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Tanner Houck beats Shane Baz in MLB pitching duel between international baseball alums

Tanner Houck beats Shane Baz in MLB pitching duel between international baseball alums
09/10/2021
Baz (pictured above) helped the US win a silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Houck was on the USA roster at the WBSC Premier12 2019.

Olympic silver medalist Shane Baz made his first Major League Baseball (MLB) postseason start on Friday, 8 October. The 22-year old right-hander took the mound for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Boston Red Sox in game two of the American League Division Series.

His outing didn't last long. Baz allowed three runs on six hits over 2.1 innings of work. Five more Rays pitchers couldn't handle the Boston lineup, and the Rox Sox earned a 14-6 win and tied the series to one.

Baz made his MLB debut on 20 September, pitching five strong innings for the Rays against the Toronto Blue Jays. He earned the win and did even better against the Miami Marlins on 26 September, going 5.2 innings, striking out nine and earning another win.

Baz started for the United States in the Tokyo 2020 game against Japan on 2 August. He went 2.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Japan beat the US 7-6 in 10 innings.

Another international baseball alumnus made the headlines. Tanner Houck earned the win for the Boston Red Sox, pitching five strong innings out of the bullpen. The 25-year old right-hander allowed only one run on two hits while striking out five.

"I definitely had a little butterflies at first, but once I got out there and threw my warmup pitches, I felt like I was pretty comfortable," Houck told the MLB website.

Houck started two games for fourth-place USA at the WBSC Premier12 2019. He allowed four earned runs on seven hits over 9.1 innings of work.

One of the two hits off Houck was by replacement first baseman Ji-Man Choi. The 30-year old Korean slugger has spent his whole professional career in the United States. Nonetheless, he had his stint at international baseball, representing Korea in the U-12 and U-18 WBSC Baseball World Cups.