CARY, N.C. – Game two of 15U National Team Training Camp featured a back-and-forth battle at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, yet a Stripes three-run rally in the ninth proved to be the deciding factor in an 8-5 win over the Stars.
Flipping the script from yesterday’s intrasquad matchup, action in game two commenced not long after first pitch. The Stars once again drew first blood, as a wild pitch followed by a sacrifice fly scored James Tronstein and Trey Ebel to put the home team up 2-0 after one inning.
The Stripes responded emphatically in the second frame and took advantage of a bases-loaded situation; Will Brick halved the deficit with a sacrifice fly while a wild pitch plated Keon Johnson to tie the game. Nate Davis followed up by digging a ball well below the strike zone for an RBI double and put his team up by one in the process.
The Stars quickly responded in the bottom frame and tied things up after Tronstein smoked a ball to right for an RBI base knock. He later scored and gave the Stars a one-run advantage after a two-out fielding error allowed a would-be groundout to reach the outfield.
The lead continued to change hands as back-to-back two-out RBI base hits by Brick and Davis passed the lead back to the Stars and made it a 5-4 game in the fourth. Stripes pinch-hitter Kaden Nicholls did his job with a runner in scoring position by notching a game-tying sacrifice fly to score Will Adams, who led off the sixth with a booming triple to center field.
After a pair of scoreless frames, the Stripes finally broke through in the ninth with an RBI bunt single off the bat of Teagan Scott. On the same play, another run scored after a throwing error allowed Wilson Andersen to score from second. Conor Rae kept the rally going by driving a 3-1 offering to center, scoring Scott for the Stripes’ eighth run.
In the tenth, the Stars managed to put runners in scoring position with two outs, yet could not capitalize as Brody Jindra extinguished the threat and earned the save for the Stripes.
Ten hits were distributed amongst eight players, yet two stood out for Stripes. Davis accounted for half of the team’s RBIs as he tallied three on the day in his 2-for-4 performance, while JC Pacheco scored twice and collected a pair of hits. Just like the day before, the Stripes’ bullpen was exceptional, as relievers Drew Davis and Jindra combined for seven punchouts over 7.0 innings pitched and surrendered only one run in the process.
A pair of dominant hitters also emerged from the Stars squad. Tronstein posted a perfect 2-for-2 performance and collected two runs scored in addition to an RBI, while Adams went 2-for-3 at the plate and scored once. Alex Haro held the Stripes scoreless and tossed 4.0 innings of three-hit ball while punching out three batters as well.
The Stars vs. Stripes series continues Thursday evening, as game three will be played at 6:00 p.m. at Coleman Field at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. The contest will be streamed at USABaseball.TV, and live updates will be provided via Twitter at @USABaseball15U.