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Team USA cruises past South Africa

South Africa shouldn't challenge Team USA in the 2000 Olympics baseball tournament, and it didn't Sunday in an exhibition game on Australia's Gold Coast.

Righthander Kurt Ainsworth (Giants) struck out seven in five two-hit innings, and DH John Cotton (Rockies) hit a grand slam in the fourth inning as Team USA cruised to a 17-1 win against South Africa. Team USA is 4-0 in its exhibition schedule with wins against Italy, Australia twice and now South Africa.

Cotton's home run was part of a seven-run fourth inning that extended Team USA's lead to 12-1. It was also the second home run of the exhibition series for Cotton. American center fielder Anthony Sanders (Mariners), whose wife Claudia gave birth to a baby boy back in Tucson on Saturday, also homered in the fourth. Team USA, which hit just eight home runs in the 1999 Pan American Games, has hit eight homers in four exhibition games this year.

With Team USA leading 17-1, the game was called after seven innings due to the international 10-run mercy rule.

Catcher Marcus Jensen (Twins) went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, while second baseman Brent Abernathy (Devil Rays) added two hits with a double and two RBIs to pace Team USA's 15-hit attack. Third baseman Mike Kinkade (Orioles) also had a pair of hits.

Ainsworth, a 1999 first-round pick, was the winner while lefthander Tim Young (Red Sox) and righthander Shane Heams (Tigers) each pitched a perfect inning in relief.

"We swung the bats really well today and continued to get strong pitching," said Team USA manager Tommy Lasorda. "Eleven players had hits today, the type of balanced attack we would like in Sydney."

South Africa's pitching staff allowed 10 walks and had four wild pitches.

Team USA will next play the Netherlands at 6:00 pm on Monday, its final game at its exhibition home in Palm Meadows. Team USA's final game before the Olympics will be played Tuesday against Korea in Brisbane.

Pre-Olympic Exhibition Game 4
USA vs South Africa, September 10, 2000


USA 17 (4-0)                         South Africa 1 (0-4)

                  AB  R  H RBI                         AB  R  H RBI

Dawkins ss         3  2  1  0        Bell ss            3  0  1  0 
Everett ph/ss      3  0  1  1        De la Ray 3b       2  0  1  0 
Wilkerson rf       4  2  1  1        F. Alfino 3b       1  0  0  0 
Mientkiewicz 1b    4  2  1  0        Holness rf         3  0  0  0 
Kinkade 3b         3  2  2  1        Dempsey 1b         3  0  0  0 
Burroughs pr/3b    1  1  0  0        Cook cf            3  0  0  0 
Cotton dh          1  2  1  4        Kemp c             3  0  0  0 
Coolbaugh dh       2  0  0  0        Adonis dh          2  0  0  0 
Sanders cf         2  1  1  1        Alfino lf          2  1  0  0 
Gilbert ph/cf      2  1  1  2        Johnson 2b         2  0  0  0 
Jensen c           4  0  2  3        Smith p            0  0  0  0 
Neill lf           3  3  1  0        Berriman p         0  0  0  0 
Abernathy 2b       4  1  2  2        Harrell p          0  0  0  0 
Ainsworth p        0  0  0  0         
T. Young p         0  0  0  0         
Heams p            0  0  0  0         

Totals......      36 17 14 15        Totals......      24  1  2  0 

Score by innings:                   R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
USA                   212 750 0  - 17 14  2
South Africa          001 000 0  -  1  2  3
-------------------------------------------

E - Dawkins, Wilkerson, De la Ray 2, Berriman. LOB - USA 8, South Africa 2.
2B - Jensen, Abernathy. HR - Cotton(2), Sanders(1). SB - Dawkins,
Wilkerson. CS - Abernathy. 

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

Ainsworth W 1-0       5.0  2  1  0  0  7   0  0  0  0   18 18   3  5
T. Young              1.0  0  0  0  0  2   0  0  0  0    3  3   1  0
Heams                 1.0  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0    3  3   0  3

Smith L 0-1           3.1  6 10  8  7  2   1  0  0  0   16 23   4  3
Berriman              1.0  5  6  6  2  2   3  0  0  0    9 11   1  0
Harrell               2.2  3  1  1  1  0   0  0  0  0   11 12   3  5

WP - Smith, Berriman 3. PB - Kemp 2. 

Strikeouts - Dawkins, Wilkerson 2, Coolbaugh, Bell, De la Ray, Holness 3,
Dempsey, Cook 2, Johnson. Walks - Wilkerson, Mientkiewicz, Kinkade, Cotton
2, Sanders, Jensen, Neill 2, Abernathy. 

Start: 2:00 pm   Time: 2:32   Attendance: 1000

Game Notes:
Team USA will play The Netherlands at 6:00 pm on Monday

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