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Aug. 1, 2003

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – As the 2003 Pan American Games get under way, the USA Baseball National Team opens up play in search of the Red, White & Blue’s first Pan American gold medal since the 1967 games in Winnipeg. Representing South Carolina on Team USA’s squad are head coach Ray Tanner (Team USA head coach) and left-handed pitcher Matt Campbell (Team USA player). The USA has been dominant in the summer of 2003 winning all 22 games played in the United States.

A sweep of both the Japan National Team and Mexico National Team, six wins on the New England Collegiate Baseball League Tour and a record nine team shutouts throughout the streak is just a sampling of what USA Baseball has accomplished this summer. Team USA’s first test on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET will be against Guatemala.

At the helm for the first time with the Red, White & Blue is Tanner, now in his fifth stint with USA Baseball. No stranger to international competition, Tanner’s most recent stint with Team USA came back in 2000, when he served as an Auxillary Coach for Manager Tommy Lasorda at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. The Americans captured their first ever official gold medal in the sport of baseball in the 2000 Olympics. Tanner also worked as an Assistant Coach on the 1996 USA Baseball Olympic Team in Atlanta, Georgia that captured a bronze medal.

While the offense has certainly been sizzling, the pitching rotation has shaped up to be one of the most formidable and dominant in U.S. history. Over a 22-game stretch, the USA has allowed just 36 runs in 196 innings pitched and struck out an impressive 202 batters. In addition, this year’s staff broke a 15-year old record for most shutouts in the summer with nine, besting the previous mark of eight set by the 1989 National Team.

The USA’s pitching rotation is full of talented arms, including Campbell, who will enter South Carolina next season as a junior. Campbell has worked primarily out of the bullpen posting one save this summer for Team USA and owns 26 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings pitched.

The opposing teams figure to be competitive with loads of professional and international experience among their rosters. Team USA has only trailed three times throughout the entire summer schedule but figure to be tested once in Santo Domingo On the other side of the USA’s pool, Cuba enters looking to continue its streak of eight consecutive Gold Medal victories at the Pan American Games. The host Dominican Republic figures to be Team USA’s fiercest competitor in pool play, with August 5th’s game vs. the Red, White & Blue to be a hotly contested matchup. Home to such MLB stars such as Pedro Martinez, Sammy Sosa, Moises Alou, the Domincian Republic’s top talent will give every team a run for its money. Also not to be counted out are Nicaragua and Mexico, with each country alsways among the best in international competition.


Aug. 2 — Saturday – vs. Guatemala: 7:30 p.m. ET
Aug. 3 — Sunday vs. The Bahamas: 2 p.m. ET
Aug. 4 — Monday vs. The Dominican Republic: 7:30 p.m. ET
Aug. 5 — Tuesday vs. Nicaragua: 10 a.m. ET