After 10 scoreless innings, the U.S. Olympic baseball team broke through in the 11th inning under the extra inning tiebreaker rule, scoring four times on its way to a 4-2 victory over Japan on the final day of preliminary competition.
Team USA concluded the round-robin format with a 5-2 record while the loss dropped Japan to 4-3. The U.S. has advanced to the medal round and will meet Cuba in the second semifinal with first pitch set for 6 p.m. local time (6 a.m. EDT) on Friday evening at the Wukesong Main Field. (www.usabaseball.com)
Future Games for Team USA:
Outfielder Jason Cooper has played in his 401st game as a Buffalo Bison, the most in the team’s Modern Era. Cooper came into Tuesday night’s game against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs as a defensive replacement in the top of the eighth inning.
He remained in the game and doubled in the bottom of the eighth inning
Cooper passes the record set by Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Prince, who played in 400 games with the team from 1988-1992.
In his five-year career with the Bisons, Cooper also ranks 2nd in RBI (218) and doubles (81), 3rd in walks (167), T3rd in triples (18), 4th in runs (202) and 6th in hits (322) and home runs (49).
Cooper joined the team in a late season promotion from Double-A in 2004. He played in 16 games and helped the team to a 2004 International League Governors’ Cup Championship. He started the 2005 season with the Akron Aeros but was promoted again in June for the rest of the season with the team. He hit .257 that year with 14 home runs and 58RBI in 73 games.
Cooper spent the entire 2006 and 2007 season in Buffalo. He played in 116 games with the team in 2006 and hit .228 with 13 home runs and 61RBI. A season later, he hit .260 with 10 home runs and 51RBI in 103 games.
Tuesday’s game marks his 93rd of the season. He currently is hitting .238 with nine home runs and 42RBI.
Cooper is also a two-time winner of the Bisons Community Service Award.
Cleveland Indians C/INF Victor Martinez has joined the Bisons on a major league rehab assignment today and is scheduled to start TONIGHT as the Herd hosts the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Dunn Tire Park (7:05 p.m.).
Martinez will start at catcher and bat third in Torey Lovullo’s starting line-up. He is scheduled to play six innings. Travis Hafner and Josh Barfield are both scheduled to rest today as part of their major league rehab assignments.
Travis Hafner will take a day for rest after going 2-3 in his first game back in nearly three months.
Even with one more game to play in the round-robin portion of the Olympics, USA Baseball has clinched a birth in the medal round. Team USA is 4-2 and tied with Japan for thrid place heading into their matchup with Japan Wednesday a.m.
Future Games for Team USA: