CARY, N.C. - Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, Calif.) scored all nine of its runs in the final four innings and received clutch performances from Evan Adolphus and Cole Winn to repeat as the USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI) champions, defeating Green Hope High School (Cary, N.C.), 9-3, on Saturday at Coleman Field.
Orange Lutheran (4-0) is the second school in NHSI history to repeat as champions (Mater Dei 2012, 2013) and the state of California has claimed six of the seven titles total.
"What a great day. What a great week. It has been a fun ride," said Orange Lutheran Head Coach, Eric Borba. "First off, hats off to Green Hope. They had an amazing week and put up a heck of a fight. We knew it wasn't going to be easy. I'll tell you what, those guys play the game the right way."
Both teams' pitchers struggled early, both allowing a leadoff walk on four-straight pitches to start the game but settled down to hold a 0-0 tie after three full innings.
With Jasiah Dixon on first base, Cole Winn roped an RBI-double to left field to plate the first run of the championship game in the top of the fourth inning. Max Rajcic was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat to put runners on first and second with one out and Adolphus followed with an RBI-single to left to score Winn. The Green Hope left fielder overthrew the third baseman on the same play and allowed Rajcic to cross the plate, extending the Lancers lead to 3-0. Orange Lutheran pushed its lead to five later that inning with two RBI-singles by Carl Lawson and Caleb Ricketts.
The Lancers picked up another run in the fifth inning after an early-break steal by Rajcic pulled the Falcons shortstop out of position and allowed Adolphus to pick up his second RBI with a single through the left side.
Green Hope would cut its deficit in half in the bottom half of the fifth, however; picking up its offense with three consecutive hits to start the inning, including an RBI-double by Johnny Ankner. With one out in the inning, Kevin Pitarra dropped in an RBI-single to left field to score Joseph Nunn, and Connor Knapp followed with an RBI fielder's choice that scored Ankner and put the Falcons within three.
But, Orange Lutheran's offense was too much for Green Hope to stymie. A two-RBI double by Winn in the ninth and Adolphus' third RBI-single of the day extended its lead back to six and the Lancers would celebrate winning its second straight NHSI championship.
"It was an awesome experience being here. USA Baseball does a tremendous job with this event. To be able to take home this trophy for the second year is an awesome feeling. I can't even describe it," Borba continued.
Adolphus and Winn led the charge offensively for the Lancers, tallying five of the team's nine hits and six of its RBIs. Knapp finished the day 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Falcons.
Lonnie Morris picked up the victory on the mound, giving up three earned runs and tallying two strikeouts in four innings. Elmo Arimurti was tagged with the loss for Green Hope.
Green Hope became the first-ever school from North Carolina to advance into the finals at the NHSI, in addition to being the only North Carolina school to ever advance past its opening game. The Falcons finished the tournament with a 3-1 record.
"We came up a little short. Obviously, it was a good week for us. We had to play probably near-perfect baseball today to beat these guys. They're obviously a really impressive team up and down their lineup," said Green Hope Head Coach, Mike Miragliuolo. "[Advancing to the finals] maybe puts things into perspective where some of the teams in North Carolina can say 'if they can do it, we can too'. So hopefully it keeps things moving forward [for North Carolina teams]."
The NHSI is presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary. The event brings together sixteen of the top prep teams in the country to compete against each other in what has become the premier event on the high school baseball calendar.
WBSC Names Hassell and Schrier International Players of the Year
The awards were announced at the III World Baseball Softball Confederation Congress
December 3, 2019
SAKAI CITY, Japan - USA Baseball alumni Robert Hassell (2019) and Cody Schrier (2018) were named the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) International Baseball Players of the Year at the III WBSC Congress on November 22 in Sakai City, Japan.
The award recognizes the top baseball performer from all WBSC-sanctioned events in a given calendar year. The WBSC presents its individual awards every two years at its biennial Congress.
"It is a tremendous honor to have two of our national team athletes recognized by the World Baseball Softball Confederation for their individual performances while with USA Baseball," said USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler. "To earn the title of international baseball player of the year is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement and it speaks volumes to the hard work and dedication they have committed to the game of baseball in their young careers. We congratulate them on this extraordinary accomplishment and are proud to call them alumni of our organization."
