HAARLEM, Netherlands – The NJCAA All-Stars lost a hard fought 4-3 contest to Cuba Friday afternoon at the 2010 Haarlem Honkbal Tournament. The United States representative is now 1-5 at the event with two games remaining. The NJCAA All-Stars next play Chinese Taipei Saturday at 2 p.m. (8 a.m. Eastern) before wrapping up tournament play against Japan on Sunday at 11 a.m. (5 a.m. Eastern).
Down 2-0 heading into the sixth inning, the United States made the score 2-2 due to a two-out rally started by a Tyler Hall (Grand Rapids CC, Mich.) walk. Anthony Bemboon (Iowa Western CC) singled to advance Hall to third and then stole second base to give the NJCAA All-Stars two runners in scoring position. After Marty Gantt (Spartanburg Methodist College, S.C.) walked to load the bases Raph Rhymes (LSU Eunice, La.) came through with a single to score Hall and Bemboom. The rally was then put to bed with a Cuba pitching change that induced a fly out of A.J. Regoli (Broward College, Fla.).
Cuba regained the lead in the seventh inning. A one out walk issued to Daniel Castro by USA relief pitcher Kramer Champlin (Western Nevada College) gave way to a single by Don Duarte. A single by Alexis Bell scored Castro, but a throwing error by Gantt allowed Duarte to score to give Cuba a 4-2 lead.
The NJCAA All-Stars scored again with two outs in the eighth inning when Gantt singled and then advanced to second on a failed pick-off attempt by Cuba’s Robelio Carrillo. Rhymes then picked up his third RBI of the game with a single to right field to cut the Cuba lead to 4-3.
The United States had its chances to tie the game in the top of the ninth inning. Regoli led off with a single and advanced to second on a Cuba throwing error but he was soon tagged out attempting to advance to third base on a bunt by Wade Hinkle (Cochise College, Ariz.). Austin Smith (State College of Florida) came on to pinch run for Hinkle and was subsequently thrown out attempting to steal second base.
With two outs the NJCAA All-Stars got another base runner when Jared Womack (Ranger College, Texas) reached on a hit-by-pitch. Zach Kirksey (LSU Eunice, La.) then pinch ran for Womack and successfully stole second. The game came to an end when Tyson Workman (Pensacola JC, Fla.) went down on strikes.
Derek Cone (Mesa CC, Ariz.) started on the mound for USA, tossing five and two-thirds innings. He allowed two earned runs and surrendered seven hits. Cone was able to get out of trouble on several occasions as he issued three walks and also hit two Cuban batters.
Champlin took the loss for the United States in relief, giving up two earned runs in the seventh inning. Pulama Silva (Yavapai College, Ariz.) came on and retired Cuba in order in the eighth inning.
Rhymes drove in all three USA runs and had two hits. Womack also had two hits on the day and reached base three times.
The NJCAA All-Stars will attempt to get their second victory of the tournament Saturday at 2 p.m. (8 a.m. Eastern) when they face Chinese Taipei. The two teams faced each other in the first game of the tournament last Thursday (July 9th) with the United States pulling out a 3-1 win.
Fans can follow tomorrow’s game via live game stats, live webcam and live audio (Dutch) at www.honkbalweek.nl.
Cuba 4, United States 3 (Jul 16, 2010 at Haarlem)
United States……. 000 002 010 – 3 8 4
Cuba……………. 020 000 20X – 4 10 2
Pitchers: United States – CONE Derek; CHAMPLIN Kramer(6); SILVA Pulama(8) and BEMBOOM Anthony.
Cuba – BORROTO J Luis; CARRILLO C Robelio(6); LICEA G Ciro S(9) and LA ROSA A Yuleixis.
Win-CARRILLO C Robelio Save-LICEA G Ciro S Loss-CHAMPLIN Kramer