Team USA Defeats Canada In Final Tuneup


Complete Coverage of USA Baseball


By John Manuel

October 28, 2003

USA Baseball
The exhibitions are now over. For Team USA, all that remains is the naming of its official roster later Tuesday and the Olympic qualifying tournament that begins Friday in Panama.


In their last tuneup for the qualifier, Team USA beat Team Canada 5-1 Monday at Maryvale, Ariz., behind 7 2/3 innings of solid pitching by its two projected aces. Lefthander Horacio Ramirez (Braves) went 4 2/3 innings, giving up one run, while righthander Justin Duchscherer (Athletics) tossed three shutout innings in relief, striking out five. Combined, that tandem has pitched 23 2/3 innings this fall for Team USA, giving up just six earned runs and 18 hits while striking out 21.


Team USA’s biggest strength, however, continues to be its offense. While the lineup produced just six hits Monday night, two of them were home runs. First baseman Graham Koonce (A’s), the Pacific Coast League MVP, hit a two-run blast in the first inning off Canadian starter Mike Meyers (Cubs). Koonce hit .600-3-14 in 30 at-bats this fall.


Outfielder Gabe Gross (Blue Jays) had the other homer, a solo shot in the fourth inning. Gross hit .366-3-11 in 41 at-bats, tying Koonce and third baseman Justin Leone (Mariners) for the team lead in home runs. Gross and Joe Mauer (Twins) are tied for second in RBIs behind Koonce.


In between, another Team USA outfielder, Matt Holliday (Rockies), tripled home a run in the second inning, in his first at-bat with the team. Holliday was given a one-day trial with the club, which is searching for righthanded bats to complement its long list of lefties that includes Koonce, Mauer, shortstop Mike Rouse (A’s) and outfielders Gross, Jeremy Reed (White Sox) and Grady Sizemore (Indians). Playing for the Mesa Solar Sox this fall, Holliday was hitting .333-3-12 in 66 AFL at-bats, with seven stolen bases in as many chances. Holliday hit .253-12-72 this summer for Double-A Tulsa.


Canada’s Matt Logan put his squad on the scoreboard in the third by belting a solo homer to right.
Team USA also used relievers Andy Pratt (Braves), who got the final out of the fifth inning, and righthander Brian Bruney (Diamondbacks), who pitched the ninth. Rouse, who has hit better than J.J. Hardy (Brewers) in the battle to be the starting shortstop, made two errors at short Monday before Hardy replaced him defensively.


Team USA’s 24-man roster will be announced officially today. The team will then fly to Panama to begin play in the qualifier. The U.S. is scheduled to be part of Group B in pool play with the Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Puerto Rico.


Baseball America also is following a story out of the Caribbean that three nations–Aruba, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela–have pulled out of the Olympic qualifying event. This would change the setup dramatically for pool play, eliminating half of Group A, which also includes Canada, Cuba and Nicaragua.




2003 USA Olympic Qualifying Team
Exhibition: Canada at USA
Oct 27, 2003 at Phoenix, AZ (Maryvale Ballpark)

Canada 1 (1-0-1) USA 5 (10-3-1)

AB R H RBI AB R H RBI

Nicholson ss 3 0 1 0 Rouse ss 4 0 0 0
Clapp 2b 4 0 0 0 Hardy ss 0 0 0 0
LaForest dh 4 0 0 0 Burke 2b 3 1 0 0
Morneau 1b 3 0 2 0 Atkins ph/3b 1 0 0 0
Ware cf 3 0 1 0 Sizemore cf 4 1 1 0
Guiel rf 3 0 0 0 Koonce 1b 3 1 1 2
Ducey dh 3 0 0 0 Gross rf 2 1 1 2
Orr pr 0 0 0 0 Gomes ph/rf 1 0 0 0
Betts 3b 3 0 0 0 Reed lf 3 0 1 0
Thorman 3b 0 0 0 0 Young dh 3 0 0 0
Logan lf 3 1 1 1 Leone 3b/2b 2 0 0 0
Martin c 3 0 0 0 Laird c 2 1 1 0
Meyers p 0 0 0 0 Lamb c 1 0 0 0
Mears p 0 0 0 0 Hill c 0 0 0 0
Kusiewicz p 0 0 0 0 Holliday dh 3 0 1 1
Hill p 0 0 0 0 Ramirez p 0 0 0 0
Pratt p 0 0 0 0
Duchscherer p 0 0 0 0
Bruney p 0 0 0 0

Totals…… 32 1 5 1 Totals…… 32 5 6 5

Score by innings: R H E
———————————————-
Canada 001 000 000 – 1 5 3
USA 210 101 00 – 5 6 3
———————————————-

E – Nicholson; Thorman; Meyers; Rouse 2; Burke. DP – USA 2. LOB – Canada 5;
USA 6. 2B – Nicholson; Laird. 3B – Holliday. HR – Logan(1); Koonce(3);
Gross(3). SB – Burke; Leone.

IP H R ER BB SO WP BK HP IBB AB BF Fly Gnd

Meyers L 0-1 4.0 5 4 4 1 4 0 0 0 0 17 18 2 6
Mears 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 1 2
Kusiewicz 1.0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 5 6 0 3
Hill 2.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 7 8 3 1

Ramirez W 2-0 4.2 4 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 17 18 1 9
Pratt 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
Duchscherer 3.0 1 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 11 11 2 1
Bruney 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 3 0 1

HBP – by Kusiewicz (Koonce).

Strikeouts – Nicholson; Clapp 2; LaForest 2; Morneau; Guiel; Betts; Logan;
Martin; Rouse; Sizemore; Koonce; Gomes; Young; Lamb. Walks – Nicholson;
Gross; Leone.

Start: 7:05 pm Time: 2:15 Attendance: 150

Game Notes:
Team USA finishes with an exhibition record of 10-3-1

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