CARY, N.C. – Triston Casas (Boston Red Sox AA) drove in three runs on Tuesday, including a first-inning two-run homer, as the U.S. Olympic Team took down the Collegiate National Team, 5-2, in its final tune-up game before the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.
The Collegiate National Team cracked the scoreboard early, striking first on a solo homer by Brooks Lee (Cal Poly). Lee turned on the second pitch of the game, cranking it over the wall in right field to put the Collegiate National Team up 1-0.
After Simeon Woods-Richardson (Toronto Blue Jays AA) struck out the next three batters, the Olympic Team responded in the bottom of the inning. With two outs and Todd Frazier on first, Casas launched a two-run shot to center field to put the Olympic Team in front, 2-1.
Woods-Richardson continued his dominance in the second inning, striking out the side for the second consecutive inning. The Olympic Team then threatened with two runners on in the bottom of the frame, but Parker Messick (Florida State) escaped the trouble to keep the deficit at one.
In the top of the third, Woods-Richardson recorded his seventh-straight strikeout to open the inning. But three consecutive singles by Jacob Gonzalez (Ole Miss), Lee, and Gavin Cross (Virginia Tech) got through to tie the game at two runs apiece.
The Olympic Team nearly took the lead back in the bottom of the inning with a two-out rally against Justin Campbell (Oklahoma State) when Eric Filia (Seattle Mariners AAA) and Mark Kolozsvary (Cincinnati Reds AA) both singled to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. But Campbell managed to escape the jam when he got Patrick Kivlehan (San Diego Padres AAA) to line out.
After Shane Baz (Tampa Bay Rays AAA) replaced Woods-Richardson and put up a scoreless frame in the fourth, the Olympic Team jumped back in front in the bottom of the inning. Nick Allen (Oakland Athletics AA) led off with a double before Frazier brought him home with a two-out single to right field, making it 3-2 in favor of the Olympic Team.
The game’s middle innings were dominated by pitching. Baz scattered a pair of hits in the fifth frame, but picked up a strikeout in a scoreless inning of work. Nate Savino (Virginia) held the Olympic Team scoreless in the fifth to keep the Collegiate Team within a run.
Anthony Gose (Cleveland Indians AAA) turned in a scoreless inning in the seventh before the Olympic Team added a pair of insurance runs. Casas once again showed off his power, tripling off the wall in center field to drive in Frazier. Jamie Westbrook (Milwaukee Brewers AAA) followed with an infield single to plate Casas and make it a 5-2 game before David Robertson came in and picked up the save for the second straight day, striking out the side in the game’s final inning to secure the series sweep for the Olympic Team.
Baz picked up the win with three scoreless innings, striking out six as part of five scoreless innings by the Olympic Team bullpen. Casas’ 2-for-5 performance was one of five multi-hit games for the Olympic Team. Allen, Filia, Frazier, and Westbrook all collected two hits in the win.
Savino suffered the loss for the Collegiate National Team, allowing the go-ahead run in two innings of work. Brooks Lee led the team’s offensive attack, picking up three hits and an RBI. Daniel Susac (Arizona) also turned in a multi-hit game for the Collegiate National Team, collecting two hits in the game.
This series wraps up the 2021 Collegiate National Team’s summer tour following an 11-game series from June 2-15 before the squad went head-to-head with the Olympic Team. Following this three-game exhibition series, the Olympic Team will travel to Japan on Wednesday, July 21, and will participate in the Opening Ceremonies on Friday, July 23. Team USA’s first game of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is scheduled for July 30 against Israel at 7 p.m. JST/6 a.m. EDT