KANNAPOLIS, N.C. --- The USA Baseball National Team survived a late Japan rally in the eighth inning and held on to win 4-3 Thursday night at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium.
With the win the US improved to 17-2 on the summer and took a 2-1 series lead over Japan with two games left to play.
Cal State Fullerton's Wes Roemer (2-0) gave up one unearned run on four hits in five innings of work to pick up the win. Cole St. Clair (Rice) pitched two innings of no-hit scoreless relief with four strikeouts and left the game with the US on top, 4-1.
Japan then took advantage of three consecutive walks by reliever Casey Weathers (Vanderbilt) in the eighth to load the bases with no outs. Daniel Moskos (Clemson) came into the game and struck out the next two batters before shortstop Keiji Obiki came through with a bloop single to right that scored two runs to make it 4-3. The damage ended there as the next batter grounded out to end the rally.
Moskos sandwiched a walk in between two outs in the ninth and then picked up his team leading fifth save of the season when catcher Preston Clark (Texas) threw out pinch runner Hiroki Uemoto to end the game.
Borbon led the US with two hits while Obiki chipped in with a hit and two RBI for Japan.
Japan took an early 1-0 lead in the first, scoring an unearned run on a wild pitch by Wes Roemer.
The US came right back in the bottom half scoring two runs to take the lead 2-1. Julio Borbon (Tennessee) led off with a base hit to right and scored on Jemile Weeks' (Miami) triple to right center. Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) then knocked in Weeks with a RBI single off of the rightfield wall.
The National Team added a run in the fifth when Weeks scored on a RBI groundout by J.P. Arencibia (Vanderbilt). Weeks led off with a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a groundout before scoring to make it 3-1.
Borbon added a RBI single in the sixth to push the lead to 4-1.
The teams will play the fourth game of the five game series Friday night at 7 p.m. ET in Greensboro, N.C.
JAPAN 100 000 020 -3 5 1
USA 200 011 00x -4 6 1
Nagai, Hasebe (6), Uezone (8) and Tanaka. Roemer, St. Clair (6), Weathers (8), Moskos (9) and Federowicz, Clark. W- Roemer 2-0, L- Nagai 0-1. SV- Moskos (5) . HR- Japan: None. USA: None.