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USA Baseball Announces 2022 Award Winners

18U National Team’s Bryce Eldridge named Richard W. “Dick” Case Award winner
December 6, 2022
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today named its annual organizational award winners, recognizing the top athletes, coaches, and performances from its 2022 USA Baseball national teams and development programs. 18U National Team member Bryce Eldridge is the Richard W. “Dick” Case Award winner, the fifth 18U National Team alumnus to

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today named its annual organizational award winners, recognizing the top athletes, coaches, and performances from its 2022 USA Baseball national teams and development programs. 18U National Team member Bryce Eldridge is the Richard W. “Dick” Case Award winner, the fifth 18U National Team alumnus to earn athlete of the year honors since 2011. The award is given annually to USA Baseball’s top player in honor of the organization’s founding Executive Director and CEO.

The 18U National Team collected honors in three additional categories in 2022, boasting Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year Denny Hocking, International Performance of the Year winner Christian Rodriguez, and “Doc” Counsilman Science Award recipient Adam Moseley.

Seven-time Women’s National Team alumna Kelsie Whitmore is the 2022 Sportswoman of the Year, the 12U National Team earned Team of the Year honors, and Mike Bianco capped off an incredible 2022 by being named the USA Baseball College Coach of the Year.

The Developmental Coach of the Year Award went to 15U National Team Manager Drew Briese, and the Volunteer Coach of the Year honor went to André Butler. Rounding out the awards in 2022 is Coach Educator of the Year Bill Krejci, and Daisy Nelson, the organization’s Service Provider of the Year.

“It is our honor to recognize a group of talented people for their tremendous performances both on and off the field,” said USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler. “2022 will go down as one of the most successful years in USA Baseball history. Our national teams combined to win four gold medals, three world championships, an international friendship series, and a bronze medal, and the efforts of this group of esteemed individuals were paramount to achieving such unrivaled success this year.”

The complete list of the 2022 USA Baseball organizational award winners is as follows:

  • Richard W. “Dick” Case Award: Bryce Eldridge, 18U National Team
  • Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year: Denny Hocking, 18U National Team
  • Sportswoman of the Year: Kelsie Whitmore, Women’s National Team
  • International Performance of the Year: Christian Rodriguez, 18U National Team
  • Team of the Year: 12U National Team
  • College Coach of the Year: Mike Bianco, Collegiate National Team
  • Developmental Coach of the Year: Drew Briese, 15U National Team
  • Volunteer Coach of the Year: André Butler
  • Coach Educator of the Year: Bill Krejci
  • “Doc” Councilman Science Award: Adam Moseley, 18U National Team
  • Service Provider of the Year: Daisy Nelson

Bryce Eldridge earned Richard W. “Dick” Case Player of the Year honors after putting together a dynamic performance at the plate and on the mound at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup. The two-way star was named Tournament MVP after batting .316 with three homers and 13 RBIs – both tournament highs – and going 1-0 with a spotless 0.00 ERA and one save in three appearances as a pitcher. The Vienna, Virginia, native picked up at least one hit in five of his seven games at the plate and allowed just one hit over three innings pitched. Eldridge delivered in a major way in the first and last games of the tournament, kicking off the World Cup with a grand slam as part of a five-RBI game to beat the Netherlands in the tournament opener. Then, after leading the U.S. offense throughout the tournament, Eldridge cranked a three-run blast in the top of the seventh of the gold medal game before getting the final three outs on the mound as Team USA beat Chinese Taipei to secure its ninth world championship.

Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year Denny Hocking led the U.S. to its ninth world championship at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida, and followed that up by leading another 18U National Team to gold at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier. Under his guidance in his Team USA managerial debut, the U.S. claimed a world title on its home soil. The 13-year MLB veteran pushed all the right buttons throughout the World Cup as the U.S. went 8-1 en route to a gold medal. Hocking demonstrated his leadership ability by guiding the U.S. to two wins on the final day. Team USA scored 68 runs – its most at a World Cup since 2015 – and struck out 73 batters to lead the tournament. With the gold medal victory over Chinese Taipei, the United States captured its fifth world title in the last six editions of the event. A second 18U National Team under the guidance of Hocking then traveled to Mexico to qualify for next year’s U-18 Baseball World Cup in Taiwan. Not only did the team qualify, but the U.S. left with a gold medal after outscoring its opponents 79-24, hitting .348, and tallying 10 home runs. In total, Hocking led the 18U National Team program to two gold medals and an overall 16-1 record in 2022.

Sportswoman of the Year Kelsie Whitmore made her seventh career appearance for the Women's National Team this past summer. She played a vital role in helping the stars and stripes clinch their friendship series against Canada in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Whitmore started all five games – two on the mound, one as the designated hitter, and two in the outfield – and tallied at least one hit in four games. In the series opener, Whitmore was lights out as she was a double short of the cycle, going 3-for-3 with four RBIs, while pitching 4.2 innings of shutout ball. She led all players in the series with seven runs, eight hits, 10 RBIs, and a 1.000 slugging percentage. Along with her accomplishments with Team USA, Whitmore made history this spring by becoming the first female to play baseball in a league affiliated with Major League Baseball, making her professional debut with the Staten Island FerryHawks on April 21. She made 39 appearances in her rookie season in the Atlantic League.

Trailing Japan 3-2 in the third inning with the bases loaded and no outs in a Super Round game that would send Team USA to the gold medal game with a win, a torrential downpour set the stage for what would become the 2022 USA Baseball International Performance of the Year. The 18U National Team called on Christian Rodriguez out of the bullpen for the restart the morning after. Rodriguez needed just 13 pitches to strike out the Japan side and strand his three inherited base runners to keep the game within one and the U.S. within striking distance of a berth in the final. He would follow his masterful third inning with four more shutout innings, striking out seven batters, before his teammates would rally for the 4-3 walk-off victory. Rodriguez's performance set the tone for Team USA on the final day of the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup as the red, white, and blue capped off the event that afternoon with its ninth world championship following a 5-1 victory over Chinese Taipei in the finale.

The 12U National Team traveled to Taiwan in August and returned home with its fourth world championship in program history, earning gold at the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup and later being named the 2022 USA Baseball Team of the Year. Amidst strict Covid-19 protocols, the team was required to quarantine in its hotel for three days, but it was not enough to deter the red, white, and blue, as they took care of business by going a perfect 8-0 in tournament play and becoming the first team in 12U National Team history to go unbeaten at the World Cup. After posting four wins in the Opening Round, the U.S. opened the Super Round with a walk-off win over Mexico and a victory over Chinese Taipei before taking down Venezuela twice to claim the title. Team USA clubbed 27 home runs and outscored its opponents 99-31. Seven players for the gold-medal-winning squad earned spots on the All-World Team after the tournament, including Colin Anderson, who was named Tournament MVP. The U.S. now boasts four U-12 Baseball World Cup titles, the most in the world.

Ole Miss Head Coach and 2022 Collegiate National Team Manager Mike Bianco collected plenty of hardware in 2022 to earn USA Baseball College Coach of the Year honors. Bianco led Ole Miss to its first-ever national championship as the Rebels went the distance at the 2022 College World Series. After posting a 42-23 record in regular season play, his squad won the Coral Gables Regional and the Hattiesburg Super Regional before knocking off Oklahoma to win the national championship. Bianco then took the reins as manager of the Collegiate National Team and led the U.S. to a bronze medal at Honkbalweek in Haarlem, Netherlands. Competing against nations featuring numerous players with professional baseball experience, Team USA beat Japan in the bronze medal game, 5-1. The U.S. pitching staff posted a 0.70 ERA in the tournament, the lowest team ERA in Collegiate National Team history.

Developmental Coach of the Year Drew Briese made his managerial debut this past summer with the 15U National Team and led Team USA to its second-straight gold medal at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup in Hermosillo, Mexico. Under his guidance, the squad posted an 8-1 record, highlighted by back-to-back wins over Cuba in the semifinal and gold-medal games, as Team USA outscored its opponents 99-30 in the tournament. Briese played an instrumental role in the development of the players with his wealth of knowledge and experience at the youth and collegiate levels of baseball, helping them to prepare for the next level of their careers.

André Butler's impact in four significant events and national team programs for USA Baseball this year led to him being named the Volunteer Coach of the Year. He was a member of the Task Force at the USA Baseball National Team Championships, aiding in identifying players for the National Team Development Programs (NTDP), and a coach at the 16U/17U NTDP, where he helped prepare those kids for a future national team opportunity. Butler was also on the coaching staff at the PDP League and the 18U National Team Training Camp, where he helped identify and develop a group of athletes that would go on to win the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in September - its ninth in program history. Additionally, eight members of the 16U/17U NTDP later went on to win a gold medal at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier in Mexico in November.

Coach Educator of the Year Bill Krejci has been involved with USA Baseball for nearly three decades as a coach and instructor for national teams and developmental programs, and most recently as a part of the Fun At Bat program. With the Fun At Bat program, he has impacted the growth of baseball among youth, serving as a lead instructor at numerous teacher training sessions and as a lead clinician at multiple USA Baseball Homegrown Clinics in 2022. Krejci spends his time with USA Baseball demonstrating the fundamentals of the game to physical education teachers from across the country, helping them implement it into their everyday curriculum. In 2022, his service to USA Baseball has reached more than 100 teachers and 50,000 students in eight school districts using Fun At Bat and over 200 kids who attended a Homegrown Clinic.

"Doc" Counsilman Award recipient Adam Moseley is one of the foremost leaders within the USA Baseball coaching community to use scientific data and state-of-the-art technology as part of his coaching. Under his guidance as the pitching coach for the 18U National Team at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, Moseley helped lead the U.S. to its ninth world championship thanks to his tireless work using analytical data and ball flight analysis. Not only did his commitment to data allow him to scout opponents in a tournament setting, but he was also able to utilize data from PDP Performance Assessments and Trackman to aid in identifying and selecting the roster for the 18U National Team. Team USA scored 68 runs – its most at a World Cup since 2015 – and struck out 73 batters to lead the tournament.

Daisy Nelson is an unsung hero for the tremendous success of USA Baseball and its many athletes. Nelson has been responsible for staffing and training certified athletic trainers for USA Baseball national teams, training camps, and identification events since 2016. Her contributions, and the extension of her work through USA Baseball's certified athletic trainers, contributed to an unprecedented run of success for the U.S. this year as the stars and stripes won four gold medals, three world championships, a friendship series, and a bronze medal in 2022.

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Chinook Seedery Named Official Sunflower Seed Supplier of USA Baseball

The multi-year relationship will provide Chinook Seedery products to six national teams and two national team development programs
January 26, 2023
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball and USA Baseball Sports Properties within LEARFIELD today announced an exclusive multi-year relationship with Chinook Seedery to become the Official Sunflower Seed Supplier for the organization. Through this relationship, Chinook Seedery will supply sunflower seeds for all USA Baseball national team and national team development

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball and USA Baseball Sports Properties within LEARFIELD today announced an exclusive multi-year relationship with Chinook Seedery to become the Official Sunflower Seed Supplier for the organization. Through this relationship, Chinook Seedery will supply sunflower seeds for all USA Baseball national team and national team development programs.

