Golden Spikes Spotlight: Pavin Smith

May 16, 2017

No matter what else happened in his career, Pavin Smith secured his Virginia legacy in the final game of his freshman year.

That game happened to be the winner-takes-the-title third game of the 2015 CWS Finals against Vanderbilt. The Commodores had beaten the favored Cavs for the championship the year before, and this time around Virginia was a heavy underdog. But after squeaking into the NCAA tournament as a No. 3 seed, UVa. simply refused to lose. A core of battle-tested warriors in the upper classes carried plenty of the load, but a couple precocious freshmen had a very big role to play, too.

One of them was Adam Haseley, the two-way talent who helped keep UVa. alive with five scoreless innings in the middle game of the Finals, then reached base safely in all four at-bats of the rubber game. The other was Smith, who turned around that last game with a game-tying two-run homer in the fourth, then put Virginia ahead for good with an RBI single an inning later.

It was an incredible pinnacle at the end of freshman All-America campaigns for Smith and Haseley, but it was just the beginning of their impact in Charlottesville. They have gone on to become two of the most accomplished and celebrated players in program history. Both players have managed to get even better each year, and now both are poised to be drafted in the top half of the first round.

They've been so good for so long, and they go about their business with such quiet professionalism that it's easy to take Smith and Haseley for granted. But that would be a mistake.

"(Smith) obviously hit the big home run there in Omaha in his freshman year that helped him win Game Three against Vanderbilt. Now it's like, 'All right, it's come to be expected,'" Virginia coach Brian O'Connor said. "Pavin's worked really, really hard to continue to progress in his game. He's got great balance in his life, he's a great kid, faith is really important to him. He's playing the game with a smile on his face. There's been times where maybe he's scuffled for a couple games, and you say to him, 'Everything all right?' He's got a smile, and it's, 'Hey coach, I'm great!' There's never been any panic about him."

That kind of even keel is obviously critical to maintain the kind of consistent performance Smith has turned in for three years. He hit .307/.373/.467 with seven homers and 44 RBIs as a freshman, then improved to .329/.410/.513 with eight homers and 57 RBIs as a sophomore, in eight fewer games.

Smith and Haseley are both having special seasons, worthy of legitimate Golden Spikes Award consideration, but Smith is doing something as a junior that is nearly unheard of for a power hitter. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound first baseman is batting .355/.433/.585 - with more home runs (10) than strikeouts (seven). He has four times as many walks (28) as he has punchouts.

"He gets his money's worth, and he he still does with two strikes," O'Connor said. "His hand-eye coordination, his contact rate, I don't know what the right words to use, it's just really, really impressive. You see some of these guys swing and miss so much that are great prospects, but it's pretty rare to see him swing and miss. The quality of contact rate is really good.

"I think you ask a lot of people about hitters, everybody says, 'Jeez there's no hitters in the draft, hitting's down.' At a point in time where a lot of people are complaining about offense, this guy is really, really special. He's just got a knack to be able to hit."

Scouts agree with that assessment, of course. Smith has always hit. He hit in high school in Jupiter, Fla., and he hit the very first time UVa. recruiting coordinator Kevin McMullan ever went to see him, after O'Connor got a tip about him from a close friend down in Florida. That first time McMullan set eyes on him, he hit the ball out of the park.

Smith was drafted in the 32nd round by the Rockies but could have gone a lot higher if not for his strong commitment to Virginia. Education was important to him and his family, so he was determined to head to college.

He also hit with a wood bat in summer ball. After he batted .331 with four homers and nine doubles in 163 at-bats for Harwich last summer (counting the playoffs), Smith firmly established himself in the eyes of scouts as one of the best bats in the 2017 draft.

"He's the best pure college hitter in this draft, and his power is a little bit undervalued. I think he's a pure hitter who happens to have power," one AL crosschecker said. "He's always had power, but now he's getting to it with frequency, and he's a good first baseman."

That's the part of Smith's game that can get overlooked: his defense. He has spent some time in left field during his UVa. career, and O'Connor insists he has the athleticism to play there in pro ball or continue to be a standout first baseman.

