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Team USA crushes Korea 15-0

Coming off its first loss of its exhibition schedule on Australia's Gold Coast, Team USA rebounded with its best performance of its short history Tuesday.

Righthander Ben Sheets (Brewers) solidified his place as Team USA's likely No. 1 starter with five shutout innings, and Team USA hit three more homers to pound Korea 15-0. While Korea did not use its top pitchers or Korean Baseball Organization home run king Lee Seung-Yeop in the game, its team is a collection of KBO all-stars and is considered a strong medal contender.

It didn't look that way Tuesday, when Team USA pounded 17 hits. Three were homers, bringing Team USA's total to 11 in six exhibition games. The Americans finished with a 5-1 record in the exhibitions and open play in the Olympics on Sunday against Japan.

"I am extremely pleased with the progress our team has made during these exhibition games," said Team USA manager Tommy Lasorda. "Tonight we showed that we are picking up our level of play and getting ready for the Olympics to begin. Our team will surely be ready to play by Sunday."

Sheets could start against the Japanese, taking his turn on his normal four days of rest. He was brilliant against Korea, giving up just two hits without a walk while striking out six. Triple-A Tacoma Rainers righthanders Ryan Franklin and Todd Williams (Mariners) finished with two hitless innings of relief as the game ended after seven innings thanks to the international mercy rule.

Team USA scored seven runs in the second inning to break open the game with three key extra-base hits. Shortstop Adam Everett (Astros), who has outplayed Gookie Dawkins (Reds) and figures to be Team USA's starter at the position, hit a two-run double off the left-field wall to score the first two runs of the inning. After a walk to Brent Abernathy (Devil Rays), center fielder Brad Wilkerson (Expos) tripled to right, scoring two runs. Ernie Young (Cardinals) followed with a two-run homer to right.

Pat Borders (Devil Rays) added a solo home run as part of a three-run third inning that extended Team USA's lead to 10-0. Abernathy and Young each reached base in all five plate appearances in the game, as each player went 3-for-3 with a pair of walks. Everett also had three hits and Mike Kinkade (Orioles) added a two-run homer.

Pre-Olympic Exhibition Game 6
USA vs Korea, September 12, 2000


USA 15 (5-1)                         Korea 0 (1-1)

                  AB  R  H RBI                         AB  R  H RBI

Abernathy 2b       3  2  3  1        Lee lf/cf          3  0  1  0 
Dawkins 2b         0  0  0  0        Jung cf/rf         3  0  0  0 
Wilkerson cf       5  1  2  2        Park, JH rf/c      3  0  0  0 
Neill lf           4  1  2  1        Kim, KT 1b         3  0  0  0 
E. Young rf        3  2  3  5        Kim, DJ dh         3  0  1  0 
Cotton dh          4  0  0  0        Kim, HS 3b         2  0  0  0 
Kinkade 3b/1b      5  1  1  2        Hong c             1  0  0  0 
Mientkiewicz 1b    3  2  1  0        Jang ph/lf         1  0  0  0 
Burroughs pr/3b    0  0  0  0        Kim, TG 2b         2  0  0  0 
Borders c          4  3  2  1        Park, JM ss        2  0  0  0 
Everett ss         5  3  3  2        Koo p              0  0  0  0 
Sheets p           0  0  0  0        Kim, SK p          0  0  0  0 
Franklin p         0  0  0  0        Park, SJ p         0  0  0  0 
Williams p         0  0  0  0        Jin p              0  0  0  0 
                                     Lim, CY p          0  0  0  0 

Totals......      36 15 17 14        Totals......      23  0  2  0 

Score by innings:                   R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
USA                   073 122 0  - 15 17  0
Korea                 000 000 0  -  0  2  0
-------------------------------------------

LOB - USA 9, Korea 2. 2B - Borders(1), Everett(2). 3B - Wilkerson(1),
Mientkiewicz(1). HR - E. Young(1), Kinkade(2), Borders(1). SB - Lee. CS -
Abernathy. 

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

Sheets W 1-0          5.0  2  0  0  0  6   0  0  0  0   17 17   3  6
Franklin              1.0  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0    3  3   1  2
Williams              1.0  0  0  0  0  2   0  0  0  0    3  3   0  1

Koo L 0-1             1.1  5  5  5  4  1   2  0  0  0    7 11   1  0
Kim, SK               1.1  6  5  5  2  2   1  0  0  0   10 12   1  1
Park, SJ              1.1  2  1  1  0  4   0  0  0  0    6  6   0  0
Jin                   1.0  2  2  2  0  3   0  0  0  0    5  5   0  0
Lim, CY               2.0  2  2  2  2  5   0  0  1  0    8 11   0  1

WP - Koo 2, Kim, SK. HBP - by Lim, CY (Mientkiewicz). 

Strikeouts - Wilkerson 3, Neill 2, Cotton 2, Kinkade 3, Mientkiewicz,
Borders 2, Everett 2, Lee, Jung, Park, JH, Kim, KT 2, Kim, DJ 2, Jang.
Walks - Abernathy 2, Neill, E. Young 2, Cotton, Mientkiewicz, Borders. 
 
Start: 6:30 pm   Time: 2:45   Attendance: 2200

Game Notes:
Team USA finishes pre-Olympic exhibition play with a 5-1 record
Will next play Japan on Opening Day of the Olympic Tournament
September 17 at Sydney Olympic Park

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