Additionally, Chinook Seedery will also supply promotional items to USA Baseball for its foul ball program. Beginning in 2023, fans will receive a complimentary pack of sunflower seeds when they return a foul ball during USA Baseball events at the National Training Complex.

"USA Baseball is pleased to name Chinook Seedery the Official Sunflower Seed Supplier for the organization,” said USA Baseball Chief Operating Officer David Perkins. “Chinook Seedery produces a flavorful variety of healthy snacks that will help fuel USA Baseball national team and national team development program athletes. We appreciate their support and look forward to collaborating with them to develop future sunflower seed flavors.”

"Few things are more Americana than baseball and sunflower seeds. Chinook's partnership with USA Baseball is a natural fit that is only bolstered by our recent flavor collaboration with Team USA alum Bobby Witt Jr. We could not be more excited to bring the 'best seeds ever' to the best ballplayers in our great country," said Chinook Seedery Founder Mark Pettyjohn.

Launched in 2020, USA Baseball Sports Properties within LEARFIELD is dedicated to representing USA Baseball by developing and managing sponsor relationships with brands looking to align with USA Baseball and its events and programming.

About Chinook Seedery

Based in Austin, Texas, Chinook Seedery is the country's fastest-growing sunflower seed brand, providing a "better-for-you option" that is lower in sodium, non-GMO certified, gluten-free, and Keto friendly. Chinook combines a unique small-batch process with the largest, most premium seeds grown in the US, resulting in the "best seeds ever.” For more information or to try the product, visit http://www.chinookseedery.com, or follow us on Instagram (@chinookseedery), Facebook (@chinookseedery), and Twitter (@chinookseedery).

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NTC Article

USA Baseball Announces Organizational Changes And Promotions

Ashley Bratcher named General Manager of National Teams
January 5, 2023
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today announced organizational changes and a series of promotions and title changes, including the appointment of Ashley Bratcher as General Manager of National Teams and Eric Campbell as the General Manager of Collegiate and Professional National Teams. Bratcher has served multiple critical roles in the

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball today announced organizational changes and a series of promotions and title changes, including the appointment of Ashley Bratcher as General Manager of National Teams and Eric Campbell as the General Manager of Collegiate and Professional National Teams.

Bratcher has served multiple critical roles in the organization since 2009 and will now oversee and support all three youth national team programs, the Women's National Team program, national team and athlete development programs, and national team identification events. Additionally, Campbell will continue to lead the Collegiate and Professional National Team programs.

"USA Baseball has grown tremendously over the past few years, and we are happy to announce several changes and promotions within our organization," said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. "The changes showcase the organization's growth as the national governing body for baseball in the United States. Notably, we are thrilled to elevate Ashley Bratcher to General Manager of National Teams. Ashley's outstanding leadership and wealth of experience will continue to impact our organization and the amateur baseball landscape significantly and profoundly."

USA Baseball also announced three additional promotions in the Baseball Operations department. First, Brett Curll will lead the defending world champion 18U National Team Program after serving in a support role with both gold-medal-winning 18U National Teams in 2022. Curll joined the organization in 2018 after spending seven years working in amateur baseball following his collegiate baseball career at the University of Maryland and Liberty University.

Ben Kelley is taking over the two-time defending world champion 15U National Team Program. Kelley joined the organization in 2017 and has helped manage facility operations at the USA Baseball National Training Complex and run the National Team Championships in Arizona over the last five years. In addition, he oversaw the 13U/14U Athlete Development Program and supported several youth national team programs. Cole Beeker joined USA Baseball full-time in the fall and will serve as the program director for the defending world champion 12U National Team. Beeker was an intern for the 18U National Team in 2021 and, most recently, was an amateur scouting assistant for the Detroit Tigers.

An additional change made within the Baseball Operations department is Director of Player Development Jim Koerner will now be responsible for guiding the 13U/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP) and 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP). Koerner, who spent 20 years coaching at the collegiate level, joined USA Baseball full-time in 2021 and will simultaneously continue on as the Field Coordinator for the MLB/USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League as well.

The organization also made several changes within the Communications–formerly Media Relations–and Creative Services teams. Josh Spitz, who joined the organization in 2021 following four years working in the Athletic Communications office at Stony Brook University, was promoted to Assistant Director of Communications. Additionally, Mark Jenkins is the newest Director of Creative Services, and Kevin Jones currently serves as the Director of Brand for the organization. Jenkins joined USA Baseball in 2021 following stops working in creative services for Memphis, Southern Methodist (SMU), and UL Lafayette football programs. Jones has been with USA Baseball since 2012, serving as both a video producer and graphic designer, and spent the last five years as the Director of Creative Services. In his new role, Jones will oversee and develop the identity of USA Baseball in an expanding digital landscape.

Lastly, Lisa Braxton will continue to oversee BASE (Baseball Athlete Safety Education) in her new role as Director of Athlete Safety, in addition to holding expanded responsibility with the entire USA Baseball athlete safety program. Braxton spent nearly a decade at soccer.com, managing team sales, marketing, and institutional and club business before joining the organization in 2021. She also worked for two years for the NCAA.

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Catching Up With Bryce Eldridge

A Q&A With USA Baseball alum Bryce Eldridge
November 15, 2022
USA Baseball recently caught up with Bryce Eldridge, who is fresh off a gold medal at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup back in September. The following is a Q&A to reflect on his time with Team USA. USAB: Since winning gold at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, what

USA Baseball recently caught up with Bryce Eldridge, who is fresh off a gold medal at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup back in September. The following is a Q&A to reflect on his time with Team USA.

USAB: Since winning gold at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, what has life been like since being back home?

BE: “There was so much support from my hometown when I got home, and not just for me but for all my teammates as well. I think people understood what a special experience it was for me to be able to represent our country. I was flooded with so much positivity and even came home to a sign in my front yard. When I went into local restaurants, I had people going out of their way to tell me congratulations and how proud they were of me. I also got to go talk to my high school team and some little league teams and share my experience.”

USAB: Aside from winning gold, what was your favorite memory of the World Cup?

BE: “I think the best part about the World Cup was getting the hang out with all my teammates at the hotel. You know, after a game or before a game, we would all would just talk about baseball or just goof off and have some fun with each other. It was a close-knit group of kids, and we were inseparable.”

USAB: If you could describe winning a gold medal for team USA in one word, what would it be?

BE: “Surreal. It’s something that not many people have accomplished. It’s a feeling that everyone dreams of. Not many people get to see that dream through, and I did which was so awesome.”

USAB: What was it like putting on that USA uniform for the first time?

BE: “I had goosebumps. It was a such cool feeling, I felt like a million bucks. You should see my camera roll; I have like 100 selfies and pictures of me. It was such a cool experience.”

USAB: You recently signed your National Letter of Intent to play at Alabama next year. What is your biggest takeaway from playing for Team USA that you feel like you can take with you to the next stage of your career?

BE: “Just knowing that how good a team can be when you're tight-knit and have a good group of leaders. It can be it can be something special for not just a team or a sport, but also for a workplace. It was cool to be a part of, and I think I can take that with me moving forward and understand what it takes to be a winner. I hope to be able to bring that with me to Alabama try to become a leader for that team as well.”

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GOLDEN! Team USA Beats Panama in World Cup Qualifier Title Game

Nye’s dominant outing, 10-run fifth inning carry U.S. to sixth straight title
November 14, 2022
Box Score | Plays | Cumulative Stats
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Panama 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 4
Team USA 0 1 0 0 10 0 X 11 12 0

Box Score | Plays | Cumulative Stats

LA PAZ, Mexico – Team USA scored 10 runs in the fifth inning en route to an 11-1 victory over Panama to win gold at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier on Sunday afternoon at Estadio Arturo C. Nahl.

It is the sixth consecutive WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier title for the 18U National Team, as the program has won gold at every tournament since 2009.

What seemed to be a pitchers’ duel turned into a blowout win for the U.S. thanks to a 10-run fifth inning in which Team USA batted around before recording an out. The outburst began when Nazzan Zanetello (Florissant, Mo.) hit a leadoff double–his first of two extra-base hits in the inning–before coming around to score on an RBI single by Ty Southisene (Henderson, Nev.). Casey Borba (Santa Ana, Calif.) then picked up an RBI knock between two bases-loaded walks as the stars and stripes kept the line moving to take a 5-0 lead.

Three straight hits continued the massive U.S. rally. Roman Martin (Whittier, Calif.) and Macon Winslow (Hertford, N.C.) hit back-to-back opposite-field singles to each drive in a run before Zanetello delivered the massive blow. With the bases loaded, Zanetello hit a bases-clearing, three-run double for his second extra-base hit of the frame to make it a 10-run lead for the United States. The final run of the outburst came on the first out of the inning, a Noah Franco (Downey, Calif.) RBI groundout that grew Team USA’s lead to 11-0.

Before the scoring onslaught in the fifth, the U.S. and Panama were locked in a nailbiter. Austin Nye (Roseville, Calif.) started for Team USA and was nearly unhittable in his five innings of work, striking out seven and earning the win. Aside from a one-out single in the first and a leadoff walk in the fourth, Panama’s lineup was unable to muster anything off the righthander, who was named Tournament MVP after posting a spotless 0.00 ERA in seven innings over two appearances.

The U.S. was only able to score once in the first four innings while Nye kept Panama in check, cracking the scoreboard in the bottom of the second. After Panama right fielder Ricardo Tivey made a perfect throw to nab Martin at the plate for the second out of the inning, Daniel Arambula (Yucaipa, Calif.) hit Team USA’s third single of the frame to get on the board, squeaking an RBI single inside the first-base bag to plate Zanetello and put the U.S. in front by a run.

After a quick third inning saw both sides go down in order, Nye walked the leadoff batter in the top of the fourth to put a runner on for Panama with the heart of its order due up. The righthander quickly locked back in, however, and struck out the next batter before inducing a 6-3 double play to keep Panama off the board. The leadoff base-on-balls was the only batter Nye walked in his masterful performance.

The U.S. followed suit by drawing a walk to lead off the bottom of the fourth, but like Nye, Panama righthander Emanuel Vargas escaped the inning unscathed. After getting Martin looking for the first out, PJ Morlando (Summerville, S.C.) was caught stealing and Winslow grounded out to third as Team USA was unable to build on its one-run advantage.

With only one run of support at the time, Nye continued dealing in the fifth. Panama’s Jose Aparicio sent a deep fly ball to the warning track on the first pitch of the inning, but Winslow tracked it down at the wall before Nye struck out the next two batters for his sixth and seventh punch outs of the day.

The U.S. then came to the plate and spent nearly 50 minutes on offense in its 10-run fifth inning to put the game out of reach. The first 10 batters to come to the plate reached base for the stars and stripes and all 10 scored as the offense collected seven hits and drew two walks in the frame. Panama was forced to make three pitching changes during the inning, using four pitchers to retire the U.S. side.

With Nye spending almost an hour in the dugout during the rally, Team USA turned to Carson Messina (Summerville, S.C.) to get the final six outs. Messina worked through some control issues in his two innings and allowed a run in the seventh before striking out Joaquin Gamba to secure the championship win for the United States.

