Olympic Baseball Blog All you need to know about Olympic Baseball!

A chinese lion statue

Baseball is one of the most popular sports in the world, and Baseball is my favorite. However, after the 1992 Barcelona the International Olympic Committee granted the sport medal status and played for four Olympics, Baseball were voted out of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London at the IOC meeting in July 2005. This site is to support the Baseball back to Olympics and hope it will grant the medal status one day.

Netherlands announce Olympic Roster

July 14th, 2008

After Haarlem Honkbalweek finished, Manger Robert Eenhoorn of Nederlands announce the Final 24 man roster of 2008 Olympic Team.

The Roster is:
– David Bergman (Corendon Kinheim)
– Leon Boyd (DOOR Neptunus)
– Rob Cordemans (Sparta/Feyenoord)
– Michiel van Kampen (Corendon Kinheim)
– Diegomar Markwell (DOOR Neptunus)
– Shairon Martis (Columbus Clippers, USA)
– Loek van Mil (Beloit Snappers, USA)
– Alexander Smit (Sarasoto Reds, USA)
– Juan Carlos Sulbaran (American Heritage, USA)
– Pim Walsma (L&D Amsterdam Pirates)

– Sidney de Jong (L&D Amsterdam Pirates)
– Tjerk Smeets (Corendon Kinheim)

– Sharnol Adriana (Rojos del Aguilla de Veracruz, Mexico)
– Yurendell de Caster (Columbus Clippers, USA)
– Michael Duursma (Konica Minolta Pioniers)
– Percy Isenia (Sparta/Feyenoord)
– Roel Koolen (Corendon Kinheim)
– Raily Legito (DOOR Neptunus)
– Jeroen Sluijter (DOOR Neptunus)

– Bryan Engelhardt (Corendon Kinheim)
– Eugene Kingsale (DOOR Neptunus)
– Dirk van ’t Klooster (Corendon Kinheim)
– Martijn Meeuwis (DOOR Neptunus)
– Danny Rombley (Corendon Kinheim)

The staff is:
Robert Eenhoorn – manager
Brian Farley – pitching coach
Wim Martinus – 1st base coach
Jack Hubbard – 3rd base coach
Paul van den Oever – coach
Martijn van Berkel – sportfysiotherapeut
Rob Tamminga – sportfysiotherapeut
Kees Sleegers – teamleider
Steve Matthew – scout
Frans Bergman – materiaal

Netherlands Team will leave on July 26th to Korea and play five warmup games with Korea Olympic Team, then travel to Beijing on August 8th and play two games with Canada Olympic Team before 2008 Beijing Olympic Games begin.

Canada Announces 2008 Olympic Team

July 11th, 2008

Baseball Canada just Announces the 2008 Olympic Team, they released the 24 man rosters(including six returning players from the 2004 Olympic team that finished fourth in Athens.), four coaches and four support staff members that will represent Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing August 13-24.

“This is a tremendous time for Baseball Canada and we are very excited about our Olympic team,” says Ray Carter, the association’s president. “The Olympic Games are the pinnacle of competition and to represent our country this summer is a great honor we hold very dear.”

“Selecting this team has been a challenging process, but we’re anxious to get going and have high hopes for our team in Beijing,” says Greg Hamilton, Baseball Canada’s Director of National Teams.

A total of 15 players on the team and the entire coaching staff and three of the four support staff are returning together after participating in last March’s Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Taichung, Taiwan, where Canada finished first in the eight-team tournament to claim one of three remaining berths to the Olympics.

This summer’s Olympic team will be managed by Terry Puhl, who played 15 seasons in the majors and who led the Canadian team at the 2007 IBAF World Cup in Taipei, Taiwan and the Final Olympic Qualifier team in Taichung, Taiwan.

“We have a very good mix of experience and youth on this ball club,” says Puhl. “The World Cup and Qualifier was a chance to give our younger guys some invaluable international experience and I believe that this team is more than capable of winning a medal.”