Hassell was named to the All-World Team following the 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in South Korea and earned the award for most RBIs during the event. He led the 18U National Team in 10 offensive categories in 2019, including batting average (.514), hits (18), doubles (5), home runs (2), RBIs (14), total bases (31), slugging percentage (.886) and on-base percentage (.548), among others. Hassell was a mainstay in the U.S. lineup, starting all nine games of the World Cup in the outfield, and helped lead the red, white and blue to a silver medal.
Schrier was named the MVP of the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup in 2018 after leading Team USA to its first U-15 baseball world championship in program history. He finished the tournament earning two additional individual awards on top of his MVP honors, including the batting title and the award for most runs scored in the tournament. Schrier started all nine games at shortstop for the stars and stripes and finished with a .476 batting average and 17 runs scored. He also led the team with two home runs and four stolen bases.
Members of Team USA have now been awarded the last three International Baseball Player of the Year awards with Triston Casas (2017), Schrier and Hassell.
For more information on USA Baseball and its national team programs, visit USABaseball.com or follow @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
TOKYO -- Bobby Dalbec (1B), Brandon Dickson (RP), Erik Kratz (C) and Brent Rooker (DH) were named to the All-World Team by the World Baseball Softball Confederation following the completion of the Premier12 on Sunday night. The U.S. finished the tournament in fourth place with a 4-4 record.
The four players on the list were the most of any country in the tournament, followed by two each from Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea, and one from Mexico.
Dalbec finished the Premier12 first on Team USA and second in the tournament with eight RBIs, picking up four with a grand slam against the Netherlands in the opening game of the event in Guadalajara. He started all eight games of the tournament and finished with a .250 batting average with two home runs.
The closer for Team USA, Dickson tied for the tournament lead with three saves. He struck out two or more batters in each of his five appearances and tied for the team lead with 11 total strikeouts in the Premier12.
Kratz started behind the dish in all but one game of the Premier12 tournament and finished second on Team USA with a .381 batting average and two home runs. He finished the winner-take-all game against the Dominican Republic in Guadalajara a triple short of the cycle to lead the stars and stripes into the Super Round. Kratz's leadership behind the plate also led the U.S. pitching staff to a collective 3.28 ERA and 75 strikeouts.
Outfielder and designated hitter Rooker finished the Premier12 leading Team USA with a .800 slugging percentage and tied for the team and tournament lead with three home runs. He came in against the Netherlands as a substitute and contributed six total bases with a two-run home run and a double. Rooker then started six of the next seven games and hit a two-run home run against Chinese Taipei that proved to be the game winner and put the U.S. in a spot to play for a bronze medal.
Rooker also received the award for most home runs in the tournament, hitting three in just 20 at-bats.
2019 Premier12 All-World Team
SP: Yi Chang (Chinese Taipei)
RP: Brandon Dickson (USA)
C: Erik Kratz (USA)
1B: Bobby Dalbec (USA)
2B: Ryosuke Kikuchi (Japan)
3B: Wei-Chen Wang (Chinese Taipei)
SS: Ha-Seong Kim (Korea)
OF: Jung-Hoo Lee (Korea)
OF: Jonathan Jones (Mexico)
OF: Seiya Suzuki (Japan) - Tournament MVP
DH: Brent Rooker (USA)
TOKYO -- Team USA gave up a leadoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning and a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th in a 3-2 extra-inning loss to Mexico at the Tokyo Dome in the bronze medal game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12.
The U.S. finished the Premier12 tournament in fourth place with a 4-4 overall record. With the loss, Team USA did not secure the automatic berth into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and will look to qualify for the Olympics during the WBSC Americas Olympic Qualifier in Arizona. The event will be held in March but no dates have been finalized.
Jo Adell put the U.S. ahead in the top of the first inning, launching a no-doubter over the right field wall with one out for an early 1-0 lead. It was Adell's third home run of the tournament.
Both offenses were silenced by the starting pitchers from that point until the sixth inning. CJ Chatham got into scoring position for the stars and stripes with a double down the left field line but was stranded there by a strikeout and a foul out. Mexico loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning on reliever Daniel Tillo and tied the game on a two-out infield single. Wyatt Mills then came on in relief and got the U.S. out of the jam to keep the score square at 1-1.
Andrew Vaughn led off the top of the seventh with a single to right field and moved into scoring position on an Erik Kratz sacrifice bunt. Bobby Dalbec then followed with an RBI-single up the middle to immediately regain the one-run lead, 2-1.
