Junior National Team Cruises Past Panama in Pan Am Championships Opener
Ryan Weber permits just two infield singles in 7 innings, offense erupts for 13 hits in 13-1 run-rule victory
August 25, 2007
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IXTAPA, Mexico -- Ryan Weber (RHP; St. Petersburg, FL) tossed a two-hitter while fanning eight over seven innings to help propel the USA Baseball Junior National Team to an easy 13-1 eight-inning run-rule victory against Panama Aug. 25 at La Hacienda Stadium in the squad's opening game of the COPABE "AAA" Pan American Junior Championships. The 11-team tournament, which serves as a qualifier for next year's World Championships, concludes Sept. 1 with the medal round and consolation finals.
The Americans, the event's defending silver medalist, will continue pool play action with a 9:30 a.m. (Central time) contest Aug. 26 against Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico also won its Pan Am opener on Aug. 25, snapping a 7-7 tie by scoring four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat El Salvador 11-7.
Weber allowed only infield singles in the second and third innings. After surrendering his second hit with two out in the third, he retired seven in a row. He did not walk a batter.
"Ryan made up his mind that he wasn't going to get beat today," JNT Head Coach Victor Solis said about his pitcher's workman-like performance."
The only run Weber allowed was unearned and came via a pair of two-base Team USA fielding errors in the sixth inning.
"I was able to throw my fast ball for strikes and then put them away with my slider," said Weber, who threw 96 pitches in his seven innings on the mound. "I think it was important to get this first win under our belts."
While Weber was keeping Panama's bats at bay, the Americans' offense provided plenty of support with 13 hits-all singles. L.J. Hoes (OF; Bowie, MD) and JP Ramirez (OF, New Braunfels, TX), the first two hitters in the lineup, each had three hits and drove in a run. Hoes scored three times while Ramirez tallied twice. Despite going hitless, cleanup hitter Eric Hosmer (INF; Cooper City, FL) knocked in three runs with a sacrifice fly and a pair of bases-loaded ground outs. Robbie Grossman (OF; Cypress, TX), batting ninth, had two hits and scored three runs.
"Our team speed really provided some offense for us today," Solis said. "We got some bunts down and did a good job of creating scoring opportunities via our legs."
Team USA took advantage of nine walks issued by Panama pitchers. Six of those came in the opening three innings off Panama starter Sebastian Arroyo. Team USA rolled to a 7-0 lead then, after Panama scored its lone run, the Americans put the game away with a six-run eighth inning to make it 13-1. Tyler Wilson (RHP; Midlothian, VA) hurled a scoreless eighth inning, allowing three hits but fanning three, as Team USA ended the game early.
USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of the sport in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The organization selects and trains the USA Baseball National Team, the USA Baseball Junior National Team (18 and under), the USA Baseball Youth National Team (16 and under), the USA Baseball 14U National Team (14 and under) and the USA Baseball Women's National Team, which participate in various international competitions each year.