USA Defeats Host Guatemala 22-11 in 5-Inning Slugfest

January 21, 2007

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  • GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA - USA Baseball's inaugural 14-U National Team started off the first game in program history in style. In an action packed day at the Galvez Sobral stadium, Team USA out-slugged host Guatemala in a 22-11 thriller.

    The Americans began the day at the tournament opening ceremony celebrating with the five nations participating in the Pan-Am 'A' Regional Qualifying Event: Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and the United States.

    It was a lively scene all around at Galvez Sobral as a capacity crowd of just under 1,000 Guatemalans emphatically supported their homeland. The host country wasted little time in starting off the scoring as they banged home two runs off USA starter Billy Flamion (Modesto, Calif.).

    Team USA responded immediately with some thunder of its own. The 14-U National team's first-ever swing was a Tyler Krause (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) solo shot deep over the center field wall. His sweet stroke set the tone for what was to be one of several big innings for the Americans.

    "Tyler's confidence and success at the plate really set the tone for the rest of the team", said assistant coach Dave Webb (Gilbert, Ariz.). "Every time [Guatemala] appeared to gain some momentum, we found a way to answer."

    Following several walks, the Eagles strung together five hits in a row to plate a total of nine runs in the first inning alone.

    This lead would not stand for long as the hosts proved to be an extremely resilient opponent. Flamion lasted only two innings, issuing four free passes and yielding five runs on only three hits. Guatemala continued to claw their way back with USA relief pitcher Colin Reed (Belmont, Calif.) on the mound, scoring three more runs in the 3rd inning, including a monster solo blast by first baseman Manuel Hernandez.

    Behind the energy of a raucous home crowd, Guatemala added two more runs in the top of the fourth to knot the score at 10 apiece.

    The Eagles reacted to the Guatemalan onslaught with a four-run fourth inning sparked by catcher Jake Gober's (Sammamish, Wash.) first home run of the night.

    However, the pivotal moment came in the top half of the fifth inning as the Guatemalans were trailing 14 - 11. With one out and the bases loaded, relief pitcher Jake Dahlberg (Vancouver, Wash.) entered the game and immediately went to work, carving up the next two hitters with a mix of an effective fastball and a devastating curve. Dahlberg's eight pitch performance proved to be a back-breaker for Guatemala as the hosts surrendered eight runs in the bottom of the fifth to give Team USA a 22-11 run-rule win. The game came full-circle as it ended on shortstop Zach Davies' (Gilbert, Ariz.) walk-off three-run home run, Team USA's fifth long ball of the day. In all, Krause, Davies, Gober and Ryan Parker (San Mateo, Calif.) left the yard, with Gober accomplishing the feat twice. Lucas Long (San Francisco, Calif.) also put in a strong performance, going three for three with two stolen bases.

    Coach Webb summed up the day, "It was great to get the program its first victory, but now we've got to go back to work."

    With an off day on Sunday, Team USA resumes play on Monday at 7:00 p.m. against Nicaragua.

    Guatemala........... 233 21 - 11 8 2
    USA................. 910 48 - 22 18 2

    Start: 7:00 pm
    Time: 3:15
    Attendance: 800

    Jan. 20 Tournament Results
    Nicaragua 12 vs. Honduras 2
    Guatemala 11 vs. USA 22

    Jan. 21 Pool Play Schedule
    Nicaragua vs. El Salvador 3 p.m.
    Honduras vs. Guatemala 7 p.m.