Sept. 21, 2006

  • Box Score  |  Scoreboard/Results
  • MORON CITY, CUBA -- Buoyed by a six-run outburst in its first at bat followed by an eight-run third inning, the USA Baseball Junior National Team waltzed to an 18-1 pool-play victory against Italy Sept. 21 in the International BAseball Federation "AAA" World Junior Championships at Paquito Espinosa Stadium. The scheduled nine-inning affair was halted after seven innings because of the tournament's run rule.

    The victory was the second straight for the Americans after the squad dropped its first two games in the tournament, featuring 12 teams of youth ages 18 and under. The 18 runs tallied against Italy (2-2) were six times the team's total of three runs that the JNT had scored in its opening three contests.

    Team USA wasted no time taking control in the top of the first against Italy starter Luca Panerati (0-1). A single by Christian Colon (INF; Corona, CA) followed by walks to Justin Jackson (INF; Asheville, NC) and Tommy Medica (C; San Jose, CA) loaded the bases with no one out. Mike Moustakas (OF; Northridge, CA) was then hit by a pitch to force in one run and another came home when Victor Sanchez (OF; Norwalk, CA) drew Panerati's third walk of the inning. Matt Dominguez (INF; Lake Balboa, CA) then delivered the inning's big blow when his double to right center cleared the bases and put the JNT in front 5-0. The two-bagger was Team USA's first extra-base hit of the championships. Panerati, who did not retire a batter, was then replaced by Antonino Franucchi. Michael Main (OF-RHP; Deltona, FL) greeted the Italian righthander with a double to left center to drive in Dominguez for the final run of the flurry. In all, Team USA sent 12 hitters to the plate in the frame, which took 34 minutes to complete.

    "It was great to have some of our guys break out like they did today," JNT Head Coach Jason Hisey said. "We have had some hitters go through experiences that they haven't had previously. But it was great to see them have some good at bats. This is only our fourth game together as a team. We are trying to put as many combinations together as we can without compromising games. Our learning curve is very short."

    The Americans stretched their advantage to 9-0 in the third inning on Moustakas' three-run opposite-field homer. The roundtripper came after Jackson's two-out single and Medica was hit by a pitch from Franucchi.

    After Italy notched a run in the third inning against Team USA starter Jarrod Parker (RHP; Bluffton, IN), the JNT built its cushion to 17-1 by sending 13 batters to the plate and exploding for eight runs in the fourth inning. The Americans took advantage of three walks and two of their five hit batsmen in the game, coupled with two wild pitches and four hits, to record its big inning. Moustakas notched a run-scoring single in the frame for his fifth RBI of the day while Sanchez collected a run-scoring base hit and Matt Newman (OF; Glendale, AZ) registered a two-run single. Team USA finished with 12 hits, including four for extra bases.

    In the fifth, Moustakas drew a walk-one of 13 issued by six Italian pitchers-and later tallied his fourth run on an error. Besides Moustakas, Jackson tallied three times. Every JNT regular crossed the plate at least once.

    Parker (1-0), making his second appearance in the tournament, tossed six innings for the JNT. He allowed just one hit, a single to center field by Italy's first hitter in the game, while walking three and striking out five.

    "Jarrod was strong in the strike zone today," Hisey said.

    Tim Alderson (RHP; Phoenix, AZ) retired Italy in order in the seventh inning to complete the one-hitter.

    Team USA has one remaining pool play game. The JNT meets Spain at 1 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Sept. 22 at Moron City. The top four teams in each of the tourney's two, 6-team pools will move on to championship round action beginning Sept. 24. Consolation round action also starts Sept. 24.

    USA603 810 000 - 18 12 0
    Italy001 000 000 -  1   1  2
    W: Parker (1-0). L: Panerati (0-1).
    Parker, Alderson (7) and Medica, Elorriaga Matra (4). Panerati, Francucchi (1), Lucati (4), Montecchi (4), Imperiali (5). De Simoni (7) and Sabbatani.
    Time: 1:54. Attendance: 1,200.

    Pool Play Standings (through Team USA game Sept. 21)

    Pool A: Pool B:
    Cuba3-0 Chinese Taipei3-1
    Netherlands3-1 Canada3-1
    Australia2-1 Italy2-2
    Korea2-2 Mexico2-2
    Panama1-3 USA2-2
    South Africa0-4 Spain0-4

    Sept. 20 Pool Play Results
    USA def. Canada, 2-1
    Italy def. Mexico, 8-6
    Chinese Taipei def. Spain, 9-0
    Netherlands def. South Africa, 8-7
    Australia def. Korea, 2-1
    Cuba def. Panama, 10-0 (7 innings)

    Sept. 21 Pool Play Results
    USA vs. Italy, 18-1 (7 innings)
    Mexico def. Spain, 15-2 (7 innings)
    Canada def. Chinese Taipei, 8-1
    Korea def. South Africa, 9-0
    Netherlands def. Panama, 4-1
    Cuba vs. Australia

    Sept. 22 Pool Play Schedule (All Times Eastern)
    Italy vs. Canada, 10 a.m.
    Cuba vs. South Africa, 1 p.m.
    Korea vs. Netherlands, 2 p.m.
    Mexico vs. Chinese Taipei, 2 p.m.
    Panama vs. Australia, 9 p.m.