Kansas Pitcher T.J. Walz Wins Team USA Debut
June 28, 2009
CARY, N.C. –
Kansas sophomore pitcher T.J. Walz tossed 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief and struck out nine to earn the win in The U.S. National Team’s 14-5 rout of Canada Saturday evening at the Durham Bulls’ Athletic Park.
Walz took over for Team USA starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (UCLA), who allowed five runs on seven hits over the first 4 2/3 innings, in the fifth inning and slammed the door on the Canadians. The Americans trailed 5-1 when Walz entered the game, but scored 13 runs over the final four innings to earn the Kansas sophomore a victory.
Walz struck out nine of the 15 Canadians he faced, including the first hitter he faced in the fifth with runners on first and third and two outs. The Jayhawk pitcher allowed just three base runners on a walk, an error and a single to lead-off the eighth.
The Omaha, Neb., native is the first Jayhawk baseball player to participate on the U.S. National Team. He led the Jayhawk pitching staff with an 8-3 record in 2009 and posted a season ERA of 4.70. He also led the team with 88 strikeouts in 82 1/3 innings. He posted victories over five nationally ranked teams during the season, including a 12-strikeout performance in his regular season finale against Kansas State. Walz was named All-Big 12 Second Team for his efforts.
Team USA played the fourth game of its five game series against Team Canada Sunday in Durham, N.C. at 4:05 p.m.