Baseball Canada’s Olympic team will convene in Toronto on July 28 to begin its Olympic training camp. The team will participate in a golf tournament which will be open to the media at Lionhead Golf & Country Club on July 29 at 8:30 am and will hold a practice open to the media on July 30 at Connorvale Park in Etobicoke from 3:00-6:30 pm.

The Canadian team will then participate in a pre-Olympic exhibition series from August 1-4 in Cary, North Carolina and Durham, North Carolina against the U.S. Olympic Team, followed by a pair of exhibition games against the Netherlands on August 9 and 10 in Beijing in preparation for the Summer Games, which will include the U.S., the Dutch, Cuba, China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea in the baseball event.

Here is Chinese Version.

Nate Schierholtz, Chris Valaika & Mike Hessman is possible for USA

July 9th, 2008

For the second straight year, Toledo Mud Hens’ third baseman Mike Hessman has been invited to participate in the 2008 Triple-A All-Star game’s home run derby, and he is one of the possibility for Team USA in Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

So does Fresno Grizzlies right fielder Nate Schierholtz.

Fresno Grizzlies right fielder Nate Schierholtz didn’t do anything special Wednesday night, he did what he normally does. And that’s why he’s a candidate for the U.S. Olympic baseball team.

Schierholtz drove in two runs to tie the score in the ninth inning and Scott McClain ended the game with a run-scoring single to center field to give the Grizzlies their fifth straight win, 8-7, against the Portland Beavers at Chukchansi Park. It was Fresno’s third walk-off victory in four games.

Schierholtz went to the plate with the bases loaded and the pitcher pressing. His hit to right field began hooking toward the chalk.

“I was just hoping it would stay fair,” Schierholtz said. “I guess it hit the line. The umpire told me I hit it in just the right spot. I guess it was my lucky night.”

Or just another ordinary night.

Coming into the game he was batting, .293 with 53 RBIs, 12 home runs, nine triples, 18 walks and nine stolen bases. He went 3 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Some say the only reason he’s not in the majors is because Randy Winn is playing right field for the parent San Francisco Giants. (Ironically, Winn and Schierholtz both went to San Ramon Valley High.)

“He’s a total package waiting to be opened up,” Grizzlies manager Dan Rohn said. “Hopefully he gets a chance here pretty soon.”

That’s why Schierholtz called his situation win-win. If he doesn’t make the Olympic team, he can come back to Fresno and concentrate on getting called up.

He’s eligible for the U.S. Olympic baseball team because he was chosen for the Futures Game, which takes place Sunday at Yankee Stadium. The Olympic team roster will be finalized July 16.

Until then he’ll enjoy his time at Yankee Stadium.

“It’s going to be pretty neat to play where the Babe and everyone played,” Schierholtz said. “I know it’s only one day, but it’ll be a day I bring my camera and have a lot of fun.”

And Chattanooga Lookouts shortstop Chris Valaika.

A Hart baseball product has a shot at being named to the U.S. Olympic baseball team, which will play in Beijing, China.

Whether he ends up being chosen or not, Chris Valaika will play in one of the shrines of Major League Baseball.

On Thursday, Valaika was named to the Team USA roster to play in the XM All-Star Futures Game. On July 13, he will play in Yankee Stadium, in a game against the World Team that is part of All-Star Sunday.

Valaika plays shortstop for the Chattanooga Lookouts, a Class AA-level team of the Cincinnati Reds.

“That’s big-time,” said Hart High School baseball head coach Jim Ozella said. “It qualifies him to make it to the U.S. Olympic team. Pro people think very highly of him.”

Valaika is hitting .269 for Chattanooga and .311 overall with 11 home runs this season. He was called up after hitting .363 with Saratoga in the Florida State League.

“He’s rising to the challenge,” Ozella said.

Valaika holds the Hart Indians’ school record for most career home runs with 18.

He earned All-Foothill League honors his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. He received first team All-State and first team All-CIF honors as a junior and senior.

Valaika was drafted by the Reds in the third round of the 2006 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

He won gold medals at the Pan-Am Games in Santo Domingo and at the 2004 World Championship in Taiwan.

