07/17/2018 9:48 PM -
WHITING, Ind. -- Team North America got off to a promising start in the International Baseball Challenge as the team defeated Team Croatia, 7-5, at Oil City Stadium on Tuesday.
"It was a good change of pace. Playing a team real hyped up to be and be real excited about this week," Oilmen Manager Adam Enright said. "The guys did not know what to expect but saw what they were doing they knew they would be in for a tough matchup."
Max Franklin (Chicago Heights, Ill./Heartland CC) got the start on the bump for Team North America. Franklin recieved no decision, after going five innings and allowed three runs.
North America struck first in the opening inning after scoring two runs to put them ahead 2-0 but Croatia answered right back with one to make it 2-1. North America responded right back with that run in the second inning to make it a 3-1.
Croatia tied the game 3-3 up in the third inning. Both teams were held scoreless in the fourth and fifth inning. Team Croatia regained the lead 4-3 in the sixth off North America reliever Sawyer Allen (Fair Oaks, Ind./Hillsdale College).
North America would retake the lead in the top half of the seventh inning with two runs to make it 5-4. Allen bounced back and pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
However, Croatia would respond in the eighth inning to tie it off Bobby Nowak (Cedar Lake, Ind./Kankakee CC) to make it 5-5. Nate Montgomery (Geneva, Ill./Tusculum) had the go-ahead base-hit in the bottom of the eighth inning scoring Brandon Petkoff (Frankfort, Ill./Texas A&M Corpus Christi) from third to make it 6-5.
Jackson Dvorak (New Lenox, Ill./South Suburban CC/Missouri St. Louis) added another insurance run in that inning to make it 7-5 after he scored on a wild pitch. Pedro Rodriguez (Kissimmee, Fla./Tusculum) recorded the save after picking up the three outs and only allowed one baserunner.
"For us to answer back with two it I feel good about us going forward." Enright said.
Team North America returns to action tomorrow as they take on Team Serbia with game time scheduled for 7:15 p.m. CT.