LAGOS DE MORENO, Mexico -- In front of a sell-out crowd of more than 5,000 people, Pan Am host Mexico (3-0) silenced the previously torrid bats of the U.S. (2-1), 3-2. Both Team USA and Mexico now advance to the semifinals, and after an off-day on Sunday, they will face Cuba and Canada, respectively. As of deadline, game times were still to be announced.
Mexico scored all three of its runs off U.S. starter Jeff Marquez (0-1, Vacavilla, Calif.) over his 4 2/3 innings pitched, and that was all it needed to hold off the Americans. After scoring a combined 31 runs in its previous two games, Team USA found no rhythm at the plate Saturday night. The red, white and blue tallied only five hits, each of which came from a different U.S. batter.
Team USA got on the board first when, in the fourth inning, Brett Carroll grounded into a double-play, scoring Joe Thurston. After Mexico tallied two runs of its own in the bottom of the frame and then a third in the following inning, the U.S. was left with a two-run deficit to overcome. Tommy Mendonca continued his RBI binge with run-scoring single in the seventh -- his ninth RBI of the tournament -- but it was all the Americans could muster the rest of the way.
The game featured 12 total pitchers, with the U.S. trotting out Justin Cassel, Jeff Beliveau, Pete Andrelczyk and Scott Patterson after Marquez. The quartet of relievers combined for 3 1/3 innings of no-hit relief.
With the loss, the U.S. finishes as the No. 2 seed in its group, drawing intra-continental rival Cuba in the semifinals. Team USA played Cuba in the IBAF World Cup earlier this month, losing a close, well-played 8-7 ballgame.
Monday's game time will be announced on www.USABaseball.com and on Twitter @USABaseball.
NOTES: Tommy Mendonca slapped an RBI-single up the middle in the seventh inning, giving him a team-leading nine runs batted in for the Pan Ams through three games...Jim Gallagher made his first start for the U.S. Saturday night...the Pittsburgh native started in left and went 0-for-1 with two walks...With his fourth-inning triple, Joe Thurston extended his hit streak to 13 games...the second baseman is hitting .460 (23-50) over that stretch to lead the team (minimum 15 ABs)...After not recording a single triple in its 11 IBAF World Cup games earlier this month, the U.S. now has one in each of its three Pan Am games...Brett Jackson made his first plate appearance for Team USA since Oct. 14...the outfielder grounded out to second base in the ninth inning in a pinch-hit appearance for Chad Tracy...A USA Baseball Professional Team last played Mexico in the 2009 IBAF World Cup on Sept. 19...the U.S. won the game, 7-3, behind a 4-for-5, two-RBI day from Terry Tiffee...and the last time a U.S. pro team lost to Mexico was a 2-1 defeat on Mar. 16, 2006, at the World Baseball Classic...Mexico is currently ranked No. 9 in the world by the IBAF.