June 21, 2014
In his first game with Team USA's Collegiate National Team, Vols' outfielder Christin Stewart posted hits in his first four at-bats and drove in two runs and scored twice as Team USA won 14-6 over the Catawba Valley All-Stars.
Complete Release From USA Baseball
CARY, N.C. -- The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team got its summer off to a strong start with five pitchers combining to strike out 19 batters en route to a 14-6 victory over the Catawba Valley Stars at Coleman Field at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., on Saturday afternoon.
The Red, White and Blue raced out to a 12-0 lead and never looked back, scoring in each of the first four frames, including a six-run second inning, as it won the opening contest of its 30-game summer schedule.
"We jumped all over them offensively and the pitchers did a tremendous job, they didn't give up a hit until the seventh inning," Team USA manager Dave Van Horn (Arkansas) said. "We lost a little bit of concentration in one inning but we have only been together for about 48 hours and this was the first time out on the field as a team. I was proud of the guys for jumping out there and being really aggressive. We played really relaxed and had fun."
Alex Bregman (LSU) opened his second stint with the Collegiate National Team by driving in three runs while Christin Stewart (Tennessee) was 4-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs in his Team USA debut. Nick Banks (Texas A&M) and Blake Trahan (Louisiana Lafayette) also had a pair of RBIs in the contest, with Banks notching three hits.
On the mound, two Cal State Fullerton pitchers - starter Thomas Eshelman and Justin Garza - combined to retire the first 18 batters of the game for Team USA, firing three hitless innings each. Eshelman struck out four while Garza fanned seven of the nine batters that he faced.
Catawba Valley finally got on the scoreboard once those two pitchers exited the contest, cutting the U.S. lead in half with a six-run frame in the top of the seventh.
Team USA got two of those runs back in the eighth though thanks to a Banks double while Tyler Jay (Illinois) and Ryan Burr (Arizona State) came in to close out the contest on the mound. Jay finished with four strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work while Burr fanned all three batters he faced in the ninth.
The Collegiate National Team will be back in action at 5 p.m. on Sunday when it hosts the Coastal Plain League All Stars at Coleman Field.