by Mike Potter
Maybe it's not exactly the way the tiebreaker was supposed to work, but Venezuelan slugger Dirmo Chavez certainly made the best of his situation.
The Venezuelans' leadoff hitter stroked a grand slam off Nate Field in the top of the 11th, giving his team a 13-9 win over the defending champion Team USA in their first game in pool play at the IBAF Baseball World Cup in Regensburg, Germany.
Justin Smoak (pictured) led Team USA with a huge night at the plate, going 4-for-6 with a pair of homers, two doubles and five RBI.
One of Smoak's doubles tied the game in the 10th to force another extra inning.
Tug Hulett also homered for the USA, while Buck Coats tripled and doubled.
Starter Brad Lincoln gave up just one run in five innings, but it was a rough night for former Durham Bulls reliever Jason Childers who gave up five runs.
The Americans' next game is on Friday at 1 p.m. against the host Germans (1-0) in a contest which has long been sold out. Todd Redmond is scheduled to start for the Red, White and Blue.