Summer College Tourney’s First Games Played

The second annual Summer College Tournament is three days into its’ newly extended round-robin schedule, and so far there has been plenty of action for GM’s and scouts to salivate over. The tournament, which takes place in Yokohama, home of the PRCL’s Yokohama U Spirit, runs through the month of July.

The early power team to watch is the Dominican Republic, which is 3-0 but running up a +19 run differential, after routing the United States 7-0 on opening day, then dismantling South Korea yesterday, 13-4.

The DR-USA game was particularly surprising, as the United States brought some of its best college bats to the lineup, and they fell shockingly silent, garnering just two hits against Efrain Granados, who placed 2nd in the Reliever of the Year voting in the CANAM college league this year.

Granados struck out 11 USA batters, and walked none, but the 20-year-old lefty, who usually pitches out of the bullpen for Utah State’s Preachers, was denied a complete game shutout after Army’s Jose Pena came in to get the last out of the 9th inning.

Northwestern’s LF Howie Blue had just singled off Granados to get USA’s second hit of the game, and Notre Dame slugger Nick Yagaslov was next up. Although Granados was said to be disappointed in not being given a chance to face down the big-hitting Yagaslov, who he had already retired three times up until that point, and possibly get him out a fourth time, he is said to have understood his manager’s decision.

Pena pitched Yagaslov to a ground out to first on a 1-2 pitch, ending the game.

In other results from Opening Day, South Korea doubled up on Mexico 6-3, with Singapore Baseball Academy’s Soon-yul Lim going 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored and an RBI; Japan handled Puerto Rico, 3-1; and Canada doubled up Australia, 4-2, with NC State’s Keith Carreire going 8 innings and allowing just two earned runs for the Canadians.

In Day 2 action, there were no lopsided blowouts, as Japan edged the unlucky Mexico 5-4, with an important scoring play coming on a 3-run shot by Fiji College’s Hisatoshi Tsujimura, a second-year right fielder, his first hit of the tournament. The USA‘s Isaiah Coleman, who normally patrols left field for Clemson, had a stellar day against Canada, scoring a run and driving in 4 more, going 3-for-4 at the plate. But Coleman’s efforts were not enough as Canada fought back from a 7-2 deficit to score 7 unanswered runs from the fifth inning onwards.

Western Mustangs right fielder Mick Connolly, who was drafted in June by the Nevada Speeders, playing just two games before he left for the tournament, contributed to Canada’s win over the USA, going 2-for-5 with a single and a triple. He scored what would be the go ahead (and winning) run in the 10th, when his leadoff triple off Rutgers’ Ryan Ralston put him in scoring position. Ralston, apparently flummoxed by situation, then balked during Nick Klassen’s at bat, sending Connolly over the dish for Canada’s 8th run.  A paid of outs later, pinch runner former Ottawa Gee Gee’s center fielder Xavier Maiden would score from second on a Cary Saslove double.  Saslove, who went undrafted in June but had played in the UK for the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Blues and Reds, was afterwards said to be ecstatic at driving in the 9th run for Canada, and hoped scouts would take notice.

Closing out Day 2’s games were the hot-hitting Dominican Republic, who ran up 14 hits against Puerto Rico on their way to a 7-4 win, and Australia which earned their first win of the tournament with a 6-2 victory over South Korea.

In yesterday’s action, Canada blanked Puerto Rico 8-0 to remain undefeated after three games, and leaving the Puerto Ricans wondering when they would pick up their first win. The Dominican Republic demolished South Korea, scoring 13 runs to Korea’s 4, all without a single home run from the island team. They remain undefeated at 3-0 as well. Japan similarly stayed perfect, taking down USA 12-4, also without scoring from a long ball. Mexico got their first win in a close 4-3 victory over Australia, who fell even with the Mexicans at 1-2.

Today, two undefeated teams will square off, Canada and the Dominican Republic, a game which could be a precursor to the eventual seeding for the elimination phase.  Keith Carriere once again returns to the bump and is scheduled to take on Tokyo College’s Adrian Enriquez.

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