"The kid takes great routes to the ball in the outfield. He moves around well," O'Connor said. "His defense at first base, some people might want to be critical of it, but all you have to do is go back and watch highlights of this guy … It's very, very rare to see somebody throw the ball in the dirt and him not clean pick it. He's not just a guy who squares it up and keeps it in front of him. He's very, very good with his glove. I think that's something that maybe not a whole lot of people care about for a first baseman, they're just consumed with the power numbers."

Of course, the power numbers are there too. The fact that his power numbers have continued to grow with each passing season is a testament to his physical maturity. The fact that his strikeout numbers have continued to shrink is nothing short of a marvel.

The Cavaliers know how lucky they've been to have Smith and Haseley anchoring their roster for the last three years. And even though their place in history was secure two years ago after they played such a huge part in delivering Virginia its first national title, they didn't rest on their laurels. They're not wired that way, which is a very good thing for the Cavs.

"Certainly we've been fortunate to have a lot of really good players. Both of these guys, as far as performers and people, they're on a very, very short list," O'Connor said. "It's rare to have guys make such an immediate impact like these two guys did their freshman year. And the most impressive thing to me is they've just continued to get better and better. Some guys come in and plateau, and that's who they are. These guys have continued their development, because they have dreams and ambitions beyond here. They've played a huge part in winning a national championship and keeping it a high level. What these two guys are doing back to back 3 and 4 in the lineup, are there many other 3-4 combinations doing that? I'm sure there are, but not very many. these guys are pretty special.

"Their humility is very impressive. They lead by example in their own ways. I think this is part of the reason they're having so much success in their draft-eligible year, something that players don't always handle well - they've handled it great, because they're two centered, humble men."


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USA Sweeps Through Training Games

Explosive 11-run third inning powers Team USA past Premier Baseball
August 22, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7   R H E
Premier 3 0 0 1 1 0 0   5 11 1
USA 2 0 11 0 0 0 X   13 13 3
Win: D. Moss Loss: L. Arroyos Save: None
Boxscore | Play-by-Play| Training Games Stats


TOMBALL, Texas - Team USA pounded out 11 runs off 10 hits in the third inning to defeat Premier Baseball of Texas 13-5 in their final game of a two-game series of training games Tuesday afternoon at a blistering Premier Baseball of Texas Sports Complex.

The bats were as hot as the 100-degree game-time temperature in the first inning, as the two squads combined for five runs off six hits. Premier had the upper hand in the opening frame, with four singles leading to a 3-0 lead. Kameron Davis (Albany, Ga.) and Christian Hamilton (Lauderhill, Fla.) each singled to leadoff the bottom of the first inning and each ended up scoring to cut the Team USA deficit to 3-2.

Premier starting pitcher Eric Aguirre struck out four batters over the first two innings, but Lane Arroyos would not have the same success when he took the mound in the bottom of the third inning. With Davis leading off the inning, the stars and stripes received hits from their first four batters, including a double from Masato Chilcutt (San Antonio, Texas). USA would send 15 batters to the plate in the inning, with Hamilton and Chilcutt each producing two hits in the inning. The 11-run inning was capped by a bases-loaded triple to left-centerfield by Josiah Palomino (Riverside, Calif.) with two outs.

The 13-3 advantage was enough for USA, as Premier was held to a run in the fourth and fifth innings the rest of the way. Four pitchers took the hill for USA, with Dean Moss (Hillsborough, Calif.) credited with the win, allowing one run off four hits in 3.0 innings. Gavin Gargiulo (Coral Springs, Fla.) and Talin Gardini (San Diego, Calif.) each went 2.0 innings on the mound in relief for USA.

Hamilton led a foursome of multi-hit producers for USA with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate. Davis (2-for-3), Chilcutt (2-for-4) and Julius Pfau (Tampa, Fla.) (2-for-4) each had a pair of hits. Palomino led the squad in runs-batted-in with three off his third-inning triple. Hamilton, Kailand Halstead (Aberdeen, Wash.) and Kibru Pam (Pasadena, Calif.) each contributed to the USA scoring with a pair of runs-batted-in. Premier finished the game with 11 hits, with Arroyos and Adam Katz each going 2-for-2.