Mexico hit a leadoff homer in the top of the ninth inning off closer Brandon Dickson to tie the game and push the game into extra innings. With runners on first and second with no outs courtesy of the international tie-break rules, the U.S. bunted the runners over and loaded the bases on an intentional walk, but was not able to cross the plate in the top half of the 10th.
Mexico followed suit, bunting their runners to second and third and the U.S. intentionally walked the next batter to load the bases with one out. The stars and stripes turned to lefty Caleb Thielbar on the mound against Efren Navarro, but Navarro battled until he hit a walk-off single on the eighth pitch of the at-bat to score the game-winning run.
Team USA starter Cody Ponce set the tone for the U.S. pitching staff and defense on the day, pitching five innings of scoreless baseball, facing just two batters over the minimum. He struck out six batters and allowed just one walk in the no decision. Tillo surrendered one run in his 0.2 innings of work before Mills came in to get the U.S. out of a jam.
Clayton Andrews and Noah Song continued their solid pitching in the tournament, combining for two innings of hitless relief. Dickson (0-1) suffered the loss, giving up two runs (one earned) in 1.1 innings. Mexico reliever Carlos Bustamante (1-0) picked up the win.
Adell went 2-for-4 with the solo home run for the U.S. offense on the day and finished the tournament leading the team in batting average (.394) and tied for the lead in home runs with Brent Rooker (3).
Collectively, the 2019 Premier12 team's offense hit 15 home runs and collected 69 hits in its eight games. The pitching staff held a 3.28 ERA and struck out 75 batters in the tournament.
Stay tuned to USABaseball.com and @USABaseball on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for all of the latest information on the Professional National Team and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifying.
TOKYO -- Brent Rooker launched a go-ahead two-run home run to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning and Team USA defeated Chinese Taipei 3-2 at the Tokyo Dome in its final game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 Super Round.
With the win, the U.S. finished the Super Round with a 2-3 record (4-3 overall) and awaits the results of the three final games to determine who will play in the bronze medal game.
Team USA came out of the gates swinging and took a 1-0 lead in the home half of the first inning. Jo Adell laced a single down the left field line and stole second base before Andrew Vaughn followed with an RBI-single through the left side to put the U.S. ahead.
Chinese Taipei tied the game at one in the top of the third on a double play-ball and hit a home run to centerfield in the top of the sixth inning to take a 2-1 lead.
The red, white and blue offense struggled after the first inning, only getting two runners on base until Erik Kratz singled up the middle with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Rooker followed in a big way, slamming a 2-1 pitch into the second level of left field to retake the lead, 3-2.
Noah Song came in on the eighth inning and set the Chinese Taipei offense down in order thanks to two strikeouts and a ground out, and turned the ball over to Brandon Dickson in the ninth. Dickson (3) continued his outstanding performance in the Premier12, picking up a line-out and two strikeouts to tally his third save of the tournament and secure the U.S. win.
U.S. starter Parker Dunshee lasted just 3.1 innings in a no-decision, giving up one run and striking out one batter in his appearance. Clayton Andrews was the first out of the bullpen and faced the minimum through his 1.2 innings, giving up a hit and striking out one. Brian Flynn surrendered a home run in his 0.2 innings and Wyatt Mills got the final out in the sixth. Spencer Jones (1-0) pitched a perfect seventh inning to pick up the win for the stars and stripes, striking out two batters in his lone inning of work.
Rooker's blast (1-for-3, 2 RBIs) led the offense for Team USA but Jo Adell (seven games), Erik Kratz (six games) and Andrew Vaughn (four games) each continued their individual hitting streaks in the tournament with singles in the game.
If Chinese Taipei defeats Australia in their matchup tomorrow, the U.S. will play in the bronze medal game at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, November 16/12 p.m. JST on Sunday, November 17. Additionally, if that result comes to fruition and Korea defeats Mexico, the stars and stripes will face Mexico in the bronze medal game with a spot in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on the line.
Stay tuned to USABaseball.com and @USABaseball on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for all of the latest information.
TOKYO -- Mark Payton hit his second home run of the tournament in the eighth inning but it was not enough as the U.S. dropped a 2-1 decision to Australia at the Tokyo Dome in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 Super Round. With the loss, the stars and stripes move to 3-3 overall in the tournament and holds a 1-3 record in the Super Round standings.