Valaika also played for UC Santa Barbara, where he was named Big West Freshman of the Year.

Looks like more challenge for other teams.

Matt Rogelstad is expected in Team Canada

July 9th, 2008

From BOB MACKIN, 24 of 24 Hours Vancouver, New Westminster’s Matt Rogelstad is expected to be named third baseman for Canada’s Olympic baseball team.

“The excitement’s definitely building and I’m getting antsy,” Rogelstad told the Potomac News, which said Baseball Canada has sought Rogelstad’s temporary release from the Washington Nationals’ organization to play in the Beijing Games. Rogelstad was promoted yesterday from the single A Potomac Nationals to the double A Harrisburg Senators.

And Robert Daski of Potomac News has more.

As it gets closer to the day when Matt Rogelstad boards a flight for Beijing, he gets giddy when speaking of the opportunity he has to play in the Olympics.
“The excitement’s definitely building and I’m getting antsy,” the Potomac Nationals’ infielder said.
Rogelstad, who is from New Westminster in British Columbia, is likely to play third base for Canada in the Olympic Games. Canada’s roster is supposed to be officially released in the next day or so.
A Canadian baseball representative has contacted Washington Nationals officials to request Rogelstad’s services for the Olympics and Washington officials have granted him permission to play in the games.
“We anticipate he will be selected for the team,” Washington director of player development Bobby Wil-liams said.

If so, Rogelstad is imagining what it will be like.
“There will be a little bit of nerves, but as an athlete you try and find ways to minimize them and remain re-laxed,” Rogelstad said. “That’s the key. It’s the same game being played over there as I’m playing right here.”
Rogelstad will leave for Toronto on July 28 for three days of team functions and then the Canadian team will travel to North Carolina for a four-day exhibition series against the United States before departing for Beijing.
Rogelstad anticipates marching in the opening ceremonies on Aug. 8. It is then when he will realize the meaning of being an Olympian.
“I don’t think it’ll hit me until the opening ceremonies when we walk into the tunnel in front of 120,000 peo-ple or whatever it is,” Rogelstad said. “The light bulbs will be flashing everywhere and there will be a couple billion people watching on T.V.”
Canada opens play on Aug. 13 against China. It seeks to erase the disappointment of finishing fourth at the 2004 games.
“We have a lot of power in our lineup with the bats and some good pitching,” Rogelstad said. “In a short tournament like this, it’s a sprint to the finish line and anyone can beat anyone on any given day. I think we’ve got a great shot.”
Eight teams, including the United States, participate in the competition. The top four finishers in the pre-liminary round advance to the semifinals on Aug. 22. The gold medal game is Aug. 23.
Rogelstad has much to offer his team. He hit .360 with two home runs during the Olympic qualifying tour-nament. He is hitting .274 with eight home runs and 39 RBI for Potomac and was a 2008 Carolina League All-Star.
Potomac’s postseason will be a week away when he returns. Potomac is a playoff team, having won the Northern Division in the first half and Rogelstad will try to stay focused.
“It’s going to be pretty intense overseas, so you try to maintain it coming back,” Rogelstad said. “But you try to look at the positive side and that we are a playoff team, so we’ll have the playoffs to look forward to when I come back.”

USA Olympic Team to practice at Santa Clara

July 8th, 2008

Acccording to CSTV, USA Olympic Baseball Team will practice at Santa Clara on July 29 and it is FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC.

South Bay area baseball fans will have a chance to see the USA Olympic Baseball team up close and personal on Tues., July 29 when the USA team practices at Schott Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. The practice is free and open to the public.

Fans may bring items to be signed by the Olympic team at the autograph session immediately following the practice. Fans will be allowed on the field to mingle with USA team coaches and team members during the autograph session.

The team will be arriving at Schott Stadium between 2:30-3:00pm on July 29th. The practice plan will begin with defensive work and then the team will take batting practice.

The USA Baseball Team won the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

It’s a good chance to get items to be signed.

Lim Chang Yong not for Olympic

July 4th, 2008

Because Daniel Rios did not pass drug test, South Korean closer Lim Chang Yong is not get permission to play Beijing Olympics, according to Kyodo.