Zanetello continued his tear at the plate in the tournament finale, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored and two driven in. It was the fourth multi-RBI game of the tournament for Zanetello, who hit seven of his nine total hits for extra bases. Arambula and Martin each had two-hit days and drove in a run for the U.S., and Southisene was 1-for-4 with a walk, meaning he reached base in all seven games he played in.

Nye’s final line was superb. The California native lasted five innings and allowed just one hit while striking out seven before handing the ball to Messina, who punched out two batters. The U.S. pitching staff finished the tournament with 65 strikeouts, the most of any team.

Manuel Moreno, who started for Panama and allowed one run in two innings, suffered the loss.

The United States was also atop the leaderboard in several offensive categories, including home runs (10) and runs scored (79). The 10-run fifth inning was the second time the stars and stripes scored nine or more runs in an inning during the tournament as they put up nine against Peru in a massive third frame during pool play.

Team USA was well-represented in the tournament award ceremony. Nye was named MVP after posting a flawless 0.00 ERA in two appearances, throwing seven total innings and striking out a team-best 12 batters. He also had a hit in his only plate appearance, smoking a two-run double in the tournament opener against Peru.

Morlando earned the title of Batting Champion after being a force in the batter’s box all tournament long, accumulating a .333 (7-for-21) average with three homers and nine RBIs. The three blasts tied six other players in U.S. history for most homers hit at a WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier. Morlando had a hit and RBI in all but one of the games he played in.

Zanetello earned the Stolen Base Champion title after swiping a tournament-most five bags. The speedster stole three total bases in pool play action before picking up two more in the Super Round against Mexico and Nicaragua.

Additionally, three U.S. players earned spots on the All-Tournament Team. Arambula was named to the team at third base thanks to his .353 average with five RBIs, including his run-scoring hit in the title game. Borba earned his spot as a first baseman after batting .360 with two homers and driving in a tournament-high 13 runs, collecting two multi-hit games. Campbell Smithwick (Conway, S.C.) got the honor at catcher, touting a .250 average with five RBIs in addition to catching the only runner who tried stealing with him behind the dish.

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Brass

GOLD MEDAL GAMEDAY: Team USA, Panama Meet in Gold Medal Game

First pitch scheduled for 3:00 p.m. MT/5:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Arturo C. Nahl
November 13, 2022
LIVE STATS

LIVE STATS

LA PAZ, Mexico – The 18U National Team takes on Panama in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier gold medal game on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. MT/5:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Arturo C. Nahl in La Paz, Mexico.

LAST TIME OUT

The U.S. finished off a Super Round sweep on Saturday with an 8-4 win over Nicaragua. After Nicaragua answered with a run following back-to-back doubles by Campbell Smithwick and Casey Borba, the U.S. took back the lead for good on a two-run single by Daniel Arambula in the bottom of the third. Borba went 3-for-4 on the day with two runs driven in, increasing his RBI total to a team-best 12. Nazzan Zanetello continued his tear at the plate, smoking a two-run homer for some insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Michael Torres started for the U.S. on the mound and was effective, tossing four innings of one-run ball. The southpaw worked into and out of a jam in the third inning to keep the Nicaraguan offense at bay and ended the day with five strikeouts. Ty Southisene pitched two innings in relief and allowed a run, and Noah Franco retired the final three batters despite permitting two runners to score.

HISTORY AGAINST PANAMA

The U.S. has played Panama 24 times at the U-18 level and owns a 22-2 record in the series, including an 18-1 record at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier. The two sides met for the first time in 1987 and most recently played earlier in this tournament, with Team USA picking up a 5-2 win in Super Round action.

FAMILIAR TERRITORY

The title game will be the 10th such contest for Team USA in 14 appearances at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier. The U.S. first appeared in the tournament's gold medal game in its debut tournament in 1993, where it fell to Cuba, 5-1. After not making the title game in the following three tournaments, the United States has appeared in the game nine times in its last 10 tries. Overall, the 18U National Team is 5-4 in the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier championship game.

2018 ALL OVER AGAIN

Team USA and Panama met in the title game at the most recent WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier, playing for gold on December 2, 2018, in Chitre, Panama. The U.S. knocked off Panama, 17-2, scoring early and often to secure its fifth-consecutive gold medal. Current Texas Rangers top pitching prospect Jack Leiter started that game for the stars and stripes and struck out nine batters in four innings, and current Kansas City Royal Bobby Witt Jr. hit for the cycle to help lead Team USA to the gold medal win.

QUALIFIER SUCCESS

The U.S. has won each of the last five U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifiers it has competed in, earning gold in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2018 while compiling a 41-1 overall record. The program most recently captured gold in the event with a perfect 9-0 record in 2018, outscoring its opponents 131-27.

SUPER ROUND STANDINGS

United States (5-0)

Panama (3-2)

Mexico (3-2)

Venezuela (2-2)

Nicaragua (1-4)

Puerto Rico (1-4)

INSIDE THE ROSTER

Team USA’s 20-man roster features four members who have previously donned the stars and stripes. A trio of players reunite on the roster after earning spots on the 15U National Team: Carson Messina, Austin Nye, and Michael Torres. Additionally, Daniel Arambula (2017) and Torres (2018) played for the 12U National Team, both winning gold medals.

In total, 10 of the 20 players on the roster have participated in USA Baseball development programs, including eight players from the 2022 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP). Arambula, Talan Bell, Matthew Champion, Noah Franco, PJ Morlando, Vaughn Neckar, Ford Thompson, and Torres all participated at this year’s NTDP from July 25-29 in Cary, North Carolina. The roster also includes four players who participated in the 2022 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League: Casey Borba, Roman Martin, Campbell Smithwick and Nazzan Zanetello.

MEET THE COACHES

Denny Hocking is back at the helm of the 18U National Team after guiding the U.S. to a gold medal at this summer’s WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida. The skipper, who owns 13 years of major-league playing experience, has spent time as an analyst, coach, and minor-league manager, and currently works as an analyst on Bally Sports West.

Team USA alum and 14-year MLB veteran Brad Penny returns to the staff as pitching coach after serving in the same role for the program in a friendship series against Canada in 2021. The World Series champ and two-time MLB All-Star led last year’s staff to a 1.53 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 59 innings. Former 12U National Team Manager and longtime Orange Lutheran High School skipper Eric Borba is on staff as an assistant coach, as well as New York Yankees’ minor-league coach James Cooper.

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Borba Article

Team USA Wraps Up Super Round With 8-4 Win Over Nicaragua

U.S. scores in all but two innings to complete Super Round sweep
November 13, 2022
Box Score | Plays | Cumulative Stats
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Nicaragua 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 4 8 0
Team USA 1 0 2 3 2 0 X 8 12 0

Box Score | Plays | Cumulative Stats

LA PAZ, Mexico – Team USA finished World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier Super Round play with an 8-4 win over Nicaragua on Saturday afternoon at Estadio Arturo C. Nahl in La Paz, Mexico.

After completing a sweep of the Super Round, the United States is now 7-0 in tournament play entering Sunday’s gold medal game against Panama.

Scoring at least one run in all but two innings at the plate, Team USA’s offense kept its foot on the gas all afternoon. Back-to-back doubles by Campbell Smithwick (Conway, S.C.) and Casey Borba (Santa Ana, Calif.) got the U.S. on the board quickly in the first, and after Nicaragua tied it in the top half of the third, Team USA took the lead for good on a two-run single by Daniel Arambula (Yucaipa, Calif.) in the bottom of the frame. A three-run fourth helped the stars and stripes pull away before they added two in the fifth on a Nazzan Zanetello (Florissant, Mo.) homer, eventually picking up the 8-4 win.

Borba had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. After delivering the opening run with his RBI double in the first, Borba notched a pair of singles to left, including an RBI knock in Team USA’s three-run fourth. Ty Southisene (Henderson, Nev.) and Michael Torres (Miami, Fla.) each had two-hit days for the stars and stripes, with Southisene also picking up an RBI. Zanetello hit a two-run blast in the fifth to continue his hot streak at the plate.

In addition to their strong days with the bat, Torres and Southisene did most of the pitching for Team USA. Torres started on the mound and threw four strong innings to earn the win, scattering four hits and permitting just one run. Southisene allowed a run in two innings of relief work, and Noah Franco (Downey, Calif.) surrendered two runs in the seventh but got the final three outs. Nicaragua starter Joshua Quezada allowed six runs in 3.1 innings pitched to suffer the loss.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Campbell Smithwick and Casey Borba hit back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the first to give Team USA a quick 1-0 lead.
  • A leadoff walk and a double put two runners in scoring position for Nicaragua with no outs in the top of the third, but Michael Torres limited the damage to just an RBI groundout as the game became tied.
  • After a sacrifice bunt by Noah Franco put a pair of runners in scoring position in the bottom of the third, Daniel Arambula snuck a two-run single inside the first-base bag to put the U.S. back in front at 3-1.
  • Ty Southisene legged out an infield single that brought Nazzan Zanetello home from third, extending the United States’ lead to three in the bottom of the fourth.
  • Team USA’s advantage continued growing in the bottom of the fourth when Casey Borba blooped an RBI single into left field to make it 5-1 and Roman Martin hit an RBI infield single to put the U.S. in front by five.
  • Derek Loaisiga hit an RBI single to left field to plate a run for Nicaragua and trim the U.S. lead to 6-2 in the top of the fifth.
  • The red, white, and blue’s lead became 8-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Nazzan Zanetello cranked a mammoth two-run homer to bring home Michael Torres, who led off the inning with a single.
  • Nicaragua scratched two runs across on an RBI single and a run-scoring fielder’s choice in the top of the seventh before Noah Franco got the final batter to ground out to finalize the 8-4 win.

OF NOTE

  • Ty Southisene had a hit and walk in the win and has reached base multiple times in five of the six games he has played in.
  • By driving in two runs in the win, Casey Borba is now tied for eighth-most RBIs by a U.S. player at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier with 12 (also: Bryce Harper, Denard Span, Mikey White).
  • With a hit in Saturday’s victory, Macon Winslow raised his team-best batting average to .455 (5-for-11).
  • Team USA’s 12 hits against Nicaragua are the most it has had in a game so far in tournament play.
  • With two doubles in the win, the United States has now hit a tournament-best 16 two-baggers at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier.
  • Every player with at least 10 at-bats on the U.S. roster has collected three or more hits.
  • The U.S. is atop the tournament leaderboard in runs scored with 68.
  • The 18U National Team now owns a 5-1 all-time record against Nicaragua.

ON DECK

Team USA will take on Panama in the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier gold medal game on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. MT/5:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Arturo C. Nahl in La Paz, Mexico.

SOCIAL MEDIA
To follow along with all the action with the 18U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and @USABaseball on FacebookInstagramTikTok, and Twitter.

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Arambula Article

GAMEDAY: Team USA Plays Super Round Finale Against Nicaragua

First pitch scheduled for 2:00 p.m. MT/4:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Arturo C. Nahl
November 12, 2022
LIVE STATS

LIVE STATS

LA PAZ, Mexico – The 18U National Team wraps up Super Round play at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier against Nicaragua. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. MT/4:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Arturo C. Nahl in La Paz, Mexico.