USA went 6-for-13 in two-out at-bats leading to six two-out RBI (Pfau was 2-for-2 in two-out at-bats). They also found success in RBI opportunities, going 8-for-17 in at-bats with runners in scoring position. Hamilton was 3-for-3 in at-bats with runners in scoring position.  

Team USA won both of their training games over Premier and now set their focus towards the COPABE Pan-Am "A" Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Team USA opens play Saturday facing Cuba in group play (time is still TBA). For more information on the 12U National Team, please visit or follow along on Twitter, at @USABaseball12U.

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Team USA Opens 12U National Team Training With Victory

Five pitchers combine to hold opposition to five hits
August 21, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
USA 2 0 1 3 1 0 0 2 9 9 1
Premier 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 5 1
Win: R. Felder Loss: J. Macias Save: None
Boxscore | Play by Play


TOMBALL, Texas - Team USA, behind the arms of five different pitchers, held Premier Baseball of Texas to five hits and they opened their series of 12U National Team training games with a 9-2 win Monday at Premier Baseball of Texas Complex.

Brady Strohm (Winchester, Calif.), Tristan Bristow (San Antonio, Texas) and Ross Felder (Springdale, Ark.) each pitched two innings, while, Christian Hamilton (Lauderhill, Fla.) and Kibru Pam (Pasadena, Calif.) each went an inning to help USA hold Premier to two runs off five hits in eight innings. Team USA did not allow a hit to the final 15 batters faced (covering the game's final five inning). Strohm opened the game on the hill and faced the minimum in his two innings of work. He surrendered two hits in the first inning, but catcher Masato Chilcutt (San Antonio, Texas) was able to nab each on the bases attempting to steal. The five USA pitchers combined for nine strikeouts and faced five batters over the minimum.

USA's offense was also off to a quick start in the game. Kameron Davis (Albany, Ga.) led off the game hitting an infield-single (one of five hit in the game by USA), and he eventually scored the first run off a throwing error committed during a single put in play by Hamilton. USA led 2-0 in the first inning after Kailand Halstead (Aberdeen, Wash.) grounded out to plate Hamilton. The stars and stripes took advantage of pitching miscues to extend their lead, as a pair of walks in the third inning led to Chilcutt scoring and three runs scored in the fourth inning off wild pitches. The trio of runs pushed the USA lead to 6-0 despite one hit in the combined third and fourth innings.

Braelon Richardson and Luke Rives each had a pair of hits for Premier, with Rives' triple in the fourth inning leading to a pair of runs in the inning for their only runs of the game. Bristow shook off the rally with a strikeout and double-play to move the game to the fifth inning with USA leading 6-2. Brock Thompson (Bakersfield, Calif.) added an RBI in the fifth inning and Team USA capped their scoring with a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by a single through a drawn-in infield by Halstead.

Davis, one of seven USA members to have a hit in the game, led the squad with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate. Halstead led all players with a pair of runs-batted-in. Premier was held to one hit with runners in scoring position (off eight opportunities), while USA had 23 at-bats with runners in scoring position. USA was 6-for-8 getting the leadoff batter aboard.

Team USA concludes their series of training games against Premier Tuesday with a 2:30 p.m. (CT) first pitch at Premier Baseball of Texas Sports Complex. For more information on the 12U National Team, please visit or follow along on Twitter, at @USABaseball12U.

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15U National Team Crowned World Champions

USA defeats host country Panama 7-1 Sunday
August 20, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
PAN 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 3
USA 6 0 0 1 0 0 X 7 3 1
Win: A. Painter Loss: J. Tejada  Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play | World Cup Stats | Full Game

CHIRIQUI, PANAMA - Team USA claimed its first 15U World Cup Championship Sunday, downing host country Panama 7-1 in front of a sold-out crowd in the final game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation's U-15 Baseball World Cup at Estadio Kenny Serracin in David.



"This is an unbelievable, indescribable feeling to bring home the gold with this super-talented group," said manager Jason Maxwell. "Sometimes talent doesn't always win, but they all bought into the idea that hard work does. This feeling is something that I'll never forget.

