Team USA Finishes Pool Play With 4-1 Win Over Venezuela

Box Score & Plays | Cumulative Stats

TAIPEI, TaiwanLevi Sterling (Los Angeles, Calif.) pitched four shutout innings as the United States took down Venezuela, 4-1, in its pool play finale at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup on Tuesday afternoon at Tianmu Baseball Stadium.

The U.S. finishes pool play with a 4-1 mark, while Venezuela’s record sits at 1-4.

Despite tossing four scoreless innings, Sterling’s day had a tumultuous beginning when Venezuela collected back-to-back hits to put two in scoring position with no outs in the first. The right-hander locked in, however, getting a ground out, fly out, and strikeout to strand both runners on base and get the momentum back on the U.S. side. When Venezuela then put runners on in the third and fourth innings, Sterling–who earned the win–quickly erased them with inning-ending double plays to keep a zero on the scoreboard. Jack McKernan (Missouri City, Texas) then yielded a run in 1.2 innings of work before Joey Oakie (Ankeny, Iowa) and Noah Franco (Downey, Calif.) combined to finish off the victory.

Offensively, it was a quiet day for the U.S., which only collected three hits. Manny Marin (Miami, Fla.) kept his hot bat going, notching a hit for the fifth consecutive game. Derek Curiel (West Covina, Calif.) and Coy James (Advance, N.C.) delivered the only other knocks for the stars and stripes, while PJ Morlando (Summerville, S.C.) drew a pair of walks.


  • Two consecutive hits put runners on second and third with nobody out in the top of the first for Venezuela, but Sterling induced a ground out, fly out, and strikeout to escape unscathed.
  • James led off the U.S. half of the first with a single, advanced to second on a walk, and then scored on a fielder’s choice and throwing error to give Team USA an early 1-0 lead.
  • A single and a hit batter put two on with one out for Venezuela in the third, but Sterling again got out of trouble by coaxing a 5-4-3 double play to keep the one-run lead intact.
  • After a well-struck single put Marin aboard to begin the third inning, he made his way around the bases and scored on a wild pitch as the United States’ lead became 2-0.
  • The U.S. advantage grew to four in the third on a sacrifice fly by Konnor Griffin (Florence, Miss.) that plated James and a balk that brought Curiel home from third.
  • A two-out rally led to Venezuela cracking the scoreboard in the sixth on an RBI single by Francisco Rivero.
  • Venezuela brought the tying run to the plate in the sixth before Oakie entered to put out the fire, getting a big swinging strikeout as the U.S. held onto its 4-1 lead.
  • A sliding catch by Curiel in right center field recorded the final out of the 4-1 victory for Team USA.


  • Collecting a hit in all five games of pool play, Marin owns a .500 batting average to lead the team. His two doubles also lead the club at the completion of Group B play.
  • James’ leadoff single in the first was his team-leading sixth hit of the tournament. His six knocks tie for second among all players in the World Cup.
  • Sterling joins Carter Johnson (Oxford, Ala.) and Ethan Schiefelbein (Corona, Calif.) as the three U.S. starters to toss at least four innings and allow no runs.
  • By permitting just one run in Tuesday’s victory, the United States lowered its tournament ERA to 1.80.
  • The U.S. improves to 17-3 against Venezuela all-time at the U-18 level and 8-1 at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup.


Team USA advances to the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup Super Round, where it will play three games with the schedule to be announced later this evening. Catch all the action from Tianmu Baseball Stadium by watching live on


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.