LAST TIME OUT

Team USA secured its spot in the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier title game with an 8-7 walk-off win over Mexico on Friday night. After falling into a quick 4-0 hole, an RBI hit by Ty Southisene and a two-run blast by Casey Borba tied the game up in the second. Then, with the U.S. trailing by a run in the bottom of the seventh, PJ Morlando and Noah Franco hit clutch doubles to tie it before Nazzan Zanetello delivered the final blow with a walk-off single to secure the victory.

Team USA's bullpen was key in the win, as it tossed 6.1 innings and allowed just three runs (one earned). Mason Brassfield was the first pitcher out of the bullpen and he turned in 1.2 strong frames before handing the ball to Stunner Gonzales, who pitched four innings of one-run ball. Cade Townsend, who earned the win, pitched a scoreless seventh to set the table for Zanetello's walk-off knock.

HISTORY AGAINST NICARAGUA

Team USA and Nicaragua have met five times at the U-18 level, with the U.S. holding a 4-1 advantage in the series. After first playing one another in 1992, the two nations last competed at the 2018 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier, which resulted in a 17-2 win for the United States.

CLINCHED AND QUALIFIED

With last night's victory over Mexico, Team USA has already clinched a spot in the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier gold medal game. Additionally, the U.S. has qualified for next summer's WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Tainan, Taiwan, where the squad will look to defend its title from 2022.

BORBA BOMBS

Casey Borba hit his second home run of the tournament on Friday against Mexico, a clutch two-run shot to tie the game in the second. Borba now has a team-best 10 RBIs to go with his two dingers, ranking him second in the tournament in that category. The Santa Ana, California native has also scored at least once in all six of the team's games, joining PJ Morlando and Ty Southisene as the only two players to accomplish that feat.

QUALIFIER SUCCESS

The U.S. has won each of the last five U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifiers it has competed in, earning gold in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2018 while compiling a 41-1 overall record. The program most recently captured gold in the event with a perfect 9-0 record in 2018, outscoring its opponents 131-27.

SUPER ROUND STANDINGS

United States (4-0)

Mexico (2-2)

Panama (2-2)

Venezuela (2-2)

Nicaragua (1-3)

Puerto Rico (1-3)

INSIDE THE ROSTER

Team USA’s 20-man roster features four members who have previously donned the stars and stripes. A trio of players reunite on the roster after earning spots on the 15U National Team: Carson Messina, Austin Nye, and Michael Torres. Additionally, Daniel Arambula (2017) and Torres (2018) played for the 12U National Team, both winning gold medals.

In total, 10 of the 20 players on the roster have participated in USA Baseball development programs, including eight players from the 2022 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP). Arambula, Talan Bell, Matthew Champion, Noah Franco, PJ Morlando, Vaughn Neckar, Ford Thompson, and Torres all participated at this year’s NTDP from July 25-29 in Cary, North Carolina. The roster also includes four players who participated in the 2022 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League: Casey Borba, Roman Martin, Campbell Smithwick and Nazzan Zanetello.

MEET THE COACHES

Denny Hocking is back at the helm of the 18U National Team after guiding the U.S. to a gold medal at this summer’s WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida. The skipper, who owns 13 years of major-league playing experience, has spent time as an analyst, coach, and minor-league manager, and currently works as an analyst on Bally Sports West.

Team USA alum and 14-year MLB veteran Brad Penny returns to the staff as pitching coach after serving in the same role for the program in a friendship series against Canada in 2021. The World Series champ and two-time MLB All-Star led last year’s staff to a 1.53 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 59 innings. Former 12U National Team Manager and longtime Orange Lutheran High School skipper Eric Borba is on staff as an assistant coach, as well as New York Yankees’ minor-league coach James Cooper.

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Walk Off Article

Zanetello’s Walk-Off Lifts Team USA Past Mexico, Clinches Spot in Title Game

Game-winning single in the bottom of seventh caps back-and-forth, 8-7 win
November 12, 2022
Box Score | Plays | Cumulative Stats
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Mexico 4 0 2 0 0 1 0 7 6 5
Team USA 0 4 0 0 2 0 2 8 7 3

Box Score | Plays | Cumulative Stats

LA PAZ, MexicoNazzan Zanetello (Florissant, Mo.) clinched Team USA’s spot in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier gold medal game with a walk-off single to beat Mexico, 8-7, on Friday night at Estadio Arturo C. Nahl in La Paz, Mexico.

The U.S. will play in its sixth-consecutive WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier title game on Sunday.

After falling into a 4-0 hole out the gate, the U.S. battled back and trailed by a run entering the bottom of the seventh. Team USA then rattled off three hits–including two for extra bases–to tie and eventually win the game. PJ Morlando (Summerville, S.C.) started the rally with a well-struck double to left-center field to put the tying run on before scoring on an opposite-field double by Noah Franco (Downey, Calif.) to tie the game. Then, after an intentional walk loaded the bases for Zanetello, he smoked a walk-off single into right-center field to complete the comeback and secure the 8-7 win for the United States.

Seven different U.S. players collected a hit in the victory, including Casey Borba (Santa Ana, Calif.), who cranked a game-tying, two-run homer in the second inning after Team USA went down by four in the first. As he has been all tournament, Ty Southisene (Henderson, Nev.) was in the middle of everything for the U.S., going 1-for-2 with a hit, a hit-by-pitch, a run scored, an RBI, and a walk. Roman Martin (Whittier, Calif.) and Morlando also had a hit and a run scored in the win.

Team USA got stellar work out of its bullpen to keep the game close following a rocky start. After starter Ford Thompson (Snellville, Ga.) was knocked out of the game in the first, Mason Brassfield (Bakersfield, Calif.), Stunner Gonzales (Carlsbad, Calif.), and Cade Townsend (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) turned in 6.1 relief innings and allowed just three runs (one earned). Brassfield limited the damage in the top of the first and worked 1.2 innings before Gonzales tossed the bulk of the innings, allowing one run on three hits in four solid frames. Townsend, who earned the win, pitched the seventh and kept the U.S. within a run to set the table for Zanetello’s walk-off. Mexico’s Augusto Mendieta–who hadn’t allowed a hit in three appearances entering Friday’s game–suffered the loss.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Two bases-loaded walks, a wild pitch, and an RBI single by Ichiro Cano gave Mexico an immediate 4-0 lead in the top of the first.
  • Ty Southisene and Roman Martin reached scoring position with one out in the bottom of the first, but Mexico’s Oscar Soria escaped the jam to keep Mexico in front by four.
  • Mexico nearly extended its lead in the top of the second, loading the bases with one out before Mason Brassfield induced a 5-2-3 double play to end the threat and keep the score 4-0.
  • Standing on second base with two outs in the bottom of the second, Nazzan Zanetello stole third base and scored on an errant throw to make it a 4-1 score in favor of Mexico.
  • Ty Southisene got the U.S. within two runs in the bottom of the second, hitting the ball to the opposite field for an RBI double down the right field line.
  • With Ty Southisene on base and two outs in the bottom of the second, Casey Borba launched a two-run homer over the wall in left-center field to tie the contest at four.
  • Mexico scored two unearned runs in the top of the third to retake a 6-4 lead, capitalizing on a pair of Team USA defensive miscues.
  • Casey Borba got hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the fifth and–after advancing to third on a Roman Martin double–scored on a wild pitch to trim Team USA’s deficit to 6-5.
  • After a Macon Winslow walk seemingly put runners on the corners with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Roman Martin scored on a bad throw back to the pitcher to knot the game at six.
  • With a runner on third and one out in the top of the sixth, Mexico’s Jose Sanchez laid down a bunt to bring home a run as Mexico took a 7-6 lead.
  • PJ Morlando led off the bottom of the seventh with an opposite-field double, and two batters later, scored on Noah Franco’s run-scoring double to tie the game at seven.
  • Mexico intentionally walked Daniel Arambula to load the bases with one out in bottom of the seventh for Nazzan Zanetello, who responded by drilling a walk-off single into the right-center field gap to complete the 8-7 win for Team USA.

OF NOTE

  • Nazzan Zanetello has picked up at least one hit in four of Team USA’s six games played and has stolen a tournament-best four bases.
  • Casey Borba’s second-inning blast was his second and the United States’ ninth of the tournament. No other team has more than five homers in tournament play.
  • The trio of Casey Borba, PJ Morlando, and Ty Southisene have each scored at least one run in all six tournament games and are tied for the team lead in that category with eight.
  • In two appearances at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier, Stunner Gonzales has allowed just one run on four hits in six innings pitched.
  • With a strikeout in the win, Cade Townsend has now struck out seven batters in 3.2 innings pitched so far in the tournament.
  • Team USA’s four-run second inning was the 11th time the team has scored three or more runs in a single inning in tournament play.
  • The stars and stripes have won 16 consecutive games at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier dating back to 2016.
  • By clinching a spot in the gold medal game, the United States will compete in its 10th WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier title game.
  • The U.S. improves to 23-4 all-time against Mexico at the U-18 level.

ON DECK

Team USA finishes WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier Super Round play against Nicaragua on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. MT/4:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Arturo C. Nahl in La Paz, Mexico.

SOCIAL MEDIA
To follow along with all the action with the 18U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and @USABaseball on FacebookInstagramTikTok, and Twitter.

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Gameday Article

GAMEDAY: Team USA Meets Mexico in Super Round on Friday Night

First pitch scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MT/9:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Arturo C. Nahl
November 11, 2022
LIVE STATS

LIVE STATS

LA PAZ, Mexico – The 18U National Team continues Super Round play at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier against Mexico. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MT/9:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Arturo C. Nahl in La Paz, Mexico.

LAST TIME OUT

Team USA kicked off the Super Round on Thursday, defeating Panama, 5-2. The U.S. scored five quick runs in the first and held on despite a late Panama rally to pick up the win and remain unbeaten in tournament play. PJ Morlando and Macon Winslow both had RBI hits for the U.S. in its five-run first, where the squad picked up three of its five hits. Ty Southisene collected a single, stole a base, and scored a run in the win for the United States.

Talan Bell started for the stars and stripes and struck out three batters in three one-hit innings. Vaughn Neckar tossed two scoreless relief innings with three strikeouts to get credited with the win, escaping multiple jams with clutch punch outs. Matthew Champion and Mavrick Rizy also pitched an inning of relief out of the Team USA bullpen.

HISTORY AGAINST MEXICO

The United States owns a 22-4-0 record all-time against Mexico at the U-18 level, including a 5-3-0 record at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier. The two last met at the 2022 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, with the U.S. winning 7-5.

ATOP THE LEADERBOARD

Several Team USA players sit atop the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier statistical leaderboard. PJ Morlando has hit a tournament-high three home runs, followed by Noah Franco's two blasts. Michael Torres has drawn seven walks to put himself in a tie for first in that category, while PJ Morlando and Ty Southisene have both scored seven runs to tie for the tournament lead.

MORLANDO NEARS HISTORY

With three home runs in tournament play, PJ Morlando is now tied atop the leaderboard for most home runs in a WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier by a U.S. player. Morlando is tied with six former Team USA players, including Riley Greene and Bobby Witt Jr.

