CNT Falls to Japan in Extras, 1-0, in Honkbalweek Opener


HAARLEM, Netherlands – In a game dominated by pitching, the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker in extra innings to Japan in its opening game of Honkbalweek at Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem on Saturday afternoon.

After neither team was able to push across a run over the first seven innings the game headed to extras, which were played under international tiebreaker rules with runners placed on first and second to start the frame.

The U.S. was held off the scoreboard in its half of the eighth and looked to have Japan in a good spot after back-to-back flyouts to start the bottom of the inning were unable to advance the runners. A walk and a walk-off single, the third hit of the day by Takuma Hayashi, handed Team USA the defeat.


  • The best scoring threat for the U.S. came right out of the gate in the top of the first when Enrique Bradfield, Jr. (Vanderbilt) and Wyatt Langford (Florida) opened the game with back-to-back singles. A pair of strikeouts and a flyout to right quickly thwarted the threat, however.
  • Japan followed suit with a pair of singles to start the bottom of the first, but Team USA starter Rhett Lowder (Wake Forest) induced a 5-3 double play before getting a strikeout to stymie the home team.
  • In the third, Lowder struck out the first three batters, but a wild pitch allowed the final one to reach base. The runner quickly stole second and a walk put two runners on but a harmless pop-up to second left them both stranded.
  • A pair of free passes put two on for Team USA in the top of the sixth, but nothing came of it as a groundout ended the inning.
  • In the home half of the frame, Japan had a couple of singles by U.S. catcher Kyle Teel (Virginia) quickly erased both of them from the basepaths, throwing out both trying to steal second.
  • In its half of the extra inning, Team USA tried to bunt both runners up a base, but the Japanese catcher made a great play to field it and throw the lead runner out at third. From there, a fielder’s choice and a groundout kept the game tied.
  • Japan swung away in the bottom of the inning and the first two batters flied out to right which kept its two baserunners from advancing at all. A walk and the third hit of the day by Takuma Hayashi, a walk-off single, ended the hard-fought contest.


  • Rhett Lowder (Wake Forest) and Carter Holton (Vanderbilt) were both fantastic on the mound, firing 3.0 shutout innings each and combining to allow just three hits while striking out a combined seven batters.
  • Cade Kuehler (Campbell) suffered the tough-luck loss after yielding the game’s lone run, which was unearned, in his 1.2 innings of work.  
  • Kyle Teel (Virginia) gunned down two of three potential base stealers on Saturday.
  • All nine hits in Saturday’s game were singles, with five by the U.S. and four by Japan.
  • Saturday’s game marked the first for Team USA at Honkbalweek Haarlem since it won the tournament championship in 2014.
  • The U.S. also lost to Japan, 1-0, in its opening game that year before winning its next seven games to claim gold.
  • Saturday’s contest was played in front of a capacity crowd at Pim Mulier Stadium with more than 3,500 fans on hand.


  • The Collegiate National Team will return to the diamond against Italy at 12 p.m. local/6 a.m. ET on Sunday at Pim Mulier Stadium.


  • Stay tuned to @USABaseballCNT on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 2022 Collegiate National Team Training Camp.