CPL: HiToms drop Game 1 with Team USA
An exhibition with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team on Saturday brought players from across the nation to Finch Field.
The Thomasville HiToms dropped a 5-2 decision to Team USA, but fans were treated to a well-played contest. C.J. Hinojosa hit a three-run double as part of a four-run fourth inning to break things open.
Team USA did not score another run in the contest, however, and Kyle Martin homered while also pitching two scoreless innings.
"I thought we played well. I was happy with the effort," Brown said. "Usually when you play with somebody good, you play good. They could easily have played poorly, thinking we're playing against Team USA after losing five in a row. We need to use this as a springboard."
Luke Weaver from Florida State started the game and pitched 3 2/3 innings for Team USA, surrendering one run while striking out four. Cole Irvin got the win by virtue of shutting down Thomasville though the middle 3 1/3 innings. HiToms starter Dylan Stoops threw five frames, and other than the messy fourth, pitched well against some of the nation's top college players.
Two of the athletes who participated in Saturday's game did not have to travel very far. Skye Bolt represented the University of North Carolina and batted second in the lineup behind Trea Turner from N.C. State, who led off.
"It's a blast to play with guys from all over the country, to learn from all of them. It was a humbling experience," Bolt said. "And being near home the last few days, we've had nice fan support."
Turner agreed, alluding to the red-clad cheering section that descended upon every section of the bleachers. Many were on hand to see Carlos Rodon — the Wolfpack ace — but he did not make an appearance over the weekend. They were instead treated to Turner, who set State's stolen base record this season as a sophomore, scampering around the base paths.
"It was really cool seeing everybody come out to cheer me on," Turner said. "Having the honor of wearing Team USA across your chest is special in and of itself. Putting on the jersey makes you feel like you’re playing for the first time. It brings out the best in everybody."
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.