QUALIFIER SUCCESS

The U.S. has won each of the last five U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifiers it has competed in, earning gold in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2018 while compiling a 41-1 overall record. The program most recently captured gold in the event with a perfect 9-0 record in 2018, outscoring its opponents 131-27.

SUPER ROUND STANDINGS

United States (3-0)

Panama (2-1)

Venezuela (2-1)

Mexico (1-2)

Nicaragua (1-2)

Puerto Rico (1-2)

INSIDE THE ROSTER

Team USA’s 20-man roster features four members who have previously donned the stars and stripes. A trio of players reunite on the roster after earning spots on the 15U National Team: Carson Messina, Austin Nye, and Michael Torres. Additionally, Daniel Arambula (2017) and Torres (2018) played for the 12U National Team, both winning gold medals.

In total, 10 of the 20 players on the roster have participated in USA Baseball development programs, including eight players from the 2022 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP). Arambula, Talan Bell, Matthew Champion, Noah Franco, PJ Morlando, Vaughn Neckar, Ford Thompson, and Torres all participated at this year’s NTDP from July 25-29 in Cary, North Carolina. The roster also includes four players who participated in the 2022 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League: Casey Borba, Roman Martin, Campbell Smithwick and Nazzan Zanetello.

MEET THE COACHES

Denny Hocking is back at the helm of the 18U National Team after guiding the U.S. to a gold medal at this summer’s WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida. The skipper, who owns 13 years of major-league playing experience, has spent time as an analyst, coach, and minor-league manager, and currently works as an analyst on Bally Sports West.

Team USA alum and 14-year MLB veteran Brad Penny returns to the staff as pitching coach after serving in the same role for the program in a friendship series against Canada in 2021. The World Series champ and two-time MLB All-Star led last year’s staff to a 1.53 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 59 innings. Former 12U National Team Manager and longtime Orange Lutheran High School skipper Eric Borba is on staff as an assistant coach, as well as New York Yankees’ minor-league coach James Cooper.

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Ty Article

Team USA Rides Big First Inning, Defeats Panama in Super Round Opener

Five-run first helps U.S. stay unbeaten with 5-2 win
November 11, 2022
Box Score | Plays | Cumulative Stats
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Team USA 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 1
Panama 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 3 2

Box Score | Plays | Cumulative Stats

LA PAZ, Mexico – Team USA rode a five-run first inning to a 5-2 victory over Panama in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier Super Round opener on Thursday afternoon at Estadio Arturo C. Nahl in La Paz, Mexico.

The United States is now 5-0 in tournament play and 3-0 in the Super Round, per WBSC tournament rules.

The U.S. offense was dialed in from the first pitch, reaching base with seven of its first eight hitters and forcing Panama to use three pitchers in the opening frame. Ty Southisene (Henderson, Nev.) got the rally started with an infield single before he scored on a balk to make it 1-0, and PJ Morlando (Summerville, S.C.) followed with an RBI double to put Team USA in front by two. Then, with the bases loaded, Macon Winslow (Hertford, N.C.) hit a two-run single and Noah Franco (Downey, Calif.) scored on a wild pitch to make it a 5-0 advantage for the United States, a lead it would hold on to despite a late Panama rally in the seventh.

Three of Team USA’s five hits came in the five-run first inning, including Winslow’s two-run single. The left fielder reached in all three of his plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs. Five different U.S. players scored runs in the win, including Morlando, who collected a hit and an RBI in Team USA’s busy first inning. Southisene did a little bit of everything for the United States, notching a hit, stealing a base, and scoring a run.

Despite walking 10 batters, U.S. pitchers held Panama to just two runs on three hits. Talan Bell (Oviedo, Fla.) started for Team USA and pitched three shutout innings with three strikeouts. The southpaw danced around trouble in each of his three frames, coaxing two key double plays to keep Panama off the board. Vaughn Neckar (Wildomar, Calif.) struck out three in two scoreless relief innings to earn the win, and Panama starter Adrian Ardines–who only got one out and allowed three earned runs–suffered the loss.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Ty Southisene led off the game with an infield single and­, after stealing second and advancing to third on a wild pitch, came home on a balk to score the first run of the contest.
  • With Casey Borba on second and one out in the top of the first, PJ Morlando put Team USA in front by two with an RBI double down the right field line.
  • Macon Winslow poked a two-run single through the right side with the bases loaded in the top of the first, plating two runs and growing Team USA’s lead to four.
  • The U.S. capped its five-run inning when Noah Franco sprinted home on a wild pitch to make it a 5-0 game in the top of the first.
  • Panama put runners on in both the second and third innings, but a double play erased the threat in the second and a Talan Bell pickoff helped Team USA maintain its five-run edge in the third.
  • Panama’s Derek Pinto hit an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth to put Panama on the scoreboard and trim the U.S. lead to 5-1.
  • A walk and hit-by-pitch put two on with none out for Panama in the bottom of the fifth, but Vaughn Neckar picked up a strikeout and Campbell Smithwick caught a runner stealing to turn a key double play and escape the jam.
  • With the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate for Panama in the bottom of the sixth, Vaughn Neckar got a clutch strikeout to keep Team USA in front by four.
  • Panama drew three walks and scored on a sacrifice fly in the seventh but Matthew Champion recorded the final out on a fielder’s choice to finish the 5-2 victory.

OF NOTE

  • PJ Morlando has at least one hit and one RBI in all five of Team USA’s games at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier.
  • Both PJ Morlando and Ty Southisene scored a run in the win and are now tied atop the tournament leaderboard in that category.
  • By drawing a walk in the victory, Michael Torres is now tied for most bases-on-balls in the tournament with seven.
  • With Talan Bell’s three scoreless innings, U.S. starters have allowed just four earned runs in 15 innings on the mound for a 2.40 ERA.
  • The stars and stripes have drawn at least six walks in all five of their tournament games.
  • Team USA has scored three or more runs in an inning 10 times in tournament play, including its five-run first on Thursday.
  • The U.S. has now won 18 consecutive games against Panama at the U-18 level.

ON DECK
Team USA continues WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier Super Round play against Mexico on Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PT/9:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Arturo C Nahl in La Paz, Mexico.

SOCIAL MEDIA
To follow along with all the action with the 18U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and @USABaseball on FacebookInstagramTikTok, and Twitter.

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Mikey Article

GAMEDAY: Team USA Begins Super Round Against Panama

First pitch scheduled for 2:00 p.m. PT/4:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Arturo C. Nahl
November 10, 2022
LIVE STATS

LIVE STATS

LA PAZ, Mexico – The 18U National Team kicks off Super Round play at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier on Thursday against Panama. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. PT/4:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Arturo C. Nahl in La Paz, Mexico.

LAST TIME OUT

Team USA wrapped up a pool play sweep on Tuesday, defeating Canada, 10-4. The U.S. offense relied on timely two-out hitting en route to the win, striking first on a two-out, two-run homer by PJ Morlando in the top of the first. Casey Borba and Campbell Smithwick also picked up clutch two-out knocks in the victory, as Smithwick drove in a game-high three RBIs. Borba drove in a run and has now done so in each of the tournament's first four games to lead Team USA in that category.

Austin Nye got the start for the U.S. against Canada and tossed two shutout innings, working around a trio of singles while striking out five. Cade Townsend earned the win with 2.2 innings of one-run ball in relief, striking out six. Michael Torres and Ty Southisene combined to pitch the final 2.1 innings in the victory.

HISTORY AGAINST PANAMA

Team USA holds a 21-2-0 record all-time against Panama at the U-18 level. The countries first met in 1987 and have played 22 times since, with the U.S. winning the most recent matchup, 17-2, in 2018. The stars and stripes are 17-1 against Panama in WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier history.

MORLANDO NEARS HISTORY

With three home runs in tournament play, PJ Morlando is now tied atop the leaderboard for most home runs in a WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier by a U.S. player. Morlando is tied with six former Team USA players, including Riley Greene and Bobby Witt Jr.

RACKING UP THE K'S

Team USA's pitching staff has stuck out double-digit batters in two consecutive games and is tied with Canada for most punch outs in tournament play (38). U.S. pitchers struck out 10 batters in Sunday's win over Venezuela and followed that with 13 more in the win over Canada on Tuesday. *_Carson Messina *_leads all Team USA pitchers with seven strikeouts.

QUALIFIER SUCCESS

The U.S. has won each of the last five U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifiers it has competed in, earning gold in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2018 while compiling a 41-1 overall record. The program most recently captured gold in the event with a perfect 9-0 record in 2018, outscoring its opponents 131-27.

SUPER ROUND STANDINGS

United States (2-0)

Panama (2-0)

Mexico (1-1)

Venezuela (1-1)

Nicaragua (0-2)

Puerto Rico (0-2)

INSIDE THE ROSTER

Team USA’s 20-man roster features four members who have previously donned the stars and stripes. A trio of players reunite on the roster after earning spots on the 15U National Team: Carson Messina, Austin Nye, and Michael Torres. Additionally, Daniel Arambula (2017) and Torres (2018) played for the 12U National Team, both winning gold medals.

In total, 10 of the 20 players on the roster have participated in USA Baseball development programs, including eight players from the 2022 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP). Arambula, Talan Bell, Matthew Champion, Noah Franco, PJ Morlando, Vaughn Neckar, Ford Thompson, and Torres all participated at this year’s NTDP from July 25-29 in Cary, North Carolina. The roster also includes four players who participated in the 2022 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League: Casey Borba, Roman Martin, Campbell Smithwick and Nazzan Zanetello.

MEET THE COACHES

Denny Hocking is back at the helm of the 18U National Team after guiding the U.S. to a gold medal at this summer’s WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida. The skipper, who owns 13 years of major-league playing experience, has spent time as an analyst, coach, and minor-league manager, and currently works as an analyst on Bally Sports West.

Team USA alum and 14-year MLB veteran Brad Penny returns to the staff as pitching coach after serving in the same role for the program in a friendship series against Canada in 2021. The World Series champ and two-time MLB All-Star led last year’s staff to a 1.53 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 59 innings. Former 12U National Team Manager and longtime Orange Lutheran High School skipper Eric Borba is on staff as an assistant coach, as well as New York Yankees’ minor-league coach James Cooper.

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PJ Article

Two-Out Hitting Helps Team USA Complete Pool Play Sweep With Victory Over Canada

Morlando hits third homer, Smithwick drives in three in 10-4 win
November 9, 2022
Box Score | Plays | Cumulative Stats
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Team USA 2 4 0 2 0 0 2 10 9 2
Canada 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 4 6 1

Box Score | Plays | Cumulative Stats

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico – Team USA picked up timely two-out hits to complete a pool play sweep with a 10-4 win over Canada at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier on Tuesday afternoon in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

After finishing pool play unbeaten, the U.S. now advances to the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier Super Round.

PJ Morlando (Summerville, S.C.) delivered the first punch with a two-out homer in the top of the first, sending a deep shot over the wall in right-center field to bring home Casey Borba (Santa Ana, Calif.) and open the scoring. Then, after the U.S. added four runs in the second on walks and singles by Ty Southisene (Henderson, Nev.) and Campbell Smithwick (Conway, S.C.), the offense continued its two-out hitting in the fourth when Borba and Smithwick struck for back-to-back knocks with two away to extend the U.S. lead to eight.