I can't say enough about the hard work our staff put in. Manny Crespo, Troy Gerlach, and Adam Moseley are tremendous people. When I was announced as manager of this team, I felt like I had to put together a good baseball quality staff, but also good men, and that comes first. I am so appreciative of all their time and effort- all the countless hours they put in that people don't see- and everyone got rewarded tonight. I keep saying this, but it really is an indescribable feeling."

USA needed just three hits to secure the victory, taking advantage of three Panamanian errors. First baseman Brady House (Winder, Ga.), right fielder Ryan Clifford (Raleigh, N.C.), and center fielder Tyree Reed (Vallejo, Calif.) recorded the hits.

Starting pitcher Andrew Painter (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) was solid through five and a third frames, striking out five.

The Stars and Stripes ignited early, taking advantage of back-to-back walks to Diaz and Schrier to lead off the frame, and then House pushed a ball through the right side to bring Diaz home. After Luke Leto was hit-by-pitch to load the bases, two straight Panamanian misplays cleared the bases, giving USA a 4-0 start. Hartle then came home on another single through the right side, this one courtesy of Clifford, and left fielder Ryan Spikes (Covington, Ga.), who reached on a fielder's choice, crossed home on a fielder's choice from catcher Charlie Saum (Ventura, Calif.).

Panama broke the shutout in the fourth, scoring after a leadoff double and groundout. USA quickly put the lead back to six, after right fielder Tyree Reed (Vallejo, Calif.) doubled to the right center gap, stole third, and came home on a fielder's choice from House.

Panama continued to threaten, leaving runners on in each of the final three frames.

Several USA players took home additional hardware, including shortstop Cody Schrier (San Clemente, Calif.), who was named the World Cup Most Valuable Player and also took home the award for most runs and the batting title.

Cody Schrier (San Clemente, Calif.) (Tournament MVP) (Batting Title) (Most Runs Scored)
Sam Dutton (Rainbow City, Ala.) (Lowest ERA)
Brady House (Winder, Ga.) (Most RBI)

All-World Team
Andrew Painter (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) (Starting Pitcher)
Brady House (Winder, Ga.) (First Base)
Luke Leto (Portage, Mich.) (Third Base)
Ryan Spikes (Covington, Ga.) (Outfield)

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Team USA Walks Off Against Canada in Training Finale

The U.S. heads to Viera, Fla., looking for its third World Cup gold medal
August 19, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Canada 0 0 0 0 2 6 0 8 10 2
Team USA 0 0 0 5 0 0 4 9 5 0
Win: S. Cobb Loss: A. Schroder Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | Cumulative Stats

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. - Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) drove in the game-winning runs in the seventh inning as the Women's National Team earned the walkoff victory over Canada in the team's final tune-up on Sunday evening at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Gortarez finished the game 1-for-2 with three RBI and a run scored and hit .600 in training, with two doubles and a home run throughout the three contests.

The game started as a pitcher's duel as neither team could get much going in the first three innings. Brittany Schutte (Gainesville, Fla.) started in Team USA's training finale and put in two strong innings of work, giving up just one hit and one walk, while fanning two. Canada also got a strong start on the mound from Anna-Sophie Lavallee, who gave up just one hit of her own in three innings.

With the game still scoreless in the bottom of the fourth inning, the U.S. bats finally broke through. A leadoff walk to Gortarez followed by a Malaika Underwood (San Diego, Calif.) single set the stage for AJ Hamilton (Tallahassee, Fla.) who laced a double to center field to score the first run of the game.

Bases-loaded walks to Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.) and Anna Kimbrell (Fort Mill, S.C.) plated two more runs before a fielder's choice and a Canada error made it 5-0 in favor of the red, white and blue.

Canada answered immediately though, scoring two runs in the top of the fifth to get within three and putting together a six-run top of the sixth to take the 8-5 lead.

Samantha Cobb (Garland, Texas) made her second lights out relief appearance for Team USA when she got the call in the seventh, issuing just one walk in the inning. The right-hander didn't give up a hit or a run and issued just three walks while striking out two in her three innings of work.

In the bottom half of the inning with the score still 8-5 and down to its last three outs, Team USA went to work. Kelsie Whitmore (Temecula, Calif.) drew a leadoff walk to get the momentum rolling before three more walks brought in a run and got the U.S. within two.

