August 13, 2006

  • Box Score   |  Scoreboard/Results
  • BARQUISIMETO, Venezuela - Team USA won the Pan Am Championships, beating Venezuela 13-3, in a seven inning, run-rule enforced game (10 + run margin after seven innings). Team USA led throughout the game, and in fact in the tournament only trailed for three combined innings, in dominating the opposition en route to a (9-0) record. Several individual tournament awards were earned (see below).

    It marked the first Team USA Pan Am championship since 2000, and the first World Championship since 2003.

    Having already pitched a no-hitter against Venezuela in his only tournament appearance seven days earlier, Ryan Weber (St. Petersburg, FL) took the mound on this sunny Sunday afternoon, and wound up winning again - a complete game victory.

    In the 1st inning, Weber walked the first batter, Altuve, on four pitches. Weber was able to induce a double-play grounder by the next batter, and retired the third batter with another grounder.

    Team USA scored 4 runs off Venezuela starting right-hander Pedro Guerra in the 1st, batting around against him and a reliever. Three errors led to three of the four runs scored as unearned. L.J. Hoes (Mitchelville, MD) reached on a fielding error by a back-peddling shortstop. Tyler Rahmatulla (Mission Viejo, CA) drilled a double ¾'s of the way up the center field fence, advancing Hoes to third base. Jaff Decker (Phoenix, AZ) drove in both Hoes and Rahmatulla with a ground ball single past the first baseman, for a 2-0 Team USA lead. Harold Martinez (Miami, FL) singled to left-center, and both runners advanced a base on a fielding error by Venezuela's center fielder. A pitching change was made, as Baudilio Lopez, a righty replaced Guerra. Two were in scoring position for Kyle Skipworth (Riverside, CA) who struck out on a high fastball. Max Stassi (Yuba City, CA) fouled out to the catcher for the second out. D.J. Hicks (Altamonte Springs, FL) connected for a two-strike 2-run single to right, scoring both Decker and Martinez, pumping the lead to 4-0. Mychal Givens (Tampa, FL) reached on a bunt single, sending Hicks to third base. Ryan Weber flied to right to end the 4-run 1st.

    In the 2nd, Weber allowed his first hit of the tournament (spanning 8 innings - all against Venezuela), a single to Jose Torres, but he was quickly erased as Weber induced his second double-play grounder in as many innings. Weber struck out the next batter to end the inning, maintaining the 4-0 Team USA lead.

    In the home 2nd, Team USA didn't score. L.J. Hoes led-off with a four-pitch walk, but was thrown out trying to steal. Tyler Rahmatulla grounded a single up the middle with one out. Jaff Decker walked, pushing Rahmatulla into scoring position. Harold Martinez hit into an inning ending 6-4-3 double play to finish the scoreless inning.

    Venezuela scored three 3rd inning runs off Weber, making it 4-3. The 3rd inning started with Weber allowing a single to Bracho, who was able to take second base on a fielding error by Decker in center. The next batter Sosa, laid down a drag bunt single up the 1st base line, sending Bracho to third base. Weber struck out the pitcher, Lopez, for the first out. Altuve lined a double to right-center scoring Bracho, and a Decker throwing error, allowed Sosa to score, cutting Team USA's lead to 4-2. The lead dwindled to 4-3 on a Parejo double inside third, scoring Altuve. Torres struck out to end the inning. Weber recorded all of his 3rd inning outs on strikeouts.

    In the bottom of the 3rd, Team USA scored three runs, matching Venezuela's output in the top of the inning, increasing its advantage to 7-3. Kyle Skipworth grounded to the first baseman, unassisted. Max Stassi struck out looking for the second out. D.J. Hicks grounded a single off the first baseman's mitt, extended the inning. Mychal Givens was hit by a curve ball, advancing Hicks to second. Both runners took a base on a throwing error by the catcher, who tried to pick Hicks from behind, but the throw went into center field. Ryan Weber walked to load the bases. L.J. Hoes laced a 2-run double to right-center field, scoring Hicks and Givens, pushing Weber to third, and Team USA grew its lead to 6-3. Venezuela brought in its third pitcher of the afternoon, right-hander Roberto Diaz. A wild pitch to Tyler Rahmatulla scored Weber, and sent Hoes to third base. The lead was 7-3. Rahmatulla flied out to end the inning.

    Venezuela went scoreless in the 4th inning. A two-out error by Givens allowed Bracho to reach, but he was stranded.