The Yakult Swallows have refused to release South Korean closer Lim Chang Yong to play for his country at the Beijing Olympics, senior Yakult official Kesanori Kurashima said Friday.

”We were gladly willing to have Lim go to the Olympics, but then we had the unexpected doping test failure by Daniel Rios, making it difficult for us to release him,” Kurashima said. ”Lim has agreed to our decision.”

Last week, Yakult announced the release of Rios after the right-handed starter was handed a one-year suspension for failing a drug test.

Yakult has informed the Korea Baseball Organization of its decision.

Lim joined Yakult this season on a two-year, $800,000 deal with a club option for a third year after posting a 104-66 career record with 168 saves in South Korea. He has earned 19 saves and had a 2.17 ERA as of Thursday.

Not good news for Korea Team.

Cuba is ready and hope to catch Gold

July 3rd, 2008

According to Kevin Baxter of Los Angeles Times, Cuba is ready to play ball.

The powerful Cuban national team, among the favorites to strike gold in what could be the Olympics’ final baseball tournament, trimmed 11 players from its roster last week and will make one more cut before leaving the island to start its pre-Olympic tour in the Netherlands this weekend.

The team will leave Cuba on Friday. Missing from the Olympic roster, however, is Pan Am Games second baseman Alexei Ramirez, who defected last fall and is now playing for the Chicago White Sox.

The only real surprises were on the pitching staff, where Aroldis Chapman, named the outstanding left-hander in last fall’s World Cup tournament, was sent home in favor of veteran Vicyohandri Odelin.

Neither pitcher performed well in Cuban play this winter, with Chapman going 6-7 with a 3.89 ERA (despite striking out 79 in 74 innings and holding opponents to a .200 batting average) while Odelin was 6-6 with 3.92 ERA. But Odelin survived the preliminary cut because of his extensive international experience.

Also surviving the cut was 38-year-old pitcher Adiel Palma, who beat the U.S. in the gold medal game of last summer’s Pan American Games.

And from Ray Sanchez of South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Cuba Hopes Its Baseball Team Will Catch Olympic Gold.

In Beijing next month, Cuba’s powerful national baseball team will be among the gold-medal favorites in what could be the sport’s Olympic farewell.

Underscoring the importance of the squad’s success, the Communist Party daily Granma published on Tuesday a copy of a hand-scrawled note to the players from ailing former president Fidel Castro.

“To the glorious Cuban athletes marching towards the Olympics,” Castro wrote. “Traveling with you is the love of our people for our country.”

At a ceremony with players at Latin American Stadium over the weekend, President Raul Castro was more succinct.

“You all know what the Cuban people expect from you,” the younger Castro told the players before their departure for a pre-Olympic tournament in the Netherlands. “You know and we know what you will achieve. We’ll see you here in August. Congratulations.”

Sports ministry officials are still reeling from a spate of defections that have plundered the island of five top boxers over the last couple of years. After baseball, Cubans are passionate about boxing, the sport in which the country has won 32 of its 65 Olympic gold medals.

And absent from the Olympic baseball team will be Pan American Games infielder Alexei Ramirez, who defected in November and now plays for the Chicago White Sox. His new teammates call him the “Cuban missile.”

Another team considered a favorite for baseball gold is Japan, winner of the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006.

Still, Cuban teams have won gold medals in three Olympics ? Barcelona, 1992; Atlanta, 1996; Athens, 2004 ? and the silver in Sydney in 2000. Cuba reached the Classic final in 2006 in its first real test against big-league stars.

Now the question is, is Japan or USA enough to beat Cuba? Or Cuba is enough to beat USA or Japan. We will only find out when the resulf of GOLD MEDAL Game of Olympic Baseball 2008 on Aug 23.

Castro Sends Message to Cuban Players

July 1st, 2008

Even he is not Cuba President anymore, Leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, send a message to Cuban Olympic Baseball Players, according to Radio Cadena Agramonte.

