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Streak snapped

U.S. baseball's 25-game winning run ends at Pan Am Games

Posted: Tuesday August 05, 2003 4:25 PM
Updated: Wednesday August 06, 2003 1:12 AM
  Olman Rostran Nicaraguan pitcher Olman Rostran held the U.S. to just four hits. AP

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -- The U.S. baseball team could have used some time to savor its victory over the Dominican Republic at the Pan American Games.

Instead, the Americans had to play Nicaragua, which ended their 25-game winning streak.

In an early start to the busiest day of the games Tuesday, the Americans returned to Quisqueya Stadium just 10 hours after beating the hosts before a sellout crowd. With far fewer spectators this time -- perhaps 200 as opposed to 20,000 -- they were four-hit by Nicaragua's Olman Rostran and lost 3-0.

"We wanted to go undefeated," designated hitter Stephen Head said, "but it just wasn't there for us today."

The spark was there for Shannon Pluhowsky of Phoenix, who rolled a 246 to capture the gold medal in women's singles bowling. She previously won a silver in doubles.

"It means a lot, because this is as close as we'll ever get to the Olympics," Pluhowsky said. "This is the top."

Also on top was gymnast Eric Lopez of Cuba, who won all four events he entered Tuesday, giving him six gold medals in these games and 18 for his career. Lopez previously won the all-around title and the team gold, and on Tuesday added wins in pommel horse, rings, vault and parallel bars.

In women's basketball, the improving U.S. collegians beat Argentina 93-78 to advance to the medals round. Rebekkah Brunson of Georgetown and Loree Moore of Tennessee each had 12 points for the United States (3-1).

At night, the American men faced Brazil in the semifinals, with the hosts playing Puerto Rico.

The world champion U.S. women beat Brazil 9-4 in water polo, but the win didn't impress their coach.

"This was absolutely the worst game we've played all year," Guy Baker said. "Our approach was poor, our execution was poor, our concentration was poor. If we keep playing this way, we're sure to pick up bad habits. Then you're just rolling the dice with your finish."

Track and field began with disappointment for America's team.

Defending champion Dawn Ellerbe of Columbia, S.C., finished fifth in the hammer throw at 215 feet, 8 inches. Gold medalist Yipsi Moreno of Cuba broke Ellerbe's games record with a personal best 243-7, third in the world this year.

Lacking the emotion that carried them to a 2-0 victory over the Dominican Republic and its 13 former major leaguers, the Americans had no offense against Nicaragua. That's not been unusual here: Nicaragua's Cairo Murillo no-hit Guatemala on Monday.

"Olman Rostran pitched a tremendous game for Nicaragua," U.S. coach Ray Tanner of South Carolina said. "He kept us off-balance offensively and their team made great plays behind him. They were the better team today.

"We are disappointed, but I am proud of our guys' streak and the way they've approached the game."

Carly Gullickson, who became the youngest American to play tennis in the Pan Ams when she won Monday, beat Alana Broderick of Jamaica 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 in her second match. The 16-year-old from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., led a perfect day by the six Americans entered.

Capsules

BASEBALL

Thirteen hours after beating the Dominican Republic to extend their winning streak to 25 games, the U.S. team was four-hit by Nicaragua's Olman Rostran in a 3-0 defeat. The Americans could not recapture the emotion from their win the previous night.

BASKETBALL

The U.S. women clinched a spot in the semifinals with a 93-73 win over Argentina. Rebekkah Brunson of Georgetown and Loree Moore of Tennessee scored 12 points each for the Americans.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

The momentum David Fischer (Venice, Calif.) and Brad Torsone (Redondo Beach, Calif.) got in winning their first match disappeared when they fell to Puerto Rico's Ramon Hernandez and Raul Papaleo 21-10, 21-12.

BOWLING

Shannon Pluhowsky of Phoenix won the individual bowling gold with 2,459 pins, a 204.92 average. She also won silver in the team event.

FIELD HOCKEY

The U.S. women earned a berth in the semifinals with a 5-0 win over Uruguay. Tracey Fuchs (Centereach, N.Y.) scored three goals, while Dana Rizzo (Walpole, Mass.) and Tracey Larson (Morrisville, Pa.) also scored.

GYMNASTICS

Cuba's Eric Lopez won four of the day's six events, giving him six gold medals for these games and 18 in his Pan Ams career. Lopez won pommel horse, rings, vault and parallel bars.

Clay Strother of Jasper, Texas, took a silver in floor exercise and a bronze in pommel horse.

SHOOTING

Daryl Szarenski of Saginaw, Mich., won the men's 50-meter pistol as the American team continued its strong showing. Kim Rhode of El Monte, Ark., took the women's double trap gold. She won the same event at the 1996 Olympics.

TENNIS

All six American tennis players won their second-round matches. On the men's side, Alex Kim (Potomac, Md.) and Jeff Morrison (Huntington, W.Va.) won in straight sets, while Alex Bogomolov (Miami) needed three sets. Among the women, Ansley Cargill (Atlanta) dropped the first set 0-6, but rallied to win the next two 6-1, 6-4 from Puerto Rico's Vilmarie Castellvi. Carly Gullickson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Sarah Taylor (Bradenton, Fla.) also won.

Marcelo Rios of Chile, a former world No. 1, also advanced in men's play.

TRACK AND FIELD

Ecuador won its first medal as Jefferson Perez took the gold in the 20-kilometer walk ahead of Mexicans Bernardo Segura and Alejandro Lopez.

Defending champion Dawn Ellerbe (Columbia, S.C.) struggled to a fifth-place finish in the women's hammer throw, won by Yipsi Moreno of Cuba with a personal best 243 feet, 7 inches that set a Pan Ams record.

WATER POLO

The world champion U.S. women had a tight game, but beat Brazil 9-4. Ericka Lorenz of San Diego followed her four-goal performance against Puerto Rico with three scores. But coach Guy Baker called it "absolutely the worst game we've played all year."

WRESTLING

In the first year women's wrestling has been featured, three Americans made the finals: Patricia Miranda of Colorado Springs, Colo., at 1051/2 pounds; Sara McMann of Colorado Springs at 1383/4; and Toccara Montgomery of Cleveland at 1581/2.

 
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U.S. baseball shuts down Dominicans, quiets crowd
Monday's Pan American Games report
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