The loss officially eliminates Team USA from gold medal-game contention at the 2019 Premier12. The red, white and blue is still mathematically in the hunt for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games berth from the tournament, but does not control its own destiny.
U.S. starting pitcher Tanner Houck struggled out of the gate, giving up a two-RBI single up the middle in the top of the first to face an early 2-0 deficit. After that, however, Houck was outstanding on the mound, retiring the next 13 consecutive batters before Daniel Tillo came on in relief in the sixth.
Erik Kratz picked up the team's first hit with two outs in the fifth inning on a single through the right side, but the stars and stripes' offense was held at bay throughout the game by strong Australia pitching and defense.
Still trailing 2-0 after seven, Payton put the U.S. on the board in the eighth inning when he lifted a 2-1 pitch over the right field wall, cutting the deficit in half. Jo Adell followed with a single up the middle and stole second base to put a runner in scoring position for the first time on the night, but a strikeout by Alec Bohm ended the inning.
Wyatt Mills came on in the top of the ninth to keep the lead at one and got one out before surrendering three straight singles to load the bases. The U.S. then called on Brandon Dickson out of the bullpen and he struck out the final two batters of the inning looking to get out of the jam.
Andrew Vaughn tried to start a rally for Team USA in the bottom of the ninth after legging out a leadoff infield single but a pop out and two fly outs ended the game 2-1 in favor of Australia.
Houck (0-2) suffered the loss for Team USA, giving up the two runs in the first inning. He finished the day with five strikeouts in five innings. Tillo and Noah Song combined to pitch three innings of hitless relief, striking out four batters and facing just one over the minimum collectively. Australia starter Tim Atherton (1-1) picked up the win and Jon Kennedy (1) got the save.
The U.S. will close out Premier12 Super Round play on Thursday, November 14 as Team USA faces Chinese Taipei at 10 p.m. ET (November 15, 12 p.m. local). Starting pitchers will be announced tomorrow and the game will be streamed live on the WBSC's Facebook page.
TOKYO -- The U.S. jumped out to an early lead and held on for a 4-3 victory over Japan at the Tokyo Dome in its second game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 Super Round. With the win, the stars and stripes move to 3-2 overall in the tournament and holds a 1-2 record in the Super Round standings.
Team USA got on the board first in the top of the second inning to put pressure on Japan starter Rei Takahashi. Alec Bohm led off the inning with a double down the right field line and moved over to third on a groundout to second base. Jake Cronenworth then laced a ball to an extended first baseman who got the out at first but allowed Bohm to score, giving the red, white and blue the early advantage.
CJ Chatham led off the top of the third inning with a double of his own to the left-centerfield wall and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Mark Payton. Jo Adell would walk to put runners on the corners before Bobby Dalbec hit a double down the left field line to score Chatham and extend the U.S. lead to two after three innings.
Japan got one back in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI-single to right field by Hideto Asamura but Team USA responded immediately with a run of its own in the top of the fifth. Another leadoff double - this time by Payton - put a runner in scoring position with no outs. He would then come around to score on a Bohm RBI-single to regain the two-run lead, 3-1.
Japan picked up another run in the bottom of the sixth but the U.S. would respond once again in the very next inning, this time with an Adell solo homer to right field to bring the score to 4-2.
In front of a spirited home crowd of over 28,000, Japan continued to threaten throughout the rest of the game, scoring another run in the top of the eighth to get within one; but the relievers and defense stood tough, securing the win courtesy of a Brandon Dickson save for the final score of 4-3.
Starting pitcher Penn Murfee was strong on the mound in a no-decision for Team USA, giving up no hits in three innings of work and striking out two batters. Clayton Richard came out of the pen and pitched a solid outing in relief, giving up just one unearned run in 2.2 innings. JP Feyereisen and Spencer Jones both pitched an inning of scoreless relief for the stars and stripes while Caleb Thielbar gave up one run in his 0.1 innings pitched.
Dickson (2), who plays with the Orix Buffaloes in Nippon Professional Baseball, came in and pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out two batters for the save. Richard (1-0) got the win for the red, white and blue and Takahashi (1-1) suffered the loss for Japan.
Adell (2-for-3, RBI), Bohm (2-for-5, RBI), Brent Rooker (2-for-3) and Chatham (2-for-4, two doubles) paced the offense for the U.S. on the night, combining for eight of the 11 hits in the game.
