AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico - Team USA hit seven home runs, from seven different players, and every put-out defensively was via strikeout, as another dominating performance pushed USA to an 18-0 victory over Honduras Tuesday at CECADI Stadium. The stars and stripes remain unbeaten (4-0) in group play of the 2018 COPABE U-12 Pan American Championships.
The offensive explosion came in the second inning, with USA heading into the inning leading 2-0. They posted 12 runs off 11 hits in the inning, placing their first nine batters to the plate before the first out of the inning was recorded. Four home runs were hit in the inning, as Masato Chilcutt (San Antonio, Texas), Dean Moss (Hillsborough, Calif.), Paul Dominguez (Anaheim, Calif.) and Travis Friend (Whittier, Calif.) each went deep in the inning. Moss and Dominguez's home runs were back-to-back home runs.
The U.S. added to the 14-0 advantage in the third inning with two more home runs. Josiah Palomino (Riverside, Calif.) and Gavin Gargiulo (Coral Springs, Fla.) provided the long balls for a four-run inning to cap the scoring. The game ended after three innings, as USA led by more than 15 runs after three complete innings.
Honduras retired two of the first three batters in the top of the first inning, but they were unable to keep USA off the scoreboard in the inning. Kailand Halstead (Aberdeen, Wash.) hit a two-out home run to give the U.S. the game's first lead.
While the offense was hitting balls out of the yard, the U.S. pitching combination of Talin Gardini (San Diego, Calif.) and Christian Hamilton (Lauderhill, Fla.) was doing their part on the mound. Leadoff batter Allan Miller opened the bottom of the first inning with a single blooped into left field, but it turned out to be the only hit the U.S. allowed in the game. The next six batters were retired in order by strikeouts from Gardini, who pitched the first two innings. Hamilton opened the third inning walking the leadoff batter, but then settled down to strikeout the next three batters. Gardini claimed the win (1-0) and was credited with six of the team's nine strikeouts. They faced two batters (11) over the minimum (nine) and provided USA their second straight one-hit pitching performance.
All 18 players on the U.S. roster played in the game, leading to 14 different players getting at least one hit in the game. Gargiulo, Torres, Moss and Palomino each hit their first home runs of the tournament. Chilcutt's home run in the second inning was his team-leading fifth homer of the tournament. Dylan Green (Roseville, Calif.) (2-for-2), Moss (2-for-2) and Halstead (2-for-3) each had multi-hit performances for USA. Torres led the squad in runs-batted-in with three.
The stars and stripes were 9-for-14 in the game with runners on base, going 7-for-9 with runners in scoring position. They also produced nine two-out RBI.
USA improved to 2-0 all-time against Honduras, with each game played in COPABE competition. The U.S. also moves to 4-0 in Group B play of the tournament, while Honduras still seeks their first win (0-4). USA concludes group play competition in Aguascalientes Wednesday facing Brazil with a 12 p.m. (CT) first pitch at Ferrocarilero Sports Complex.
Inside the Numbers
20 - USA has hit 20 home runs in the tournament through four games. The single-tournament high for the U.S. is 37 from the 2016 tournament. The 37 home runs in 2016 was at a pace of 4.1 per game (averaging 5.0 per game this tournament).
11 - Eleven different USA players have hit a home run in this season's tournament.
61-1 - The U.S. has outscored their opponents 61-1 and they have outhit them 54-5.
.551 - Through the tournament, the U.S. is batting .551. Julius Pfau (Tampa, Fla.) leads the team hitting .800 (4-for-6).
.609 - USA is hitting .609 (28/46) with runners on base, while holding their opponents to 0-for-15 in the same category. Opponents have been limited to six at-bats with runners in scoring position.