Then Gortarez came up clutch once again for the stars and stripes with the bases still loaded. The shortstop cleared the bases with a double down the right field line to give Team USA the walkoff 9-8 victory.

With the conclusion of training, the U.S. will next travel to Viera, Fla., for the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup.

Team USA will square off against Puerto Rico in its opening game on August 22 at 7 p.m. ET at the USSSA Space Coast Complex.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter and visit for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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Southern California Crowned 15U Champions Cup Gold Medal Winners, Defeat South Texas 3-1

Backed by a stellar pitching performance by David Horn, Southern California narrowly defeats South Texas to claim Gold at the 15U NTIS Champions Cup
August 19, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Southern California 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 7 0
South Texas 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 1
Win: David Horn Loss: Sai Campos Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Full Game | Highlights

Cary, N.C. - Southern California was crowned the 2018 15U National Team Identification Series Champions Cup gold medal winners after defeating South Texas 3-1 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

Southern California got on the board early Sunday morning. After a single and a walk in the top of the first inning, Rocco DiFrancesco doubled to drive in both runs and give Southern California the early 2-0 advantage.

South Texas would put a run of their own on the board shortly after. In the bottom of the second inning, Derick Ramirez singled to left field to drive in a run and cut the Southern California lead in half. 

That would be the lone run for South Texas as Southern California starting pitcher David Horn turned in a stellar performance. Horn allowed six hits, two walks, and one run while striking out four over seven frames of work. 

Southern California would add an insurance run to their lead in the top of the fifth inning when Zach Peters singled in David Horn for the third Southern California run of the ballgame.

Down 3-1, South Texas threatened in the bottom of the seventh with a runner on, but a running catch by left fielder Tyler Prystajko ended the ballgame.

The victory by Southern California sets them up in second place in the race for the Champions Cup after Southeast took home the gold for the 13U and 15U divisions already. The 11U and 17U divisions will play next weekend, August 24-26.

For more information about the Championship game and the 2018 NTIS, visit the USA Baseball team page or follow along on Twitter @USABaseballNTIS.


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Southeast Claims Gold at the 16U NTIS Champions Cup

Backed by starting pitcher Bryce Fisher and a powerful offense, Southeast took down Midwest for the Gold.
August 19, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Midwest 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2
Southeast 2 1 0 5 0 0 x 8 8 0
Win: Bryce Fisher Loss: Jacob Misiorowski Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Full Game | Highlights

Cary, N.C. - Southeast claimed the gold at the 2018 16U National Team Identification Series Champions Cup, shutting out Midwest by a score of 8-0 at Coleman Field in Cary, North Carolina.



Southeast wasted no time getting on the board. After loading the bases in the first inning, Midwest starting pitcher Jacob Misiorowski walked in two runs. In the bottom of the second inning, Misiorowski loaded the bases again and, after a hit batsman, Southeast was quickly out to a 3-0 lead.


Meanwhile, Southeast pitcher Bryce Fisher had no issue getting outs. Fisher turned in a gem of a performance in which he allowed just four hits, no walks, and struck out four on his way to a complete game shutout. He need just 82 pitches and was credited with the win for his performance.


The Southeast offense would continue to add runs in the middle innings, chasing Midwest starting pitcher Jacob Misiorowski out of the ballgame after 3.1 innings of work. Midwest would hand the ball over to two relievers in the ballgame, Reese Ratchford and Payton Tolle, in an effort to slow down the scorching Southeast offense, but to no avail.


Supported largely by the middle of the lineup, Southeast would go on to score eight runs in total on eight hits and nine walks. Leadoff man Alex Phillips and three-hole hitter Logan Sims combined to go 4-8 with three runs scored in the ballgame.


The victory by Southeast gives them the advantage in the race for the Champions Cup after Southeast also took home the gold for the 13U division in last week's matchup against Southern California.


