Jul 20, 2013 7:08 PM by Andrew Masuda
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Cal Poly junior-to-be southpaw Matt Imhof, making his fifth appearance on the mound for USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team, pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief Friday night as Team USA beat Cuba 3-2 in 10 innings for a 2-0 lead in their five-game series.
The game was played at Werner Park in Omaha, Nebraska. Team USA can clinch the series Saturday night with a victory in Game 3, also slated to be played at Werner Park.
Final two games of the series will be played Monday and Tuesday in Cary and Durham, both in North Carolina. Team USA is 17-3 so far this summer.
Imhof, the second of five pitchers used by Team USA on Friday, struck out three of the six batters he faced, giving up one single.
In five games on the mound for Team USA this summer, Imhof has compiled a 2-0 record and 0.57 ERA over 15 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and four walks with 17 strikeouts. Opposing batters are hitting just .137 against Imhof.
Indiana's Kyle Schwarber drove in the eventual game-winner Friday night with a 10th-inning sacrifice fly.
Imhof pitched in one game for Team USA in a five-game series against Japan last week, allowing one run and two hits in 6 2/3 innings in a relief appearance in the third game of the series. Team Japan won that game 5-2 and claimed the series, three games to two.
Last Monday, Imhof secured four outs in Team USA's 12-3 victory over the Crystal Lake Cardinals in Geneva, Ill. The game was a tune-up for the Cuba series. Imhof allowed one hit, did not walk a batter and also did not record a strikeout, but earned the victory.
In six innings over two stints on the mound in training games for Team USA prior to the Japan series, Imhof did not allow a hit or a run. He walked two and struck out eight, securing a spot on the final 24-man roster after his brilliant four-inning performance for the win against the Wilmington Sharks on June 27 in which Imhof retired the last 11 batters he faced.
Imhof was Cal Poly's Saturday starter on the mound this season and compiled a 7-3 record and 2.74 ERA. The Mustangs also were 4-2 in Imhof's six no-decisions this year.
Imhof's first career complete game as a Mustang was a seven-hitter in a 7-1 victory over UC Davis. He notched a career-high 12 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings for the win against Cal State Northridge and also struck out 11 batters in games against Notre Dame and Hawai'i.
Imhof, who earned All-Big West Conference honorable mention praise and was the winner of the team's Dick Morrow Coaches Award, struck out 95 batters and allowed 30 walks in 101 2/3 innings. Opponents hit just .249 against the 6-5, 220-pound native of Fremont, Calif.
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