HAVANA, Cuba, July 1.- The leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, sent a message to the Cuban players that will participate in the baseball competition of the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

A copy of the message, published on Tuesday by Granma and Juventud Rebelde news dailies, was handed over to each player of the Cuban team before they traveled on Sunday to Holland to participate in the annual Baseball Week of Haarlem that begins next Friday and where they will face the national squads of the United States, Japan, Chinese Taipei and the host country, as part of their Olympic preparation.

To the glorious Cuban athletes who are marching toward the Olympics: “Carry on with the steps of conquerors,” as in Ayacucho and Mal Tiempo. With you goes our people’s love for our country. (ACN & GRANMA INTERNATIONAL).

I believe their main target is to repeat the Gold Medal again in Olympics.

By the way, Cuban Team roster reduced to 29 before they went to Holland Tournament.

The roster of the Cuban Olympic baseball team was reduced yesterday from 32 to the 29 players who will head to Europe later in the week for the upcoming Haarlem, Holland tournament. The players cut were outfielders Yoennis Cespedes and Leonis Martin and pitcher Ismel Jimenez.

By the time the Olympics arrive in August the team will have to make a further cut to the final roster of 24 players.

Team Japan to warm up vs NPB stars

July 1st, 2008

According to Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s Olympic team to warm up vs NPB stars

Japan’s Olympic baseball team plans to play a pair of warmup games against selected players from the Central and Pacific leagues in August, just ahead of the Beijing Games, it was announced on Monday.

The Olympic team, made up of Nippon Professional Baseball’s top stars, plans to take on a select group of 24 players at Tokyo Dome on Aug. 8-9. The opener starts at 6 p.m., while the second game is slated for 2 p.m. the next day.

There will be no limit on the number of foreign players for the all-stars, to be headed by Nippon Ham skipper Masataka Nashida and Yomiuri manager Tatsunori Hara. Tickets for both games will go on sale to the public on July 12.

I believe it will draw lots of crowd at Tokyo Dome on Aug. 8-9.

Team China win several exhibition games

June 29th, 2008

For New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) team at exhibition games with China Olympic Baseball Team, the result is not what they thought. Before excitement 917 fans who arrived at Rogers Park, Danbury Westerners lost by 6-19, and they are impressive by Team China.

Following the game, Westerner catcher Brad Pippa came away impressed with the offensive performance of Team China.

“They’re obviously a very good hitting team. They can jump on pitches if you make mistakes. They hit the ball hard all over the place.”

According to East Windup Chronicle:

Team China has been on an east coast tour, mostly playing teams from the New England Collegiate Baseball League. Yesterday the team beat the Danbury Westerners 19-6 and while the level of competition isn’t what it will face in the Olympics, everyone seems to think Jim LeFebvre’s squad is improving. The team pounded out 23 hits and five HRs in the game.

Later when they meet Holyoke Blue Sox, who lost 2-7 to Team USA before more than 3,600 fans on June 13, Team China won again.

It’s not often that Olympic level competition comes to Western Massachusetts.

But that was the case yesterday, as the Chinese national baseball team defeated the Holyoke Blue Sox 2-1 in an exhibition game at MacKenzie Field in Holyoke.

The Chinese took advantage of two early errors by Blue Sox left fielder Jonathan Ross to take a 2-0 first inning lead, with an RBI coming from Hou Fenglian and Wang Chao.

Lowell All-Americans lost too.

Lowell, MA- The Chinese National team visited Lowell Friday night to take on the All-Americans. It was all China in this one touching up starter Alex Szymanski (Franklin Pierce/Londonberry,NH) who allowed 4 runs off of 4 hits and a 2 run home run to begin the game. He would settle down not allowing another run until a solo shot off the bat of Zhang Yufeng making the score 5-0 in the fourth. China would not score again until a 2 run home run to right field in the 8th made it a 7-0 Chinese lead. China would tack on two more to make the final 9-0.

This was an exhibition game between the Chinese National team and the Lowell All-Americans, the Chinese team has been training in Arizona since April in preparation for this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing. The All-Americans were one of many stops this summer for the Chinese team as they played a full schedule of opponents in the NECBL.

