylvania’s Isiah Lockette. Florida’s Wyatt Buzbee was hit by a pitch, and Florida’s Yerson Rosalina ripped a shot to center field for a two-RBI double. Leon came on to run for the pitcher Rosalina, and he scored on a passed ball.

Arkansas’ Luke Price walked and stole two bases before scoring on an RBI double off the bat of Missouri’s Nick Hagedorn to close out the scoring.

Left-hander David Nicholas earned the win in relief of the starter Rosalina, and right-hander Christopher Gomez recorded the save with three scoreless innings in which he allowed two hits, hit a batter and picked up three strikeouts.

fl-solesky-pitch-stance-profileRight-handed starter Chase Solesky tossed three scoreless innings for the American squad. Solesky struck out four while surrendering a hit and two walks.

Written by:  Rick Duteau

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