AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico – Team USA (2-0) came out victorious, 25-24, over Venezuela (1-1) in the highest scoring game in 12U National Team history in its second game of the World Baseball Softball Classic (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
The U.S. hit eight home runs in the win, with the final one coming as a walk-off from Boston Targac. Targac was second on the team in RBIs, trailing only Maddox McBryde who had seven on 2-for-2 hitting with two home runs and a walk.
The back-and-forth game featured seven lead changes and a total of 15 home runs. The win was the 14th consecutive victory for the 12U National Team in international competition, dating back to 2019.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Venezuela used walks and singles to jump out to an early 4-0 lead to start off the game.
- Team USA didn’t stay down long as a bases-loaded walk was followed by a McBryde grand slam. Bryant Ju stepped in to face a new pitcher for Venezuela and launched a home run of his own to put the U.S. ahead, 6-4.
- Three Venezuela home runs gave the away team a 10-6 lead in the top of the second.
- McBryde responded in the bottom of the frame with his second home run, scoring Leyland Henry and Michael Ohman. Greyson Wuis sent a sacrifice fly to center to tie things up at 10-10.
- The lead and momentum swung back to Venezuela when two bases-loaded walks were followed by a grand slam and a two-run home run to make the score 18-10 in the third.
- Henry kept the hit party going, launching a home run to dead center to score Tyler Early. With the bases load, Zaylon Johnson drew a walk to plate another run. Wuis followed by hitting what was initially a grand slam, however, after an appeal that he did not step on home plate was upheld, he was credited with a triple and called out. Team USA trailed 18-16 heading into the fourth inning.
- The top of the fourth was the only scoreless frame in the game as Johnson locked down Venezuela.
- Jett Schoolcraft brought the score within one in the bottom of the inning with an RBI ground rule double. With Henry on third and Schoolcraft on second, Ty Glaus hammered a ball to deep right field, giving the U.S. a 20-18 lead.
- A home run and a fielder’s choice from Venezuela in the fifth inning tied the game once again at 20-20.
- Ryder Serna picked up where he left off the day before, sending a ball to deep left field for a 2-run home run to give the stars and stripes the lead once again at 22-20.
- With the game on the line in the top of the sixth, Venezuela answered with four runs to take a 24-22 lead into the last half inning.
- After Ju reached base safely, Johnson brought him home with a game-tying two-run home run. Targac stepped to the plate and ended the game with a walk-off home run to left center field.
- Eleven different players for Team USA recorded at least one hit.
- McBryde led the team with seven RBIs and added three runs scored.
- Johnson made an impact on both sides of the dish, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs to go along with 2.2 innings pitched and five strikeouts.
- Johnson (3), Targac (3), Serna (2), McBryde (2), and Wuis (2) all had multi-hit days for Team USA.
- Early (1-0) was credited with the win after using only two pitches to escape a jam in the top of the sixth.
Team USA will face Cuba in the next game of the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m. local/5:00 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.