Team USA will face Australia (1-4, 0-3) in the Tokyo Dome on Tuesday, November 12 at 10 p.m. ET (November 13, 12 p.m. local). The game will be streamed live on the WBSC's Facebook page.
TOKYO -- Brent Rooker hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning but it was all the offense Team USA could piece together as the red, white and blue fell to Korea, 5-1, at the Tokyo Dome in its opening game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 Super Round.
With the loss, the U.S. moves to 2-2 overall in the Premier12 and holds an 0-2 record in the Super Round.
The U.S. loaded the bases in the first inning with one out thanks to a double by Alec Bohm, a walk to Bobby Dalbec and a single by Andrew Vaughn, but two strikeouts from Korea starting pitcher Heonjong Yang ended the early threat. This would be the story of the night for Team USA as they outhit Korea in the game - holding an 13-9 advantage - but could not come up with the clutch hit with runners on base.
The stars and stripes put runners in scoring position again in the third, fourth, fifth, eighth and ninth innings, but Rooker's solo home run in the top of the sixth inning was all the scoring for the red, white and blue on the night. In total, the U.S. left 14 runners on base.
Team USA gave up three runs in the first inning on a three-run home run by Jaehwan Kim to fall behind 3-0 after one complete and Korea picked up two insurance runs on back-to-back RBI-doubles in the bottom of the seventh inning.
U.S. starter Cody Ponce (1-1) gave up three runs in his 3.1 innings of work on the mound and suffered the loss. Clayton Andrews was the first arm out of the pen and shut down the Korea offense in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings, striking out two batters.
Brian Flynn pitched an inning of scoreless relief before Wyatt Mills came in and surrendered a pair of runs in 0.2 innings of work. Caleb Thielbar and Brooks Pounders also pitched in relief for Team USA, giving up just one hit and striking out two collectively. Korea's starter, Yang, got the win (2-0).
Jo Adell and Vaughn both tallied three hits on the day for the offense, finishing 3-for-5 and 3-for-4, respectively. CJ Chatham also contributed multiple hits in the game, finishing 2-for-4 in the nine-spot.
Team USA will face Japan (4-0; 2-0) in the Tokyo Dome on Tuesday, November 12 at 5 a.m. ET (7 p.m. local). Tanner Houck will get the start on the mound for the stars and stripes.
GUADALAJARA, Jalisco, Mexico -- Team USA hit four home runs for the second time in the tournament and survived a late push by the Dominican Republic in a 10-8 victory on Monday night at Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco. The U.S. finished Group A with a 2-1 record and earned a spot in the Super Round of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 in Tokyo.
Through its first three games, eight Team USA batters have combined to hit 10 home runs, led by Bobby Dalbec and Erik Kratz, who have two homers apiece. The 10 homers are a team record for the red, white and blue in the Premier12, besting the 2015 squad who finished the inaugural tournament with three.
Mark Payton set the tone for the offense in the winner-take-all matchup, leading off the game with a solo bomb over the right field wall for an early 1-0 lead. It was the fourth leadoff home run for the U.S. in the tournament.
Jake Cronenworth followed suit in the top of the second with a solo shot of his own before Alex Bohm doubled to right-center and came home on an RBI-single by Kratz. Jo Adell would tack on one more run for the stars and stripes in the second inning with an RBI-single up the middle to give Team USA a 4-0 lead.
The Dominican Republic plated two runs in the bottom of the second but the red, white and blue responded immediately with a three-run blast by Bohm to extend the U.S. lead to 7-2 in the top of the third inning.
Both teams exchanged runs in the fourth inning and a solo bomb by Kratz in the top of the fifth put the score at 9-3. The Dominican Republic would not go silently, however, as they put up four runs in the bottom half of the fifth on an RBI-groundout and a three-run home run to pull within two at 9-7.
Wyatt Mills came in out of the bullpen for Team USA in the sixth and pitched two innings of stellar relief, facing the minimum and striking out two batters to stymie the Dominican Republic offense. Another Adell RBI-single plated a critical insurance run in the top of the eighth and Noah Song came in and struck out the side in the bottom half of the inning to set up a save opportunity for Brandon Dickson.
Dickson (1) gave up one run with two outs in the ninth but closed out the game for the stars and stripes, earning the save after striking out the final batter to end the game.
Bohm (3 RBIs) and Kratz (2 RBIs) both finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored to lead the U.S. offense. Adell also tallied multiple hits and RBIs on the night, finishing 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Kratz currently leads the team with a .625 batting average through three games.
