07/21/2018 11:09 PM -
SCHERERVILLE, Ind. -- Connor Spear (Highland, Ind./Wisconsin-Whitewater) picked up a huge win on the mound for Team North America on Saturday in the International Baseball Challenge Semifinals against Team Slovakia to advance the team to the IBC Championship on Sunday.
Spear went seven innings without allowing a run and struck out five but most importantly got the win in a 2-0 victory for Team North America.
"Team pitched very very well," Oilmen Manager Adam Enright said.
Team North America struck first in the bottom of the first inning as Zaid Walker (Floosmoor, Ill./Michigan State) ripped an 2-RBI single scoring Amir Wright (Griffith, Ind./St. Leo) and Jake Plastiak (Tinley Park, Ill./Wichita State). Those two runs would be the only two of the game as it was enough to lead the team to victory.
"We got the hits early when we needed them," Enright said. "Their starting pitcher settled down, got into a rhythm and he was really good."
Christian Howell (Aurora, Ill./Trinity Christian) came on to pitch the eighth inning out of the bullpen and was able to get the three outs for the hold.
North America closer Pedro Rodriguez (Kissimmee, Fla./Tusculum) came on in the ninth inning and got a 1-2-3 inning to record the save to put Team North America in the IBC Championship game.
"Depending on who we play, both of all teams took us all the way to the end to put them away," Enright said. "It is going to be a championship type atmosphere tomorrow. Who ever we play tomorrow we will be hyped up to try to beat us."
Team North America will play in the IBC Championship Game which is set to take place at 6 p.m. CT at Oil City Stadium. America will wait to see who their opponent is after Team Croatia and Team Serbia play in the other IBC Semifinal matchup starting at 2 p.m. at Oil City Stadium.