TEAM USA SWEEPS FIRST ROUND WITH FOURTH STRAIGHT VICTORY
14-U National Team Defeats El Salvador 16-6 in Come-From-Behind Run-Rule Win
January 24, 2007
Box Score | Scoreboard/Results
GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA - The USA Baseball 14-U National Team completed its sweep of the first round of the Pan-Am 'A' Regional Qualifier, defeating Honduras 16-6 in six innings.
While the sun was strong enough to burn the early morning haze off of Galvez Sobral Stadium, it could not shake the grogginess from the U.S. Team. The Americans looked sloppy in the field through the first four innings, beginning with starting pitcher Dylan Davis' (Vancouver, Wash.) first inning exit after issuing four walks and three runs. Reliever Matt Taylor (Corona, Calif.) got out of the first inning bases loaded jam with a nice back door breaking ball strikeout.
Team USA's bats also started out slow as El Salvador retired them with little trouble in the first inning. However, Taylor's marvelous pitching allowed the U.S. to keep the game close; he sat down six of the first eight batters he faced on strikeouts and recorded eight punch outs in all. Taylor also gave up the El Salvadorians lone hit, a second inning solo shot to center field.
Third baseman Cole Gleason (Mesa, Ariz.) started the U.S. scoring with a solo homerun of his own with one out in the second inning. Gleason's was the first of eight homeruns recorded by Team USA in the game, a display of true offensive force. The scoring continued in the third inning after second baseman Lucas Long (San Francisco, Calif.) reached on an error and outfielder Tyler Krause (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) followed with a homerun to left. El Salvador retired the next hitter, but outfielder Billy Flamion (Modesto, Calif.) launched a solo bomb to left to knot the score at four runs apiece.
Team USA's defensive struggles continued in the top of the fourth when several first-and-third situations got the best of them. After Taylor handed out two walks and shortstop Zach Davies (Gilbert, AZ) muffed a ground ball, the U.S. infield botched two pick-off attempts and allowed runners at third to cross home safely twice. Taylor finally induced a 6-4-3 double play and a strikeout to end the inning, and following a solo shot by Long in the bottom half, the team limped into the fifth trailing 6-5.
Taylor again worked his magic by retiring the El Salvadorians in order, igniting a fire under the American team.
"Matt Taylor filled up his USA uniform today," said coach Tim O'Brien (Columbia, MD). "His performance gave our hitters a chance to take command of the game."
Catcher Jake Gober (Sammamish, Wash.) led off with a solo homerun, and the team followed with a walk and sacrifice bunt to set up outfielder Joe Armstrong's (Union City, CA) lead-taking bomb to left center. Davies redeemed his error with a three-run homerun of his own, capping off a seven-run fifth that proved to be the dagger for El Salvador.
Team USA finished off their opponents with a four-run sixth inning topped off by Davies' second homerun of the day, a walk-off that put the run-rule in effect.
With the win today, Team USA locked up the number one seed for the medal round of the tournament. They will find out after tonight's game between Nicaragua and Guatemala who their semi-final opponent will be. After a tournament off-day on Thursday, Team USA's semi-final will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Friday in Galvez Sobral Stadium.
El Salvador......... 310 200 - 6 1 4
USA................. 013 174 - 16 16 1
Start: 9:00 am
Jan. 20 Tournament Results
Nicaragua 12 vs. Honduras 2
Guatemala 11 vs. USA 22
Jan. 21 Tournament Results
Nicaragua defeated El Salvador
Honduras defeated Guatemala
Jan. 22 Tournament Results
El Salvador defeated Honduras
USA 19 vs. Nicaragua 7
January 23 Tournament Results/Schedule
USA 18 vs. Honduras 1
El Salvador defeated Guatemala
January 24 Tournament Schedule
USA 16 vs. El Salvador 6
Guatemala vs. Nicaragua, 7 PM
January 25 OFF DAY
1. USA 4-0
2. Nicaragua 2-1
3. El Salvador 2-2
4. Guatemala 1-2
5. Honduras 0-4