Canada then chipped away with a run in the fifth and three more in the sixth, but the U.S. answered with two in the seventh and held on for a 10-4 win.

Morlando and Smithwick each tallied two-hit days for the U.S., which collected nine total hits and drew nine walks as a team. Smithwick had a team-high three RBIs, picking up a pair of RBI singles to go along with a run-scoring fielder’s choice. Borba and Morlando also drove in multiple runs, each plating a pair and scoring once. Daniel Arambula (Yucaipa, Calif.) and Nazzan Zanetello (Florissant, Mo.) led the team with two runs scored apiece.

Austin Nye (Roseville, Calif.) got the start for Team USA and was solid in his two innings on the hill, working around three singles to punch out five batters and keep Canada off the board. Cade Townsend (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) pitched 2.2 innings of one-run relief and had six strikeouts to earn the win for the U.S., which struck out 13 batters in the game. Elliot Cadieux Lanoue started for Canada and lasted just an inning plus, allowing five runs to surrender the loss.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The U.S. put together a two-out rally in the top of the first when Casey Borba was hit by a pitch and PJ Morlando brought him home with a two-run homer to right field to take a quick 2-0 lead.
  • Canada hit two singles in the bottom of the first and eventually put two runners in scoring position, but Austin Nye picked up three clutch strikeouts to keep Team USA in front by two.
  • After three consecutive walks loaded the bases for the United States in the top of the second, Ty Southisene and Campbell Smithwick hit back-to-back singles to make it a 4-0 advantage.
  • Team USA’s lead grew to 6-0 in the top of the second on an RBI groundout by Casey Borba and a wild pitch that brought home Ty Southisene.
  • With two outs and Talan Bell on second in the top of the fourth, Campbell Smithwick hit his second RBI single of the game to make the score 7-0 in favor of the U.S.
  • Casey Borba singled up the middle in the top of the fourth to bring home another run for Team USA and grow the lead to eight.
  • Canada’s offense was held in check in the third and fourth innings by Cade Townsend, who struck out five of the eight batters he faced in those two frames to maintain the eight-run lead for the stars and stripes.
  • An opposite-field, solo homer by Canada’s Jorge Valdes put the Canadians on the board and trimmed their deficit to 8-1 in the bottom of the fifth.
  • Canada drew two bases-loaded walks and scored on a fielding error in a three-run sixth inning, cutting the U.S. lead to 8-4.
  • Danny Arambula led off the top of the seventh with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a passed ball to put Team USA back up by five.
  • The stars and stripes extended their lead to 10-4 in the top of the seventh on an RBI fielder’s choice by Campbell Smithwick that brought home Nazzan Zanetello.
  • Ty Southisene pitched a perfect seventh inning to secure the 10-4 win and clinch the pool play sweep.

OF NOTE

  • PJ Morlando leads the tournament with three home runs. He is tied with six former U.S. players for most home runs hit at a WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier.
  • Talan Bell, Roman Martin, and Nazzan Zanetello drew two walks in the win as part of a nine-walk day for Team USA. Martin has now drawn multiple bases-on-balls in a game twice in tournament play.
  • Talan Bell (2) and Nazzan Zanetello (1) both stole bases in the victory and are tied for the team and tournament lead in that category with three.
  • With 13 combined strikeouts from Austin Nye, Ty Southisene, Michael Torres, and Cade Townsend, U.S. pitchers struck out double-digit batters for the second consecutive game.
  • Casey Borba has driven in a run in all four games for the red, white, and blue, giving him a team-best eight RBIs.
  • Team USA is the only team in the tournament to boast an unbeaten record at the conclusion of the Opening Round.
  • The win was the United States’ 40th all-time against Canada at the U-18 level.

ON DECK
The U.S. will advance to the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier Super Round in La Paz, Mexico, from November 10-12. The full Super Round schedule will be announced soon.

SOCIAL MEDIA
To follow along with all the action with the 18U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and @USABaseball on FacebookInstagramTikTok, and Twitter.

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US3_5049-e

GAMEDAY: Team USA Concludes Pool Play Against Canada

First pitch scheduled for 3:00 p.m. PT/5:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Leonardo Gastelum
November 8, 2022
LIVE STATS

LIVE STATS

LOS CABOS, Mexico – The 18U National Team wraps up pool play at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier on Tuesday against Canada. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. PT/5:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Leonardo Gastelum in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

LAST TIME OUT

The U.S. picked up a 9-4 victory over Venezuela on Sunday to improve to 3-0 in Group B play. The squad fell into its first deficit of the tournament–trailing 1-0 in the third–before rattling off consecutive three-run innings to take control of the game. The contest turned when the U.S. hit back-to-back home runs off the bat of Roman Martin and PJ Morlando in the fourth, putting Team USA in front by five runs. Casey Borba put the icing on the cake with a three-run blast in the sixth, adding insurance to what ended up being a 9-4 victory for Team USA.

Carson Messina started on the mound and tossed 4.1 strong innings for the stars and stripes. The South Carolina native permitted three runs–two earned–and struck out seven in his outing. Mavrick Rizy entered in relief and escaped a jam in the fifth before pitching a scoreless sixth, and Matthew Champion got the final three outs of the win.

HISTORY AGAINST CANADA

The United States has played against Canada 48 times at the U-18 level and owns a 39-7-2 all-time record in the series. The two countries last met at the XXX WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, when Team USA picked up a 7-6 win. The U.S. in 6-0 all-time against Canada in World Cup Qualifiers.

BIG THIRD INNINGS

Team USA has scored 16 runs across three third innings so far in tournament play. The nine-run outburst against Peru started the third-inning success, which the U.S. followed by scoring four against Puerto Rico and three against Venezuela in the third frame.

STRIKE THREE

Through three games, the United States' pitching staff has struck out 25 batters in 17.0 innings pitched. Carson Messina's seven punch outs lead the group, followed by Stunner Gonzales' four. The U.S. pitching staff owns a 2.06 ERA and has only permitted 11 hits in its 17.0 innings of work.

QUALIFIER SUCCESS

The U.S. has won each of the last five U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifiers it has competed in, earning gold in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2018 while compiling a 41-1 overall record. The program most recently captured gold in the event with a perfect 9-0 record in 2018, outscoring its opponents 131-27.

POOL STANDINGS

United States (3-0)

Venezuela (2-1)

Canada (1-2)

Puerto Rico (1-2)

Peru (0-3)

INSIDE THE ROSTER

Team USA’s 20-man roster features four members who have previously donned the stars and stripes. A trio of players reunite on the roster after earning spots on the 15U National Team: Carson Messina, Austin Nye, and Michael Torres. Additionally, Daniel Arambula (2017) and Torres (2018) played for the 12U National Team, both winning gold medals.

In total, 10 of the 20 players on the roster have participated in USA Baseball development programs, including eight players from the 2022 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP). Arambula, Talan Bell, Matthew Champion, Noah Franco, PJ Morlando, Vaughn Neckar, Ford Thompson, and Torres all participated at this year’s NTDP from July 25-29 in Cary, North Carolina. The roster also includes four players who participated in the 2022 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League: Casey Borba, Roman Martin, Campbell Smithwick and Nazzan Zanetello.

MEET THE COACHES

Denny Hocking is back at the helm of the 18U National Team after guiding the U.S. to a gold medal at this summer’s WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida. The skipper, who owns 13 years of major-league playing experience, has spent time as an analyst, coach, and minor-league manager, and currently works as an analyst on Bally Sports West.

Team USA alum and 14-year MLB veteran Brad Penny returns to the staff as pitching coach after serving in the same role for the program in a friendship series against Canada in 2021. The World Series champ and two-time MLB All-Star led last year’s staff to a 1.53 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 59 innings. Former 12U National Team Manager and longtime Orange Lutheran High School skipper Eric Borba is on staff as an assistant coach, as well as New York Yankees’ minor-league coach James Cooper.

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Rizy Article

Team USA Blasts Three Homers to Take Down Venezuela at World Cup Qualifier

Martin and Morlando go back-to-back, Borba hits three-run shot in 9-4 win
November 7, 2022
Box Score | Plays | Cumulative Stats
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Venzuela 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 4 7 1
Team USA 0 0 3 3 0 3 0 9 8 2

Box Score | Plays | Cumulative Stats

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico – Team USA hit three home runs to take down Venezuela, 9-4, at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier on Sunday evening in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The stars and stripes are now 3-0 in Group B pool play.

After falling into a deficit for the first time in the tournament, the U.S. responded for three runs in both the third and fourth innings to take control of the game. Leading 3-1 in the fourth, Roman Martin (Whittier, Calif.) and PJ Morlando (Summerville, S.C.) delivered back-to-back homers to take all the momentum and extend Team USA’s lead to five. Then, with the U.S. ahead by three in the bottom of the sixth, Casey Borba (Santa Ana, Calif.) demolished a three-run homer over the left-center field wall to add insurance and put the game out of reach.

Martin was key for the U.S. in multiple facets in the win, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs, three runs scored, and several clutch defensive plays at shortstop. Borba also had a two-hit night and drove in a game-high four runs. Daniel Arambula (Yucaipa, Calif.) collected a hit and RBI – driving in the third run of Team USA’s big third inning with an RBI single – and Michael Torres (Town) drew a game-high three walks and scored two runs in the victory.

Carson Messina (Summerville, S.C.) started for Team USA and earned the win, throwing 4.1 innings and allowing three runs (two earned). Messina worked out of several jams throughout the contest, striking out seven batters along the way. Mavrick Rizy (Fiskdale, Mass.) came out of the bullpen and gave the United States 1.2 massive innings, escaping a jam in the fifth and pitching a scoreless sixth. Keider Herrera started for Venezuela and allowed three runs in two plus innings to suffer the loss.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • A hit-by-pitch and error put two on with one out in the top of the first for Venezuela, but Roman Martin and Daniel Arambula turned a clutch double play to keep the game scoreless.
  • Venezuela pitcher Keider Herrera escaped a jam unscathed in the bottom of the second despite Noah Franco singling and Macon Winslow getting hit by a pitch to start the frame.
  • Eduardo Herrera singled and eventually scored on a throwing error to give Venezuela a 1-0 lead in the top of third.
  • The U.S. knotted the game at one when Roman Martin capped a nine-pitch at-bat with an RBI single to left in the bottom of the third.
  • After Casey Borba’s bases-loaded walk gave Team USA a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third, Daniel Arambula hit an opposite-field single to drive in another run and make it a two-run edge for the U.S.
  • With Nazzan Zanetello on third and two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Roman Martin smoked a two-run homer to left-center field and put the stars and stripes in front, 5-1.
  • PJ Morlando hit the second consecutive homer for the U.S. in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 6-1 lead, going opposite field over the left-center field wall.
  • Venezuela scored twice in the top of the fifth to knock Carson Messina out of the game and make the score 6-3, but Mavrick Rizy entered from the bullpen and escaped further trouble.
  • Michael Torres and Roman Martin both walked in the bottom of the sixth before Casey Borba added insurance in a big way, drilling a three-run blast and making the score 9-3 in favor of the red, white, and blue.
  • Venezuela scratched a run across in the seventh but Matthew Champion got the final three outs of the 9-4 victory.