For more information about the Championship game and the 2018 NTIS, visit the USA Baseball NTIS webpage or follow along on Twitter @USABaseballNTIS

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Power Lifts Team USA to 11-5 Victory

Jade Gortarez and Megan Baltzell both homered in win
August 19, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
St. Thomas Aquinas 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 5 9 2
Team USA 1 2 0 3 0 5 X 11 7 0
Win: M. Cobb Loss: A. Petty Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play | Cumulative Stats

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. - Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) hit a grand slam and Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) launched a three-run homer as the 2018 Women's National Team defeated the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders 11-5 at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Saturday night. Team USA improved to 2-0 in training with the win.

Amanda Gianelloni (Napoleonville, La.) contributed a 2-for-3 performance with three runs scored, while Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.), Kelsie Whitmore (Temecula, Calif.) and Gortarez dominated on the mound. The three right-handers combined to allow just one run on four hits in five innings of relief.

Team USA came up to the plate in the bottom of the first down 4-0 as the St. Thomas Aquinas bats got going early in the top half. But the stars and stripes started to chip away at the deficit right away.

The squad's first run came on a fielder's choice in the bottom of the first and it got within one in the very next inning as Whitmore laced a single to center that brought two across the plate.

Going into the bottom of the fourth down 4-3, Baltzell's bat proved to be the difference. A walk and an error put two on with two outs for the lefty, who launched a three-run dinger over the right-field wall to give the red, white and blue its first lead of the game.

The Raiders tried to claw their way back in the top of the sixth but Team USA limited the damage to just one run before scoring five runs of its own, four of which came off of Gortarez's grand slam to center, for the final score of 11-5.

Marti Sementelli got the start for the U.S. and gave up four runs and five hits while striking out two in two innings of work.

The 2018 Women's National Team Training concludes on Saturday, August 19, with an exhibition game against Canada at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at 2 p.m. ET.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter and visit for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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Come-From-Behind Win Propels USA into World Championship

August 18, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
JAPAN 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 2 1
USA 0 0 0 3 1 4 X 8 7 1
Win: S. Dutton  Loss: S. Kanai  Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play | World Cup Stats | Full Game

CHIRIQUI, PANAMA - Team USA propelled itself into the gold medal game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation's U-15 Baseball World Cup Saturday, pulling off a thrilling come-from-behind 8-2 victory over Japan at Estadio Kenny Serracin in David.



Utility man Ryan Spikes (Covington, Ga.) sparked the offense, collecting two doubles and driving in the equalizer and go-ahead run in the fourth inning. Shortstop Cody Schrier (San Clemente, Calif.) blasted his second homer in as many games, while infielder Brady House (Winder, Ga.) drove in three with a double down the left field line.

Reliever Sam Dutton (Rainbow City, Ala.) picked up the victory, tossing three nearly flawless frames, allowing no hits and just one walk while striking out two and facing just one batter over his minimum.

The game started grim for USA, after a leadoff hit-by-pitch and three walks brought home a runner for Japan, and they then added another off a sacrifice fly in the fourth.

Japan clung to the narrow lead until the bottom of that frame, where Schrier smacked his second long ball, and the first hit for USA on the day, in nearly the exact same spot over the left field wall. After House was beaned and infielder Luke Leto (Portage, Mich.) reached on a blooper to right field, Spikes found the perfect gap, sending the ball sailing to the left center fence to bring them both home and hand the Stars and Stripes their first lead of the day at 3-2.

Second baseman Davis Diaz (Pittsburg, Calif.) provided insurance, doubling to right field in the fifth and coming home on a bases-loaded wild pitch.

The squad added cushion in the sixth, when right fielder Ryan Clifford (Raleigh, N.C.) scored via a bases-loaded walk before House cleared them with a double sliced down the left field line to put USA on top 8-2.

USA will likely take on host country Panama in a rematch, slated for a 7:00 pm ET Sunday night showdown under the lights.


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Team USA Kicks Off Training with 6-1 Victory

Five-run fourth leads to dominant opening win
August 18, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Team USA 1 0 0 5 0 0 0 6 9 0
St. Thomas Aquinas 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0
Win: S. Piagno Loss: E. Robinson Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-play

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. - In its first game of training to prepare for the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup, the 2018 Women's National Team claimed a dominant 6-1 win over the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Friday night.

