14U National Team wears down Venezuela, 9-2
Crownover pitches six dominating innings leading the way for Team USA

Nov. 24, 2007

(COAMO, Puerto Rico) -- Powered by three emotional homeruns and a dominating pitching performance, the USA Baseball 14U National Team grabbed a 9-2 victory against Venezuela at Pedro Miguel Caratini Stadium in the squad's first pool play game of the COPABE "A" Pan American Championships.

The U.S. (1-0) will continue pool play action with a 10 a.m. (AST) contest Nov. 25 against Puerto Rico (1-0) at Pedro Miguel Caratini Stadium in Coamo. Puerto Rico won its opening pool play game 16-0 against Guatemala on Nov. 24.

Both teams started strong as both pitchers Lauriano Aldama (VEN) and Matt Crownover (Ringgold, GA) recorded four strikeouts a piece in the first two innings. Venezuela struck first putting Team USA down early when Miguel Mendez hit a two-run homerun to right field in the bottom of the second inning. Zach Davies (Gilbert, AZ) answered with a two-run homerun of his own tying the score up in the top of the third. Crownover then came back out and held the Venezuelans scoreless in the bottom half of the third.

Leading off the fourth inning, Alex Real (Phoenix, AZ) hit a moon shot over the left-centerfield wall putting Team USA up 3-2. Jake Gober (Sammamish, WA) then drew a two out walk and Venezuela went to its bullpen. Team USA was unable to capitalize and left Gober stranded on first. In the top of the fifth inning Team USA loaded the bases but was only able to manage one run on Reinaldo Almora's (Hialeah, FL) RBI single. Davies was thrown out at the plate on the same play to end the inning. Crownover returned in the bottom half of the fourth setting the Venezuelan's down in 1-2-3 order. The Americans got back on the board in the sixth inning scoring two runs, taking advantage of three Venezuelan walks.

The seventh inning brought two more runs for Team USA when Almora led off with a homerun to center. Later that inning Davies singled in Gober to finish the scoring for Team USA.

Crownover pitched six innings giving up two runs on five hits. Austin Davidson (Oxnard, CA) came in to close it out allowing one hit and striking out one.

After the game Coach Succow said "I thought we missed some opportunities to make some big innings, but in the end it was good because it forced us to focus, bear down and play hard for all seven innings."