Starting pitch Parker Dunshee struck out three batters in 2.1 innings for Team USA, surrendering two unearned runs in a no-decision. Penn Murfee and Brian Flynn combined to give up five runs in 1.2 innings of relief before Mills, Song and Dickson closed out the game. Mills (1-0) earned the victory while Dominican Republic starter Carlos Sano (0-1) suffered the loss.
Team USA will now travel to Tokyo, Japan, as the No. 2 seed from Group A in the Super Round of the Premier12. Super Round games will begin on Monday, November 11 at the Tokyo Dome and ZOZO Marine Stadium. Stay tuned to USABaseball.com and @USABaseball on social media for schedule updates.
GUADALAJARA, Jalisco, Mexico -- Team USA got behind early in the first inning and eventually gave up six unanswered runs in an 8-2 loss to Mexico on Sunday in Group A action of the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier12 at Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco.
The loss forces the U.S. (1-1) into a must-win game against the Dominican Republic (1-1) on Monday at 8 p.m. ET. The winner will advance to the Super Round in Tokyo.
Mexico jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a two-RBI single to left-centerfield in the first inning to put pressure on the red, white and blue early. The U.S. would eventually respond and tie the game at two-apiece with back-to-back leadoff home runs in the bottom of the third and fourth innings from Erik Kratz and Bobby Dalbec, respectively, but Mexico reclaimed its lead on a passed ball with two outs in the top of the fifth.
Mexico scored five more runs in the top of the eighth inning to break the game open and put it out of reach for the stars and stripes.
Starting pitcher Tanner Houck (0-1) suffered the loss for Team USA, giving up three runs (two earned) and five hits, and struck out six batters in 4.1 innings. Daniel Tillo was the first out of the bullpen and struck out three batters in 1.2 innings of hitless relief. Caleb Thielbar struck out two batters in his relief appearance but gave up two runs in one inning and JP Feyereisen gave up three runs in his 0.2 innings on the mound. Spencer Jones finished the game on the bump for the U.S., striking out three batters and giving up no hits.
Six different Team USA batters collected hits in the game, led by Kratz and Dalbec's solo home runs. Dalbec has now hit two home runs in two games in the Premier12 tournament.
GUADALAJARA, Jalisco, Mexico -- Team USA hit four home runs in a 9-0 opening-round victory over the Netherlands in its first game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 at Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco on Saturday. Bobby Dalbec led the U.S. offense on the day, setting a U.S. Premier12 record with four RBIs in a single game after hitting a grand slam in the fifth inning.
The four home runs hit today surpassed the U.S. team record for homers in a Premier12 game (previously: 1) and is more than Team USA hit in the entire 2015 tournament (previously: 3). In total, the red, white and blue set or tied nine USA Baseball Premier12 records against the Netherlands.
Drew Waters led off the home half of the first inning with a first-pitch home run to right-field to give Team USA an early 1-0 lead and Jake Cronenworth scored on a sacrifice fly by Mark Payton in the bottom of the second to double the lead after two complete. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Jo Adell launched the second home run of the game over the left-field wall for a three-run U.S. advantage.
Back-to-back singles by Erik Kratz and CJ Chatham, and an intentional walk to Daulton Varsho loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth for Dalbec. On the seventh pitch of his at-bat, Dalbec launched a grand slam over the left field fence to break the game wide open and give the stars and stripes a 7-0 lead.
Team USA capped its scoring in the bottom of the eighth on another home run after Brent Rooker sent one out to left for the final score of 9-0.
Cody Ponce (1-0) was strong on the mound for the U.S., giving up two hits and striking out five batters in his five innings of work to get the win. Noah Song, Clayton Andrews, Brooks Pounders and Clayton Richard combined in relief to secure the shutout, giving up no hits, striking out two batters and combining to face just one batter over the minimum over the final four innings. Netherlands starting pitcher Rob Cordemans (0-1) suffered the loss.
Nine different U.S. batters recorded a hit on the day, led by Dalbec (2-for-4) and Rooker (2-for-2), who recorded the only multi-hit performances of the game.
Team USA (1-0) will face Mexico in its second game of Group A on Sunday, November 3, at 8 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed live on Facebook. The starting pitcher will be announced following the game between Mexico and Dominican Republic this evening.