Stacy Piagno (St. Augustine, Fla.) got the start for the stars and stripes and went two strong innings to set the tone for the game, giving up just one hit and no runs.

Team USA struck first to back up Piagno's start when Brittany Gomez (New Braunfels, Texas) laced a leadoff single up the middle and then crossed the plate on a Kelsie Whitmore (Temecula, Calif.) RBI knock to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

But the big blow came in the top of the fourth when Team USA put up five runs to take firm control of the contest. The inning started with a hit-by-pitch and a Megan Baltzell (Stafford, Va.) double to put two runners in scoring position with no outs for Michelle Cobb (Wenatchee, Wash.) who got the scoring started with a RBI base hit.

The red, white and blue followed that with another RBI single, a two-RBI double and a RBI groundout for the 6-0 advantage.

That score would hold until the final inning as the U.S. pitching staff dominated throughout the game. Piagno, Sam Cobb (Garland, Texas), Meggie Meidlinger (Sterling, Va.) and Laura Collins (Hollywood, Fla.) combined to allow just one hit and no earned runs in the game.

The Raiders' lone run came on a passed ball in the bottom of the seventh before Collins closed it out to secure the 6-1 victory for Team USA.

Nine players on the U.S. squad collected hits in the game. Jade Gortarez (Riverside, Calif.) led the team with two RBIs, while Whitmore, Michelle Cobb and Anna Kimbrell (Fort Mill, S.C.) all finished 1-for-2 with a RBI and a run scored in the win.

The 2018 Women's National Team Training continues on Saturday, August 18, with a second game against the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Continue to follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter and visit for the most up-to-date news about the Women's National Team.

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Hartle Hurls USA To 10-0 Shutout Over Cuba

August 17, 2018
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
USA 1 0 5 0 2 0 2 10 10 0
CUBA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
Win: J. Hartle  Loss: J. Lorenzo Save: None
Box Score | Play-by-Play | World Cup Stats | Full Game



CHIRIQUI, PANAMA- Team USA made it one step closer to medal contention, picking up its fourth shutout of the tournament by downing Chitre-pool top seed Cuba 10-0 Friday in the World Baseball Softball Confederation's U-15 Baseball World Cup, held at Estadio Kenny Serracin in David.

Infielder Cody Schrier (San Clemente, Calif.) led the charge for the red, white, and blue, posting a triple and a homer and scoring three times. First baseman Brady House (Winder, Ga.) continued his dominance, turning in a 3-for-4 day with two runs and two RBI. Starting pitcher Josh Hartle (King, N.C.) held the Cuban offense that entered Super Round play with the top amongst the field, to just two hits through five innings, striking out three. Hartle also tripled, driving in three. Second baseman Davis Diaz (Pittsburg, Calif.) also scored twice while centerfielder Tyree Reed (Vallejo, Calif.) recorded two hits.

Relievers Sam Dutton (Rainbow City, Ala.) and TR Williams (Shenandoah, Va.) each worked a scoreless/hitless inning from the bullpen.

Schrier started things right away for USA, taking the second pitch of his at bat and blasting a long ball over the left field wall.

Cuba threatened with a pair of base runners in two separate frames, but the Stars and Stripes put up a five-spot in the third to add some cushion. Reed doubled to left center and after moving over on an infield single from Diaz, scored on a wild pitch.

Schrier walked and moved to third on an infield to third on single up the middle from House that scored Diaz, and after infielder Luke Leto (Portage, Mich.) reached on a fielder's choice turned error, all three came home courtesy of a massive in-the-gap triple from Hartle in right center.

USA added insurance in the fifth, again courtesy of Schrier, who tripled home Diaz who was hit-by-pitch. House then dropped a ball into shallow center to bring home Schrier.

The squad finalized the victory in the final frame, after a sacrifice fly from utility man Ryan Spikes (Covington, Ga.) brought in infielder Justin Colon, who laced a pinch-hit single through the left side to lead off the inning. A bases loaded walk to catcher Charlie Saum (Ventura, Calif.) brought home House, who singled again, for the final run.

USA will return to action again at 3:00 p.m. ET Saturday, taking on Chitre-pool second seed Japan.


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