*OF NOTE
*

  • With his two-hit performance against Venezuela, Roman Martin jumps into the team lead in batting average (.571).
  • The U.S. now has two players with multiple home runs in tournament play (Noah Franco and PJ Morlando). Only one other player in the entire event has hit multiple home runs thus far.
  • Nazzan Zanetello stole two bases in the win and the U.S. is now a perfect 5-for-5 on the base paths.
  • With ten more strikeouts in the win on Sunday, Team USA has now punched out 25 batters in 17.0 innings.
  • U.S. hitters got plunked by two pitches in the win and have now gotten hit 13 times over three games.
  • The United States has now scored 16 runs in the third inning of its first three contests, scoring nine against Peru, four against Puerto Rico, and three against Venezuela.
  • Team USA’s 37 runs are the most among all teams at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier.
  • The U.S. has defeated Venezuela ten consecutive times at the U-18 level and is 16-3 all-time in the series.

ON DECK
Team USA concludes pool play on Tuesday against Canada. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. PT/5:00 p.m. ET from Estadio Leonardo Gastelum in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

SOCIAL MEDIA
To follow along with all the action with the 18U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and @USABaseball on FacebookInstagramTikTok, and Twitter.

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8 Article

GAMEDAY: Team USA Looks to Remain Unbeaten at World Cup Qualifier Against Venezuela

First pitch scheduled for 3:00 p.m. PT/5:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Leonardo Gastelum
November 6, 2022
LIVE STATS

LIVE STATS

LOS CABOS, Mexico – The 18U National Team looks to remain unbeaten at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier on Sunday against Venezuela. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. PT/5:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Leonardo Gastelum in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

LAST TIME OUT

Team USA jumped out to a quick start, scoring six runs in the top of the first en route to a 15-2 win over Puerto Rico on Saturday. After PJ Morlando opened the scoring with an RBI double, Noah Franco set the tone for the rest of the game was a three-run homer to give the U.S. a 5-0 lead. The stars and stripes continued scoring all game long, getting multi-hit games from Ty Southisene and Nazzan Zanetello. Franco, Roman Martin, Morlando and Zanetello all drove in multiple runs in the win.

Mason Brassfield started for the U.S. on Saturday and tossed three innings of two-run ball, working around a hit and five walks. Talan Bell and Vaughn Neckar threw the final two innings for Team USA and combined to shut out the Puerto Ricans in those two frames.

HISTORY AGAINST VENEZUELA

In 18 meetings at the U-18 level, the United States is 15-3 all-time against Venezuela. The first game between the two countries was in 1992, which resulted in a 9-2 victory for Venezuela. The two sides last met at the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers, when the U.S. picked up a 12-3 win.

FRANCO ON FIRE

Noah Franco has been a force in the U.S. lineup through the first two games of the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier. Franco has hit two homers and driven in seven runs, leading the tournament in both categories. He is batting .800 (4-for-5) through the two games, also hitting a double.

PITCHING PROWESS

Team USA's pitching staff has been dominant in the earlygoings of the tournament, pitching to a 1.80 ERA through two games. The group has struck out 15 batters in 10 innings, led by Stunner Gonzales' five punch outs. Four of the five pitchers to take the mound for the stars and stripes have not allowed a run.

QUALIFIER SUCCESS

The U.S. has won each of the last five U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifiers it has competed in, earning gold in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2018 while compiling a 41-1 overall record. The program most recently captured gold in the event with a perfect 9-0 record in 2018, outscoring its opponents 131-27.

POOL STANDINGS

United States (2-0)

Venezuela (1-0)

Puerto Rico (1-1)

Peru (0-1)

Canada (0-2)

INSIDE THE ROSTER

Team USA’s 20-man roster features four members who have previously donned the stars and stripes. A trio of players reunite on the roster after earning spots on the 15U National Team: Carson Messina, Austin Nye, and Michael Torres. Additionally, Daniel Arambula (2017) and Torres (2018) played for the 12U National Team, both winning gold medals.

In total, 10 of the 20 players on the roster have participated in USA Baseball development programs, including eight players from the 2022 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP). Arambula, Talan Bell, Matthew Champion, Noah Franco, PJ Morlando, Vaughn Neckar, Ford Thompson, and Torres all participated at this year’s NTDP from July 25-29 in Cary, North Carolina. The roster also includes four players who participated in the 2022 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League: Casey Borba, Roman Martin, Campbell Smithwick and Nazzan Zanetello.

MEET THE COACHES

Denny Hocking is back at the helm of the 18U National Team after guiding the U.S. to a gold medal at this summer’s WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida. The skipper, who owns 13 years of major-league playing experience, has spent time as an analyst, coach, and minor-league manager, and currently works as an analyst on Bally Sports West.

Team USA alum and 14-year MLB veteran Brad Penny returns to the staff as pitching coach after serving in the same role for the program in a friendship series against Canada in 2021. The World Series champ and two-time MLB All-Star led last year’s staff to a 1.53 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 59 innings. Former 12U National Team Manager and longtime Orange Lutheran High School skipper Eric Borba is on staff as an assistant coach, as well as New York Yankees’ minor-league coach James Cooper.

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Casey Article

Team USA Scores Six in the First, Storms Past Puerto Rico in World Cup Qualifier Pool Play

Franco’s second homer in as many days sets tone in 15-2 win
November 6, 2022
Box Score | Plays | Cumulative Stats
1 2 3 4 5 R H E
Team USA 6 0 4 3 2 15 10 0
Puerto Rico 0 0 2 0 0 2 2 2

Box Score | Plays | Cumulative Stats

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico – Team USA scored six runs in the first inning en route to a 15-2 win over Puerto Rico in World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier pool play on Saturday afternoon in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
  The win moves the U.S. to 2-0 in the tournament’s opening round.

Team USA’s offense came out firing in the top of the first to put six runs on the board almost immediately. The first run came four batters in when PJ Morlando (Summerville, S.C.) smoked an RBI double to right before a wild pitch scored another run to put the U.S. up 2-0. Then, with two on and one out, Noah Franco (Downey, Calif.) socked his second homer in as many days – a blast over the left-field wall – to make it a five-run lead for the United States. Nazzan Zanetello (Florissant, Mo.) capped the rally with an RBI double to make it 6-0 in favor of Team USA, a lead that would continue to grow throughout the game.
  Morlando was all over the box score for the United States. The designated hitter had a hit, two RBIs, and two runs scored, reaching base twice and adding a sacrifice fly. Ty Southisene (Henderson, Nev.) – who reached base in four of his five plate appearances – and Zanetello each had two-hit games for the United States. Zanetello was one of four U.S. players to drive in multiple runs in the win, joined by Franco, Roman Martin (Whittier, Calif.), and Morlando. Macon Winslow (Hertford, N.C.) added a homer in the top of the fifth and scored twice.
  Mason Brassfield (Bakersfield, Calif.) got the start on the mound and gave the U.S. three solid innings, allowing two runs. Brassfield surrendered just one hit but walked five batters, putting traffic on the bases throughout his start. Talan Bell (Oviedo, Fla.) pitched a scoreless fifth to earn the win and Vaughn Neckar (Wildomar, Calif.) secured the final three outs in the fifth. Puerto Rico starter Dickey Gonzalez was tagged for six runs on five hits in 0.1 innings and suffered the loss.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • PJ Morlando delivered the opening run in the six-run first with a hard-hit double to right-center field, bringing home Ty Southisene and giving Team USA a 1-0 lead.
  • After reaching on a fielder’s choice in the top of the first, Casey Borba sprinted home on a wild pitch to make the score 2-0 in favor of Team USA.
  • Noah Franco smoked a three-run homer down the left-field line to bring home Roman Martin and PJ Morlando and extend the U.S. lead to 5-0 in the opening inning.
  • The stars and stripes’ lead became 6-0 in the first when Nazzan Zanetello snuck a double down the left-field line to bring home Macon Winslow.
  • Puerto Rico loaded the bases in the bottom of the first, but Mason Brassfield induced an inning-ending fielder’s choice to keep the U.S. in front by six.
  • Team USA took a 7-0 lead in the top of the third when Ty Southisene singled with two outs and advanced around the bases on wild pitches.
  • The U.S. advantage became 10 in the third when three consecutive walks filled the bases and all three runners scored on a bases-clearing, three-run double by Roman Martin.
  • Puerto Rico cracked the scoreboard and trimmed its deficit to 10-2 on an RBI double by Bryan Rivera and an RBI fielder’s choice from Victor Cartagena in the third.
  • Nazzan Zanetello hit his second RBI double of the game in the top of the fourth to plate Michael Torres and put Team USA in front, 11-2.
  • An RBI single by Campbell Smithwick and a sacrifice fly from PJ Morlando gave Team USA its 12th and 13th runs of the game and made it an 11-run lead in the fourth.
  • In the fifth, Macon Winslow demolished a solo homer over the wall in left-center field to make the score 14-2 in favor of the U.S.
  • After Casey Borba drew a bases-loaded walk to make it a 13-run lead, *Vaughn Neckar *came out of the bullpen in the fifth to lock down the final three outs for Team USA and secure the 15-2 run-rule victory.

OF NOTE

  • Noah Franco has seven RBIs through two games to lead the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier in that category. He is batting .800 (4-for-5) thus far in tournament play.
  • Nazzan Zanetello’s two doubles in Saturday’s win propelled him into the team lead in two-baggers.
  • Casey Borba, Campbell Smithwick, and Michael Torres all drew two walks in the victory.
  • Team USA’s pitching staff owns a 1.80 ERA so far in tournament play, allowing just two runs in 10 innings pitched. The group has struck out 15 batters.
  • The stars and stripes got hit by six pitches in the victory and have now been plunked 11 times in two games of tournament play.
  • The United States has hit four of the eight home runs across all teams at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier.
  • Fifteen runs are the most Team USA has ever scored against Puerto Rico at the U-18 level.
  • The U.S. has now scored 28 runs through two games at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier, the most of any team in the tournament.
  • Team USA has won each of its first two tournament games via the WBSC run rule.
  • The United States improved to 5-0 all-time against Puerto Rico at the U-18 level.

ON DECK
The U.S. is back in action on Sunday against Venezuela at 3:00 p.m. PT/6:00 p.m. ET from Estadio Leonardo Gastelum in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

SOCIAL MEDIA
To follow along with all the action with the 18U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and @USABaseball on FacebookInstagramTikTok, and Twitter.

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Franco Article

Franco’s Big Day Propels Team USA Past Peru in World Cup Qualifier Opener

Grand slam in third highlights three-hit day for Franco in 13-0 win
November 5, 2022
CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico – Noah Franco (Downey, Calif.) had a perfect day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a grand slam to help Team USA beat Peru, 13-0, in the opening game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier on Friday night at
1 2 3 4 5 R H E
Peru 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
Team USA 1 0 9 3 0 13 8 1

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico – Noah Franco (Downey, Calif.) had a perfect day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a grand slam to help Team USA beat Peru, 13-0, in the opening game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier on Friday night at Estadio Leonardo Gastelum in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

With the win, the U.S. begins the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier Opening Round with a 1-0 record.

