Ross Detwiler came on in the sixth inning with Team USA leading Italy, 6-2, late Saturday night and pitched a four scoreless innings to help preserve the lead. The left-handed starter, who is the only Nationals player to represent the U.S. in the opening round of the tournament, came on in relief of left-hander Jeremy Affeldt, who followed right-handed starter Ryan Vogelsong.
Detwiler didn’t appear fazed by the magnitude of a must-win game for Team USA. He threw a first-pitch strike to leadoff hitter Alex LIddi and then induced a groundout to third baseman David Wright on a change-up. Detwiler then battled Nationals farmhand Mike Costanzo in an eight-pitch at-bat, getting him to groundout to second base. Detwiler capped the perfect inning when he induced a groundout from Mario Chiarini towards second base, which Brandon Phillies dove and secured.
Detwiler pitched another three scoreless innings and allowed only one hit. He walked one and struck out three. He threw 51 pitches, 36 of them for strikes and earned the save in the must-win game. David Wright’s grand slam stood as the difference in the game and the U.S. now plays Canada on Sunday afternoon in an important game.