Baseball

Gill, Plaia Help Team USA to Bronze Medal

Colton Plaia joined head coach Jason Gill to represent Team USA this summer.
Colton Plaia joined head coach Jason Gill to represent Team USA this summer.

Aug. 3, 2012

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Head coach Jason Gill and senior Colton Plaia spent a bit of their summer representing Team USA as coach and player, respectively, on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. The squad, which finished 12-5 over the summer, earned a bronze medal after finishing 5-2 at Honkbal Week hosted at Pim Mulier Stadium in the Netherlands.

"It was a fun summer," Team USA manager Dave Serrano said. "Obviously we didn't get the medal we wanted to, but we will walk out of this stadium proud with a medal around our necks. We were only together for 30 days, but the relationships built during those 30 days will last a lifetime. I'm honored to say that I was the manager for this great group of young men.

Four of the team's losses came in a hotly-contested seven game series against Cuba. That series saw the two teams split the first six games before the seventh and final contest went to a 10th-inning tiebreaker. Not only was the final game tied at the conclusion of nine innings, so was the cumulative run total for both teams as both squads had scored 33 runs at that point. Team USA played five games in Cuba before squaring-off against the Cubans twice at Honkbal Week.

Team USA opened the season at a perfect 6-0, including defeating Cuba in the first of the seven games, but suffered its first loss, 7-6, on July 6 in Havana to begin a string of three straight setbacks.

After getting back on track with a victory on July 9 in the final game played in Cuba, the Americans opened play at Honkbal Week with a 4-1 victory over Japan. Carrying some momentum, USA knocked-off the Cubans by a count of 5-2 to improve to 2-0 at the tournament. After dropping a one-run decision to Puerto Rico, Team USA defeated Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands to advance to the semifinals against its familiar foe in Cuba.

In that game, Cuba managed a late-inning rally, scoring three in the eighth and two more in the 10th to erase what was a 3-0 USA lead after seven en route to a 5-3 victory. Playing for the bronze, the American once again posted a one-run victory over the host Netherlands, earning a 4-3 decision.

Cuba eventually won the tournament, defeating Puerto Rico by a count of 4-2 to earn gold.

Information courtesy of USA Baseball. For more information on Team USA, please CLICK HERE

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