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

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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.

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