    Team USA added three runs in the home 4th, earning a 10-3 lead. Jaff Decker opened with a walk. Venezuela brought in its fourth pitcher of the game, Jonathan Torres, a lefty. Harold Martinez followed with a walk. Kyle Skipworth sacrificed Decker and Martinez up a base, forcing the third baseman to make the play. Max Stassi hit into a fielder's choice play (4-2-5), as Decker was thrown out trying to get back to third base. A wild pitch advanced the runners - Martinez to third, and Stassi to second. D. J. Hicks reached on a throwing error by the first baseman, who after making a diving stop near the line, couldn't connect on the toss to a later covering pitcher. Martinez scored to propel the Team USA lead to 8-3. Mychal Givens was hit by a pitch to fill the bases. Ryan Weber got ahead of Torres, 2-0, when the 5th Venezuelan pitcher came on - righty Reinaldo Zabala, who proceeded to walk Weber, allowing Stassi to score, for a 9-3 lead. A passed ball plated Hicks for a 10-3 lead, sending Givens to third base, and Weber to second. L.J. Hoes bounced to shortstop to end the inning.

    In the 5th inning, Venezuela was scoreless, limited to a walk off Weber. It remained 10-3.

    Team USA was scoreless in the 5th. Tyler Rahmatulla popped to shortstop. Jaff Decker flied to right. Harold Martinez lashed a single off the glove of the third baseman to prolong the frame. Kyle Skipworth walked, sending Martinez to second. Max Stassi was hit by a pitch to load the bases. D.J. Hicks flied to left, ending the threat.

    In the top of the 6th, Venezuela was silent. Weber tossed a perfect inning, with a pair of strikeouts. It remained 10-3 Team USA.

    The margin grew to 13-3 in the bottom of the 6th. Mychal Givens reached on a fielding error by the second baseman. A wild pitch pushed Givens to second. Ryan Weber's RBI double to right-center scored Givens, for an 11-3 bulge. A wild pitch sent Weber to third base. L.J. Hoes walked putting runners on the corners. The sixth Venezuelan pitcher took the hill - Carrillo. Tyler Rahmatulla walked, loading the bases for Jaff Decker, who walked to bring home Weber, making it 12-3. Harold Martinez walked, bringing home Hoes, for a 13-3 advantage. Kyle Skipworth hit into a double-play (3-2), grounding to first base, and Rahmatulla was thrown out at home. Max Stassi struck out swinging to end the inning, as Team USA took a 13-3 lead.

    Weber sealed the tournament championship with a perfect 7th, enforcing the run-rule verdict, resulting in a Team USA championship.

    Head Coach Garye LaFevers was ecstatic after the championship - "I was very happy for the kids, the players (at the time of the last out). They've been with us for twenty-two days, and dealt with adversity from the rain in Florida (trials/training) to the bus ride getting here which was two to three hours longer than what we were told. You're in a foreign country, and they focused on the white ball, and they accomplished everything that we set out to. The most enjoyable part of it, was the domination of the tournament. We answered Venezuela, when they scored those three runs on us. We got the cushion back. Weber and Winkler were two outstanding horses - they're 1a and 1b - two top notch pitchers. Our kids played defense behind them. They kept throwing strikes and kept pitching when guys got on. They showed a maturity level beyond their years. We brought home a bunch of individual hardware today, for accomplishments - but you would never know it from the kids. We focused on the white ball as a team. Those kids would trade their awards for the gold medal. Our biggest characteristic is that we really didn't care who or when they produced, kids would pick us up at different times. Defensively, we made 11 errors in 9 games - they weren't all easy scoring decisions. Hicks was outstanding defensively. Maybe our biggest attribute was the bench involvement; especially today. It's a group of 18 individuals with outstanding character. Champions that are led by their character….yeah baby rock and roll!!!!!!!!!"

    Team VENEZUELA……0030000
    Team USA………............403303

    WP: Weber (2-0)
    LP: Guerra (0-1)

    Ryan Weber - MVP, Best Pitcher
    Jaff Decker - CF, Hitter, most runs
    Kyle Skipworth - LF, RBI
    L.J. Hoes - RF
    D.J. Hicks - 1B
    Tyler Rahmatulla - 2B, most HR's.
    Kyle Winkler - best ERA

    Gold - USA, Silver - VENEZUELA, Bronze - CUBA

    August 13th: CUBA 8 MEXICO 4

    August 12th (semi-finals) - USA 12 MEXICO 2

    Team USA scores

    August 5th - d. Brazil 12-0 (7 innings)
    August 6th - d. Venezuela 14-0 (7 innings)
    August 7th - d. Cuba 8-5
    August 8th - d. Mexico 8-1
    August 9th - d. Aruba 17-0 (5 innings)
    August 10th - d. Columbia 18-1 (5 innings)
    August 11th - d. Dominican Republic 17-1 (5 innings)
    August 12th - d. Mexico 12-2 (8 innings)
    August 13th - d. Venezuela 13-3 (7 innings)