USA Gets Ready for Chinese Taipei; Game Changed to 2PM

NJCAA All-Stars will now play in the opening game of the 2010 Honkbal Tournament

Haarlem, Netherlands — The NJCAA / USA Baseball All-Stars landed in Amsterdam at 9 a.m. (local time) and turned its attention to their first contest in the 2010 Haarlem Honkbal Week tournament. The team took a 20 minute bus ride to Haarlem from the Amsterdam airport, grabbed some lunch and then hit the field for practice.

Head coach Jeff Willis keeps his eye on infielders during Team USA's first practice.

“It is exciting to finally be here in Europe with our team and to get on the field,” said NJCAA All-Star head coach Jeff Willis. “Due to the bad weather we encountered in Tampa, today was really our first opportunity to see what we have on the team.”

Players were finally able to take a long round of batting practice on the field and a good portion of the session was dedicated to defensive drills.

Assistant Coach John Stratton hits grounders at the team's first practice in Haarlem.

“Things looked pretty good today and they all seem ready to step up to the challenge of international competition.”

The team also was hit with a schedule change. Due to a travel delay with the Venezuelan team, the USA vs. Chinese Taipei contest was moved to 2 p.m. (8 a.m. Eastern) from the original 7 p.m. game time.

“The change was unexpected, but we can handle it,” said Willis. “I am sure this is not the last time our schedule will be altered while we are here.”

Andrew Morris of Gulf Coast Community College and future Auburn Tiger is slated to start on the mound for the US team.

The USA vs. Chinese Taipei game can be followed online via live stats, live webcams and live radio (in Dutch) at www.honkbalweek.nl.

Raph Rhymes squares up a pitch during batting practice on Thursday in Haarlem.

The NJCAA All-Stars were greeted by some young Dutch fans at their first practice.

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