Keene Swamp Bats can not win.

Chinese National Team Holds Off Swamp Bats, 9-7
2008 Beijing Summer Games hosts open 9-1 lead early, hold off late Keene charge

RINDGE, N.H. (June 25, 2008) – The National Baseball Team for the People’s Republic of China held off a late rally by the Keene Swamp Bats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) to post a 9-7 victory before 901 at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field on the campus of Franklin Pierce University tonight.

Centerfielder Sun Lingfeng (Beijing/Beijing Tigers), catcher Wang Wei (Beijing/AZL Mariners) and leftfielder Wang Chao (Tianjin/Tianjin Tigers) led a 16-hit attack for the Chinese National Team, which will represent the host country in the baseball tournament at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing with three hits each. Lingfeng was 3-for-5 with a home run, while Wei hit 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a run scored and three RBI. Chao finished 3-for-5 with an RBI. Shortstop Zhang Yufeng (Shanghai/Shanghai Eagles) batted 2-for-5 with a double, RBI and run scored, while designated hitter Hou Fenglian (Tianjin/Tianjin Lions) scored three runs and stole four bases in the contest.

Righthander Li Chenhao (Beijing/Beijing Tigers) picked up the win on the mound, allowing two earned runs on five hits with a strikeout and walk over four innings. Righthander Chen Kun (Sichuan/Sichuan Dragons) pinned down the save with a scoreless and hitless ninth, working around a two-out walk.

John Barr (Ivylans, Pa./Virginia) led Keene’s nine-hit attack, hitting 2-for-3 with two triples and four RBI. Shortstop Chris Tremblay (Cranberry Township, Pa./Kent State) batted 2-for-4 with a double and run scored, while first baseman Paul Karmas (Douglaston, N.Y./Saint John’s) chipped in by going 1-for-2 with an RBI.

Lefthander Tom Cote (Swanzey, N.H./Franklin Pierce) took the loss, surrendering seven runs, six earned, on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks over 2.2 innings.

China jumped ahead as its first batter of the night, Lingfeng, laced a lead off homerun down the rightfield line. Fenglian followed with a walk, stole second and third before scoring on a wild pitch. The Swamp Bats got one of those runs back in the home half of the first as Tremblay led off with a double down the rightfield line and scored on a single to left by Karmas.

China added a single run in the second with an RBI single by Sun Wei (Beijing/Beijing Tigers), before breaking the game open with a four-run third to chase Cote. Wang Wei and Yufeng each posted RBI doubles, before Li Lei (Beijing/Beijing Tigers) drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Chao notched an RBI single.

The teams traded single run innings through the middle frames, before Keene got back in the contest with a four-run seventh. A hit batter, walk and single loaded the bases for the Swamp Bats with one, before Barr cleared the bases with a triple down the rightfield line. Barr scored on a passed ball and Keene loaded the bases again, but stranded them all to end the rally.

Keene (9-6, 9-4 NECBL) is back in action tomorrow night when it hosts the Pittsfield (Mass.) Dukes in an NECBL interdivisional battle at Alumni Field in Keene at 7 p.m. The Chinese National Team is back in action on Friday, when it faces the Lowell (Mass.) All-Americans of the NECBL at 7 p.m.

Chinese National Team 9, Keene Swamp Bats 7

1-2-3 4-5-6 7-8-9 R-H-E
CHN 2-1-4 1-0-1 0-0-0 9-16-3
KNE 1-0-0 1-1-0 4-0-0 7-9-3

CHN: Li Chenhao, Chen Junyi (5), Zhu Dawei (7), Li Weiliang (7), Guo Youhua (8), Chen Kun (9) and Wang Wei, Yang Yang (5).
KNE: Tom Cote, Sean Tierney (3), Adam Kolarek (7), Sean McDermott (8), Matt Jebb (9) and Franco Valdes.

WP: Chenhao
LP: Cote
SV: Kun

HR: CHN – Lingfeng (solo in the 1st)

TOG: 3:05 ATT: 901

Torrington Twisters Strong but loss.

