HAARLEM, The Netherlands - Gonzaga University junior-to-be Marco Gonzales went seven innings, struck out 10, walked two and allowed just one earned run as the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team defeated Japan 4-1 Saturday in its Honkbal Week opener.
Honkbal is Dutch for baseball.
The lone run off Gonzales, who went into the seventh inning with a no-decision in his last outing in Cuba, was touched for a solo home run by Yoshiki Eto in the third inning that tied the game 1-1. The CNT had taken the lead in the bottom of the first on Michael Conforto's RBI-single to score Trea Turner who got a leadoff walk.
A sacrifice fly by Conforto in the bottom of the third gave the USA a lead it would not relinquish.
Gonzales pitched out of several jams. Japan opened the second inning with a walk and a single, but an infield fly, a strikeout and a groundout ended the inning. In the third inning he surrendered a one-out walk but picked the runner off prior to Eto's round tripper. Gonzales was touched for another single following Eto's homer, then retired the next 13 batters before giving way to reliever David Berg who struck out five of the six batters he faced - including striking out the side in the ninth - to pick up the save.
The next game for the Collegiate National Team will be Sunday against Cuba, which took 3-of-5 games from the CNT in Havana prior to the teams departing for The Netherlands.