Junior National Team routs Aruba 13-2 at COPABE Pan Am Championships
Americans score 13 runs for third straight game; squad to meet Mexico Aug. 29 for top spot in pool
August 28, 2007
Box Score | Scoreboard/Results
IXTAPA, Mexico -- Tim Melville (RHP; Wentzville, MO) permitted just one hit over five innings and the USA Baseball Junior National Team pounded out 15 hits as the Americans routed Aruba 13-2 in a pool-play contest Aug. 28 at La Hacienda Stadium in the COPABE "AAA" Pan American Junior Championships. The 11-team tournament, which features athletes ages 18 and under, ends Sept. 1 with the medal round and consolation finals.
The victory keeps Team USA, the defending silver medalist, unbeaten in the event, which serves as a qualifier for next year's International BAseball Federation "AAA" World Championships. The Americans (3-0) will next meet host Mexico at 3 p.m. (Central time) Aug. 29 at U.D.P.T.V.A. Stadium in a game that will determine the top spot in the two squads' six-team pool and assure the winner a berth in the medal round semifinals slated for Aug. 31. Mexico was 2-0 entering an Aug. 28 pool-play contest against El Salvador (0-2).
Melville allowed only a two-out, third-inning single while fanning six and issuing three walks in his outing as Team USA built an 11-0 cushion.
"My velocity wasn't up to usual," the 6-5, 210-pound righthander said, "but I was still able to shut them down. That was important since we knew coming into the game that Aruba plays very emotionally."
Aruba (2-2), which defeated Panama 14-4 just a day earlier, finished with two hits. Following Melville, three Team USA pitchers-TJ House (LHP; Picayune, MS), Tyler Hibbs (RHP; Odenton, MD) and Jeff Malm (LHP; Las Vegas, NV)-combined to surrender just one hit over the two final innings in the scheduled seven-inning contest.
Meanwhile, on offense, Team USA tallied 13 runs for a third consecutive game. Kyle Buchanan (C; Auburn, WA), Riccio Torrez (INF; Phoenix, AZ) and Robbie Grossman (OF; Cypress, TX) each collected three hits with Torrez and Grossman adding three RBI apiece as well. Grossman, batting ninth in the lineup, now leads the regulars in hitting with a .636 mark while Torrez, whose three hits were doubles, is close behind with a .556 average.
"I knew the coaches would put me in the final spot in the order," said Grossman, who has seven hits in 11 at bats and whose five runs batted in is a team-high along with Torrez. "I can be a second leadoff man for us in that spot."
Tyler Stovall (OF; Hokes Bluff, AL) and Jordan Swagerty (C; Sachese, TX) knocked in two runs each. Buchanan and Garrison Lassiter (INF; High Point, NC) scored three times apiece as did Torrez, whose two-out double started a four-run fifth-inning rally that gave Team USA an 8-0 lead.
"Riccio has had a great tournament so far," JNT Head Coach Victor Solis said. "He plays the game hard and came up big for us today. Riccio and Robbie are doing great jobs for us in RBI situations."
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.
2007 COPABE "AAA" PAN AMERICAN JUNOR BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
August 24-Sept. 1 Ixtapa, Mexico
||Puerto Rico 1-2
||El Salvador 0-2