The Torrington Twisters played well, but did not have enough Saturday night against a tough Chinese Olympic team, losing 2-1 in an exhibition game at Fuessenich Park. Josh Zeid pitched well for Torrington, going eight innings. In those eight innings, Zeid gave up two runs on six hits, striking out seven while walking two. “Josh Zeid pitched a gem,” Twisters coach Gregg Hunt said.

Torrington got runners on base against five Chinese pitchers as they banged out five hits, reached base on two errors and drew four walks. The Twisters left 10 men on base, getting a run only on a fifth-inning sacrifice fly from first baseman Jaren Matthews. The run was unearned due to two errors by Team China in the inning. “We had guys on base,” Hunt said. “We had guys in scoring position all night, and we didn’t cash in.” Torrington had runners in scoring position in the first, second, third, fifth and sixth innings, but scored just the one run. “Fundamentally, (Team China is) very, very solid,” Hunt said.

Even when the Twisters hit the ball hard, a Chinese player was in position to make the play, something that is preached by the Chinese coaching staff. “You got to train smart,” coach Jim LeFebvre said. The players constantly communicate with one another, especially on any ball hit in the air. “We work a lot on that,” LeFebvre said. “Communication is very important. You’ve got to practice. Everything is important.”

With the talent level from the United States, Cuba, Japan, South Korea, Chinese Taipei and Canada expected to be high at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese will need to be on top of their game, LeFebvre said. “We’re just going to go out there and play hard and play the game right,” LeFebvre said.

Team China was able to get plenty out of its pitchers. Starter Wang Nan was solid in five innings, giving up the one unearned run on five hits. Nan struck out four and walked two. The star of the bullpen for China was Bu Tao. Tao started the eighth inning and proceeded to strike out all five batters he faced. “You got to work at your game,” LeFebvre said. “We do that everyday. The game is about defense. Pitching and defense.” Four Chinese relievers yielded just two walks and struck out seven batters in four innings of work. LeFebvre appreciated the experiences his team had in front of a big crowd at Fuessenich. “It’s the kind of game we need to play,” LeFebvre said of the one-run game. “We put a couple of guys in the game that we needed to get in the game.” Hunt also enjoyed the experience. “It’s fantastic,” Hunt said. “It’s a great honor to play them.”

Zeid called it an honor to pitch against the Chinese Olympic team and said that the hitters were tough, fouling off many pitches and refusing to strike out. China scored a run in the third on a two-out, run-scoring double by Feng Fei. Team China added one more in the fourth on a sacrifice fly to deep center field by Li Lei.

Newport Gulls did win.

Jared Prince, normally an outfielder, pitched two scoreless innings of relief to lead Newport to a 4-2 victory over the Chinese National team in an exhibition game Sunday.
The game was the last of six exhibition games the Chinese team played against New England Collegiate Baseball League competition. The team will serve as the host squad this summer at the Beijing Olympics.
In his two innings of work, Prince struck out three batters. Reliever Chase Reid struck out the side in the top of the ninth to preserve the victory and earn the save.
A two-run fourth inning keyed the win for Newport. Mike Melillo scored on a single by Mike Tamsin, and then Kyle Socorro brought in Kyle Conley with an RBI single. Melillo later drove in Kyle Rhoad ? who scored twice for Newport ? with a sacrifice fly.
China scored its first run in the top of the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Wang Chao that drove in Sun Lingfeng. Li Lei scored the team?s other run on a double-play grounder in the top of the seventh.

So maybe host China could have a chance to win one or two games at 2008 Olympics.

The Schedule of China vs NECBL is:
19 CHINA @ Danbury Westerners                 16-9
21 CHINA @ Torrington Twisters                 2-1
23 CHINA @ Holyoke Blue Sox (POSTPONED)
25 CHINA @ Keene Swamp Bats                    9-7
27 CHINA @ Lowell All-Americans                9-0
28 CHINA @ Holyoke Blue Sox 11:30am            2-1
29 CHINA @ Newport Gulls                       2-4

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