AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico – Team USA (6-0) remained undefeated in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier with a 20-5 win over Puerto Rico (2-5) on Thursday in Aguascalientes.
The U.S. enters the final day of the Opening Round tied for the No. 1 seed with Team Mexico. The two will face off in a continuation of their suspended game – which the U.S. leads 5-0 in the third inning – on Friday to determine final standings. Venezuela and Panama have also clinched spots in the top four and have qualified for the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup in Tainan, Taiwan later this summer.
Thursday’s victory was due in large part to the offensive performances of Jett Schoolcraft and Tyler Early, who each recorded five RBIs. Early had a two-run and a three-run home run in the contest and has now homered in each of his last four games.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Wuis used heads-up base running in the first inning to score on a wild pitch and give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.
- In the top of the second, Schoolcraft busted the scoring open with a grand slam to put Team USA ahead 5-0.
- Puerto Rico got on the board in the bottom of the second with two runs from walks and a wild pitch to come within three at 5-2.
- Team USA stayed on the attack in the top of the third, scoring four runs. Bryant Ju used a stolen base and a failed pickoff attempt to score before Early launched a three-run home run to give the stars and stripes a 10-2 lead.
- The U.S. kept the momentum going in the top of the fourth inning with seven runs. Ryder Serna started with a solo home run, Early launched a 2-run homer, Ju came through with a two-RBI double, Boston Targac hit an RBI-single, and Schoolcraft capped off the inning with an RBI-single to put the stars in stripes in front by 15.
- Puerto Rico used a wild pitch and an RBI-fielder’s choice to keep the game alive in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the U.S. lead to 17-4.
- Ty Glaus tacked on the final runs of the game for the U.S. in the top of the fifth with a three-run home run to give Team USA a 20-4 advantage.
- A single and an error led to another Puerto Rico run in the bottom of the fifth, but that was all it mustered as Team USA closed out the game, 20-5.
- Team USA and Team Mexico are the only undefeated teams left in the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier.
- The win extended the 12U National Team international competition win streak to 18, dating back to 2019.
- Team USA has scored 10+ runs in every game of the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier and has won five of its six games by double-digits.
- Nine different players for the U.S. have hit multiple home runs.
- All 18 players on Team USA’s roster have recorded at least one run scored.
Team USA will face Mexico on Friday afternoon, finishing the suspended game from earlier in the week, to close out the opening round of the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier. The game will resume in the third inning with the U.S. leading 5-0 and is set for 2:00 p.m. local/4:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Ferrocarrilero. Stay tuned to @USABaseball12U on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 2023 12U National Team.