15U: Team USA Falls to Cuba in Extras, 6-5
Three-run 10th inning not enough in Game 2
|Box Score Play-by-Play Cumulative Stats|
CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA - For the second-straight day, the 15U National Team found itself in the 11th inning all knotted up with its opponent. Saturday evening would end differently for Team USA, however, as they dropped a heartbreaking 6-5 loss to Cuba in the second game of the 2017 COPABE Pan Am "AA" Championships in Cartagena, Colombia.
The United States showed strong defensive prowess early that was led by starting right-hander Rawley Hector (Van Alstyne, Texas), who went 6.0 innings, allowing just three hits, one walk and striking out three on the night.
Roc Riggio (Simi Valley, Calif.) was once again on the leaderboard at the plate for Team USA, finishing 2-for-5 with a run, while Michael Brooks (Lake Worth, Fla.) led in RBIs, knocking around two off one hit.
The Stars and Stripes took an early 1-0 lead in the third, thanks to back-to-back singles by Hector and Riggio before Davis Diaz (Pittsburg, Calif.) walked to load the bases. Pete Crow-Armstrong (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) then laid down a beautiful bunt down the third-base line that stayed fair and allowed him to reach safely, as well as score Hector.
Extending their lead in the sixth, Petey Halpin (San Mateo, Calif.) hit a two-out bullet up the middle. Then, Tanner Witt (Houston, Texas) hit an infield single to the shortstop, whose throw was wild and allowed not only Witt to reach second, but Halpin to cross the plate.
Cuba closed the deficit in the bottom of the sixth to one before tying up the game in the bottom of the ninth.
The 10th inning featured three runs scored by both teams. With Riggio on first and Diaz on second, Crow-Armstrong laid another fine bunt down, this time for the sacrifice, to move the runners further into scoring position. Brooks then stepped up to launch Team USA's first extra-base hit through two games into right center field, clearing the bases.
Mac Guscette (Nokomis, Fla.) then followed suit, rocketing one into right field as well to put Brooks at third. Halpin followed the strategy and, with just one out, laid down a sac bunt to score Brooks.
Despite loading the bases with two outs, the U.S. wouldn't be able to put a run on the board in the top of the 11th, giving Cuba the chance to score the game-winning run off a sacrifice fly to right field.
Rounding out the day on the mound for the 15U team was Lucas Gordon (Los Angeles, Calif.), who finished with a game-high seven punchouts in 4.0 innings and Michael Flores (Corona, Calif.) who closed the final 0.2 innings.
The 15U National Team gets back on the field on Sunday, Aug. 13 when it takes on Venezuela. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Continue to follow @USABaseball15U on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 15U National Team.
The COPABE Pan Am Championships is a World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Continental Championships and serves as a qualifier to the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup in 2018.