Leading 2-0 in the bottom of the third, Franco came to the plate and changed the game with one swing, blasting a grand slam to straightway center field and growing Team USA’s advantage to six. Franco’s slam was the first of two homers in the inning, as PJ Morlando (Summerville, S.C.) later turned on a pitch and cranked it deep over the right-field wall to cap a nine-run outburst and give Team USA a 10-0 lead. Franco added two other hits in the victory, singling off the wall in the second and doubling to center field in the fourth.

Austin Nye (Roseville, Calif.) and Morlando were also forces at the plate for the U.S, each driving in two runs. Daniel Arambula (Yucaipa, Calif.), Franco, and Morlando all scored twice in the win, combining for six of the team’s 13 total runs. Casey Borba (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Nazzan Zanetello (Florissant, Mo.) also added a hit and RBI apiece.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Three Peru hitters reached base in the top of the first, but a pickoff by Campbell Smithwick and two big outs by Ford Thompson got the U.S. out of the frame unscathed.
  • After walking and advancing to third on a Casey Borba single, Campbell Smithwick scored on a balk to give Team USA a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
  • Despite Peru putting runners in scoring position with only one out in the top of the third, Ford Thompson wiggled out of trouble to maintain the United States’ one-run lead.
  • PJ Morlando scored on a bases-loaded error in the bottom of the third, growing the U.S. lead to two.
  • With the bases full and one out in the bottom of the third, Noah Franco cranked a grand slam to straightaway center field as Team USA’s advantage became 6-0.
  • The stars and stripes took an 8-0 lead in the bottom of the third when both Talan Bell and Ty Southisene crossed home plate on a fielder’s choice by Casey Borba.
  • PJ Morlando crushed a two-run homer far over the wall in right field to drive in Casey Borba and extend Team USA’s lead to 10-0, capping a nine-run offensive outburst in the bottom of the third.
  • With two out and two on in the bottom of the fourth, Nazzan Zanetello legged out an infield single to drive in Team USA’s eleventh run of the night.
  • Austin Nye smoked a pinch-hit, two-run double in the bottom of the fourth to add a pair of runs and grow Team USA’s lead to 13-0.
  • Stunner Gonzales worked a scoreless fifth inning to secure the run-rule 13-0 victory for the United States.

OF NOTE

  • Pitchers Stunner Gonzales and Ford Thompson combined to surrender just two hits in the opening-night victory, striking out nine.
  • Talan Bell, Noah Franco, and PJ Morlando all stole bases in the victory as the U.S. went a perfect 3-for-3 on the basepaths.
  • The stars and stripes drew six walks in the win. Roman Martin and Campbell Smithwick each reached twice via bases on balls.
  • Team USA sent 12 batters to the plate in its nine-run third inning, hitting two homers in the frame. Peru used four different pitchers in the inning.
  • The U.S. has now won 11 consecutive WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier games.
  • With the win, Team USA improves to 14-0 all-time in WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier opening games.
  • The stars and stripes are now 3-0 all-time against Peru at the U-18 level.

ON DECK
Team USA continues pool play on Saturday with a game against Puerto Rico. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. PT/7:00 p.m. ET from Estadio Leonardo Gastelum in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

SOCIAL MEDIA
To follow along with all the action with the 18U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and @USABaseball on FacebookInstagramTikTok, and Twitter.

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Borba Gameday

GAMEDAY: Team USA Takes on Puerto Rico in World Cup Qualifier Pool Play

First pitch scheduled for 3:00 p.m. PT/6:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Leonardo Gastelum
November 4, 2022
LIVE STATS

LIVE STATS

LOS CABOS, Mexico – The 18U National Team continues play at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier on Saturday against Peru. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. PT/6:00 p.m. ET at Estadio Leonardo Gastelum in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

LAST TIME OUT

The U.S. opened tournament play with a 13-0 win over Peru on Friday evening at Estadio Leonardo Gastelum. After opening the scoring in the bottom of the first, Team USA exploded for nine runs in the third. Noah Franco led the offense all night long, going 3-for-3 with a grand slam, double, and single. PJ Morlando added a homer in the nine-run third, depositing a two-run blast deep over the right-field wall. Austin Nye drove in two runs for the U.S., which also stole three bases in the victory.

Ford Thompson started for Team USA and pitched three scoreless innings, working around baserunners in each frame. Thompson, who struck out four in his three innings, handed the ball to Stunner Gonzales for the fourth and fifth. Gonzales surrendered just one hit and struck out five to earn and lock down the win.

HISTORY AGAINST PUERTO RICO

Team USA has beaten Puerto Rico all four times the nations have met at the U-18 level, dating back to their first contest in 2005. Most recently, the U.S. knocked off Puerto Rico, 8-2, at the 2011 World Cup Qualifiers in Colombia.

OFF TO A GOOD START

By beating Peru on Friday, the 18U National Team continued its streak of winning every tournament opener -- including World Cups and World Cup Qualifiers -- it has played in since 2007. The program is unbeaten all-time in World Cup Qualifier opening games, posting a 14-0 record since competing in its first tournament in 1993.

QUALIFIER SUCCESS

The U.S. has won each of the last five U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifiers it has competed in, earning gold in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2018 while compiling a 41-1 overall record. The program most recently captured gold in the event with a perfect 9-0 record in 2018, outscoring its opponents 131-27.

POOL STANDINGS

United States (1-0)

Puerto Rico (1-0)

Venezuela (0-0)

Canada (0-1)

Peru (0-1)

INSIDE THE ROSTER

Team USA’s 20-man roster features four members who have previously donned the stars and stripes. A trio of players reunite on the roster after earning spots on the 15U National Team: Carson Messina, Austin Nye, and Michael Torres. Additionally, Daniel Arambula (2017) and Torres (2018) played for the 12U National Team, both winning gold medals.

In total, 10 of the 20 players on the roster have participated in USA Baseball development programs, including eight players from the 2022 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP). Arambula, Talan Bell, Matthew Champion, Noah Franco, PJ Morlando, Vaughn Neckar, Ford Thompson, and Torres all participated at this year’s NTDP from July 25-29 in Cary, North Carolina. The roster also includes four players who participated in the 2022 Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League: Casey Borba, Roman Martin, Campbell Smithwick and Nazzan Zanetello.

MEET THE COACHES

Denny Hocking is back at the helm of the 18U National Team after guiding the U.S. to a gold medal at this summer’s WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida. The skipper, who owns 13 years of major-league playing experience, has spent time as an analyst, coach, and minor-league manager, and currently works as an analyst on Bally Sports West.

Team USA alum and 14-year MLB veteran Brad Penny returns to the staff as pitching coach after serving in the same role for the program in a friendship series against Canada in 2021. The World Series champ and two-time MLB All-Star led last year’s staff to a 1.53 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 59 innings. Former 12U National Team Manager and longtime Orange Lutheran High School skipper Eric Borba is on staff as an assistant coach, as well as New York Yankees’ minor-league coach James Cooper.

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macon article

Late Rally Falls Short as Team USA Drops Exhibition Finale to GateWay Community College

Smithwick drives in two in final tune-up for World Cup Qualifier
November 2, 2022
Box Score | Plays
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
GateWay 0 1 2 0 0 1 1 5 9 5
Team USA 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 4 7 0

Box Score | Plays

MESA, Ariz. – Team USA put together a late rally but ultimately fell short, dropping a 5-4 contest to GateWay Community College on Tuesday afternoon at Gene Autry Park in Mesa, Arizona.

It was the final tune-up game as the U.S. gears up for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier from November 4-13 in La Paz and Los Cabos, Mexico.

After the stars and stripes grabbed a quick lead on Campbell Smithwick’s (Conway, S.C.) RBI single in the bottom of the first, GateWay responded with a run in the second and two in the third to take the lead. Team USA eventually battled back to tie the game at three on a sacrifice fly by Casey Borba (Santa Ana, Calif.) in the fifth, but the Geckos scratched a run across in each of the final two frames and held off a seventh-inning rally by the U.S. offense to emerge with the win.

Team USA got multi-hit efforts from Roman Martin (Whittier, Calif.) and Smithwick, who both went 2-for-3 in the defeat. Smithwick drove in a team-high two runs on RBI singles in the opening and final frames. Ty Southisene (Henderson, Nev.) reached base three times and scored on all three occasions, drawing two walks and getting hit by a pitch. Noah Franco (Downey, Calif.) went 1-for-3 and scored Team USA’s only other run.

Mason Brassfield (Bakersfield, Calif.) got the ball to start for Team USA on the mound and tossed 2.0 innings, allowing one run and striking out five. Austin Nye (Roseville, Calif.) struck out three and allowed two runs in two innings of work for the U.S., who also got innings from Mavrick Rizy (Fiskdale, Mass.) and Cade Townsend (Aliso Viejo, Calif.).

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Ty Southisene led off the bottom of the first with a walk and eventually scored on a two-out single by Campbell Smithwick, giving Team USA an early 1-0 edge.
  • GateWay’s Braden Watkins drew a leadoff walk in the top of the second and came around to score on a wild pitch to knot the score at one.
  • A pair of two-out doubles put GateWay in front in the top of the third as Braden Watkins split the gap in left-center field to make it 3-1 in favor of the Geckos.
  • Roman Martin got the U.S. back within a run in the bottom of the third with an RBI single past the drawn-in infield, trimming the deficit to 3-2.
  • Macon Winslow led off the stars and stripes’ half of the fourth with a double but was stranded after a double play to keep the Geckos in front by a run.
  • After reaching on a hit-by-pitch to lead off the bottom of the fifth, Noah Franco came home on a deep sacrifice fly by Casey Borba to tie the game at three.
  • GateWay jumped back in front in the top of the sixth on the strength of a two-out RBI single by RJ Molina, giving the Geckos a 4-3 advantage.
  • RJ Molina hit his second RBI single in as many innings to put the Geckos up 5-3 in the top of the seventh.
  • An RBI single by Campbell Smithwick put Team USA within a run in the bottom of the final frame, but GateWay’s Kyle Cop coaxed a pop out and a fly out with runners on the corners to secure the Geckos’ victory.

OF NOTE

  • Ty Southisene stole two bases in Tuesday’s game, giving the U.S. four swiped bags in two games.
  • Team USA’s pitching staff finished its two-game exhibition slate with 25 strikeouts in 15.1 innings of work. Mason Brassfield and Carson Messina led the group with five punch outs apiece.
  • Thanks to his two-hit performance on Tuesday, Roman Martin concluded exhibition play with a team-high three hits.
  • Casey Borba’s sacrifice fly gave him four RBIs in the two-game exhibition schedule, putting him in the team lead in that category.
  • The U.S. offense displayed patience at the plate in exhibition action, drawing 10 walks as a team.
  • Team USA did not commit a single error over its two games to post a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

ON DECK

Team USA will travel to the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier in La Paz and Los Cabos, Mexico, from November 4-13.

SOCIAL MEDIA

To follow along with all the action with the 18U National Team, be sure to follow @USABaseball18U on Twitter and @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

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