THUNDER BAY, On –- Ju;y 26. 2010 ----- Phillip Pfeifer (Knoxville, Tenn.) shoved seven shutout innings to anchor the USA Baseball 18U National Team over Chinese Taipei 10-0 Monday in front of 2413 fans at Port Arthur Stadium. USA scored 10 runs on a 15 hits to improve to 3-0 in the 2010 IBAF World Junior “AAA” (18U) Baseball Championships.
Pfeifer (4-0) was magnificent in a complete game effort, allowing just two hits and striking out eight. The left-hander baffled the Chinese Taipei hitters all night pounding the strike zone.
Team USA registered six extra base hits and 10 different U.S. batters posted at least one hit. Francisco Lindor (Clermont, Fla.) and Blake Swihart (Rio Rancho, N.M.) paced the USA attack with two hits apiece, including a pair of two-run home runs.
“It was big to score some runs in the early innings to take the pressure off a little,” said assistant coach Brian McRae. “We have some pretty good pitching and Pfeifer showed what he is capable of tonight.”
Pfeifer was downright dominant in the early innings. The left-hander stymied the Chinese Taipei hitters with a perfect slate in the first four frames with four strikeouts.
The U.S. broke the scoreless tie in the third manufacturing seven runs on nine hits. Elvin Soto (New York, N.Y.) started the hit brigade with a leadoff single. Tony Wolters (Vista, Calif.) followed with a RBI double and Lindor delivered a two-run line drive home run over the left center field fence.
Eight straight U.S. hitters reached base safely, including seven via a hit. Christian Lopes (Canyon County, Calif.) notched a two-RBI single and Brian Ragira (Arlington, Tex.) followed with a two-RBI double as Team USA stunned their opponent to own a 7-0 lead after three.
The U.S. added one run in the fourth to push out in front 8-0. Lindor reached on an infield single and later scored on a wild pitch, earning his second hit and run of the day.
Pfeifer’s perfection and no-hit bid was broken up in the fifth courtesy of a walk and hit. The Knoxville, Tenn., native was not phased striking out the side to total seven punch-outs through five frames.
The U.S. tacked on two more runs in the sixth after a two-run home run off the bat of Swihart. The switch-hitter tattooed the first pitch he saw over the right center field fence to extend the USA lead to 10-0.
Pfeifer completed his gem in the seventh and final frame, using a game ending double play to seal the 10-run victory.
The 18U National team will play their fourth game of pool play Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. against Venezuela at Baseball Central. The U.S. will play their final pool play game Wednesday against France at 9:30 a.m, before the medal rounds begin July 30.
The 2010 IBAF World Junior “AAA” (18U) Baseball Championship hosts national teams from Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, Panama, Venezuela and the United States. Teams began qualifying games on July 23 and the tournament will culminate in the gold medal game on August 1 at Port Arthur Stadium in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Visit the website at www.worldbaseball2010.com. For tickets, please call toll free at 1-877-422-3201.
Team USA is now the only unbeaten team in pool A and joins Cuba as the two teams in the tournament without a loss . . . In their final two pool play games the U.S. will play Venezuela (1-2) and France (0-3) . . . The 10-0 seven-inning victory was the U.S.’s second in as many days. . . The 15 hits against Chinese Taipei are the most posted by Team USA in the World Championships . . . Pfeifer retired 12 straight hitters to open the game, carrying a perfect game into the fifth frame . . . In three tournament games, USA hurlers have limited their opponents to a .128 batting average and just two runs on 10 hits . . . Switch-hitters Lindor and Swihart each post two and three home runs, respectively this summer . . . Both of Lindor’s home runs have come from the right side as Swihart posts two from the left and one from the right . . . Monday’s one hour and 49 minute game is the fastest of the tournament.