SANTO DOMINGO, D.R. – The USA Softball’s Men’s National Team scored early and often on its way to an 11-2 route of the Dominican Republic today at the 2003 Pan Am Games. The U.S. erupted for six runs in the first inning to silence the home crowd and give it the jump start it needed.
The first six U.S. hitters that came to the plate reached safely on base hits and all six scored. Chris Miljavac ( St. Joseph , Mo. ) started things off with a single to right field and advanced to third on a single by Kerry Shaw ( Odessa , Mo. ). A single by Kyle Magnusson ( Salt Lake City , Utah ) plated Miljavac for the first run of the game and advanced Shaw to third.
Mike Dryer ( Blue Springs , Mo. ) continued to be hot at the plate launching a first pitch offering over the center field fence for his second home run of the Games. With a 4-0 lead U.S. catcher Todd Garcia ( Woodbridge , Calif. ) kept the rally going with a single up the middle and scored when a single by Adam LaLonde ( Cheboygan , Mich. ) was misplayed by the rightfielder. With one out LaLonde scored the final run of inning after the Dominican pitcher uncorked a wild pitch.
“This is exactly the way we needed to start tonight versus a very talented Dominican team,” said U.S. head coach Pete Turner. “We knew that we would need to get off to a good start to take the crowd out of the game early if we were going to be successful.”
Despite being shutout in the second inning, the U.S. managed to pick up two more runs in the third after LaLonde led off with an infield single and scored on a Matt Darling (Winterset, Iowa) home run to left field.
The U.S. added a few insurance runs in the fourth courtesy of RBI singles by LaLonde, Kyle Beane ( Vassar , Mich. ) and Darling.
The Dominican managed to pick up a run in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings but never mounted much of a scoring threat.
Michael White (Sioux City, IA), pitching in his third Pan Am Games, picked up his first win of the 2003 Pan Ams after allowing only one run on three hits. White fanned 8 of the 15 batters he faced and did not allow a walk. Tony Peeples ( San Miguel , Calif. ) pitched the final inning of the game and allowed one run on two hits.
“Michael White threw a great game for us tonight,” said Turner. “This entire pitching staff has really come together and is giving us some quality innings at the most important time.”
LaLonde, seeing his first at-bats of the Pan Am Games, made good use of them going 3-for-3 with an RBI. Darling and Dryer provided the scoring spark after each posted a home run and three RBI in the game.
The USA Men complete round-robin play on Monday, August 11 at 6 p.m. with a match-up against Pan Am rival Canada. Both teams will enter the game undefeated with identical 4-0 records.
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