Team USA Baseball Fights Back Against Host Japan in Knockout Stage Matchup originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The hodgepodge of Americans playing for Team USA baseball in the Tokyo Olympics will face its stiffest test yet as a date with Japan looms.
Team USA went 2-0 in group play, with convincing wins over Isreal (8-1) and South Korea (4-2). The team, with a collection of former and future MLB players, will now face 2-0 Japan in the second round of the double elimination knockout stage.
The winner of USA-Japan will secure a spot in the semifinal, while the loser will drop to the losers bracket and be on the brink of elimination.
Tyler Austin — formerly of the Yankees, Twins, Giants and Brewers — leads the U.S. with four hits through two games, including a home run and two doubles. Red Sox prospect Triston Casas has three RBIs and a home run in nine at-bats.
On the mound, Nick Martinez (former Ranger) and Joe Ryan (Twins prospect) have picked up wins while David Robertson (former Yankee, White Sox and Phillie) has a save.
Here are live updates from the USA-Japan game:
Japan struck first in the bottom of the third inning, scoring two runs and chasing Team USA starting pitcher Shane Baz from the game early. Brandon Dickson entered in relief and got out of a bases loaded jam to limit the damage.
The U.S. quickly fought back in the top of the fourth, as Triston Casas scored on a Todd Frazier double to cut the lead to 2-1. Two batters later, Mark Kolozsvary tied the game on an RBI single to left field.
Team USA grabbed the lead later in the fourth when Nick Allen ripped a double to right field, making it a 3-2 game and forcing Japan starter Masahiro Tanaka out of the game.
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