by Mike Potter
Rice's Rick Hague (pictured) went 3-for-4 with a homer Wednesday night, leading USA Baseball's National Team to a 10-2 romp over the host Prince George Axemen at the World Baseball Challenge in British Columbia.
Team USA improved to 3-1 in round-robin play and into a three-way tie for first place, while the Axemen fell to 2-2.
The Axemen took the lead in the first inning on Darrin Doucette's double, but the Americans responded with four runs in the fourth. The big blows in that inning were a solo homer from Texas-Arlington's Michael Choice and a two-run shot from veteran Christian Colon of Cal State-Fullerton.
Hague homered to lead off the fifth, and the Americans added another run in the fifth and two in the sixth to put the game away.
Vanderbilt's Sonny Gray struck out five and allowed the one run in seven innings on the hill. Tom Nielsen went five innings in the loss.
The USA plays its final round-robin game today at 6 p.m. (EDT) against Team BC, which is also tied for first. Coastal Carolina's Cody Wheeler is the scheduled starter for the USA.
The elimination round begins Saturday with the title game on Sunday at 7 p.m. (EDT).