Lambert Picks Up Win for Team USA
for home runs and the American lineup slugged 26 hits as Team USA (1-0)
opened the 2005 CONCEBE Regional Olympic Qualifying Tournament with a
convincing 23-0 victory over Guatemala (0-1). The game was shortened to
seven innings due to the International IBAF 10-run mercy rule.
American starter Chris Lambert (Cardinals/Manchester, NH) worked 5.0
scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while fanning nine, to notch
the victory. Lambert was selected in the 1st round of the June, 2004 First-Year Player Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. The 6'1", 205 pound, right handed pitcher had a very impressive, 7-1 record with a 2.63 ERA, at Class High A, Palm Beach this past season for the Cardinals, before being promoted to AA Springfield, where he went 3-8 with a 6.35 ERA in 18 starts. Lambert is considered one of the Cardinals Top 5 prospects, by www.thestlcardinals.com. He combined with reliever Nick Ungs (Marlins/Dyersville,
IA) on the one-hit shutout, as Ungs twirled the final two frames.
"It was a real team effort, and a great way to start this tournament,"
said Team USA manager Davey Johnson. "We sure swung the bats well, got
some good pitching from Lambert. I was really impressed with the way he
threw strikes and went after their hitters."
The United States wasted little time in grabbing an early lead, as they
tagged Guatemalan starting pitcher Rodrigo Ibarra (0-1) for three runs
in the top of the first inning, even before an out was recorded.
After leadoff man Shane Victorino (Phillies/Las Vegas, NV) was hit by a
pitch, Howie Kendrick (Angels/Callahan, FL) tripled into the
right-centerfield gap to bring home Victorino with the game's first
run. Snyder (Indians/Bellevue, OH) then connected on the first offering
he saw, and sent it over the wall for a two-run homer. Jeff Mathis
(Angels/Marianna, FL) later added a run-scoring single in the frame for
a 4-0 advantage.
In the third, LaHair (Mariners/Worchester, MA) led off with a solo
shot, and Travis Hanson (Cardinals/Port Orchard, WA) later scored on a
double by Mathis to make it 6-0. Kendrick scored on a base hit by
Snyder in the fourth, as Ibarra was relieved by righty Gustavo
Rehwoldt. The Americans would then go on to overpower three Guatemalan
relief pitchers the rest of the afternoon, scoring in every inning of
the game except the second.
"Every game is important in this event, and we're on a mission to get
the United States back into the Olympic Games," said LaHair. "This was
a terrific first step towards that goal."
Wood (Angels/ Scottsdale, AZ) had four RBI, while Mathis, Kendrick,
Snyder, and Victorino each drove in three runs apiece. Ryan Shealy
(Rockies/Ft. Lauderdale, FL) went 4-for-6 with three runs scored, and
Hanson scored three times as well.
Team USA (1-0) next faces Mexico (0-1) – the country that eliminated
the United States from the 2003 Olympic Qualifier in Panama – Wednesday
at 1:00 pm MT at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Jered Weaver (Angels/Simi
Valley, CA) gets the ball for the Americans.
R H E
USA 402 612 8 23 26 0
Guatemala 000 000 0 0 1 3
Lambert, Ungs, and Mathis. Ibarra, Rehwoldht, Gonzalez, Ramirez, and
W – Lambert (1-0) L – Ibarra (0-1)
HR – Snyder (1), LaHair (1), Wood (1)
T – 2:12 Att – 223
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