USA Baseball team can’t overcome Korea and finishes 4th in Gwangju

USA Baseball team can’t overcome Korea and finishes 4th in Gwangju

Courtesy Cal State Fullerton Athletics

GWANGJU, Korea – July 11, 2015 – Cal State Fullerton, representing the USA, surrendered consecutive five-run innings and fell 14-6 to Korea in the bronze medal game Saturday afternoon at the World University Games.

The USA finishes fourth at the competition as both teams combined for 25 hits on Saturday in a contest that flirted with four hours of game time and featured frequent rain showers.

Tanner Pinkston led the USA offense as he went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Taylor Bryant also tallied a pair of base hits in four at bats while five other players recorded a hit on the day.

The USA scored in the first inning for the first time since the opening game against the Czech Republic. Dalton Blaser singled up the middle with two outs and then Jerrod Bravo smacked a double to right field to drive in Blaser and put the USA 1-0.

Korea answered right back in their half of the first as pitcher Colton Eastman hit leadoff hitter Soohaeng Jo to start the frame. Jo stole second and then scored on Seonghun Kim’s double to right-center. Kim would steal third and come in on a groundout to put Korea ahead 2-1.

It stayed that way until the third inning when Josh Vargas led off the frame with a bunt-single to second base. Tristan Hildebrandt followed with a single to right field and, two outs later, Tanner Pinkston cashed them both in as he ripped a double to right field to put the USA ahead 3-2. 

But Korea struck back in the fourth inning thanks to some costly mistakes by the USA. Korea scored five times in the inning thanks to a bases loaded walk, an infield single, an errant pickoff attempt at third and a passed ball along with a throwing error to take a 7-3 lead. 

The USA cut into that lead in the fifth as Bravo walked with one out and Pinkston followed with his second double of the game. A groundout by Timmy Richards scored one run and then a two-out single by Bryant plated Pinkston to make it 7-5. 

But Korea would add five more runs in its half of the fifth to make it 12-5 and put the game out of reach.