USA BASEBALL NEWS

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3 Up, 3 Down With Trevor Plouffe

April 27, 2020
We are joined by two-time USA Baseball alum and 2009 World Champion Trevor Plouffe. Trevor won a silver medal a member of the former 16U National Team back in 2002, and won a gold medal at the IBAF World Cup in 2009 in Italy as a member of the Professional
We are joined by two-time USA Baseball alum and 2009 World Champion Trevor Plouffe. Trevor won a silver medal a member of the former 16U National Team back in 2002, and won a gold medal at the IBAF World Cup in 2009 in Italy as a member of the Professional National Team.
After being taken in the first round of the 2004 MLB Draft, he spent eight years in the Big Leagues with the Minnesota Twins, Oakland As, Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies. He hit 106 career homers while in the Bigs, and his USA Baseball and pro careers includes two very memorable walk-off home runs that we will get into.

USA Baseball (USAB): What got a young Trevor Plouffe started in baseball?
Trevor Plouffe (TP): Well, I had an older brother. So, that was the start of it. My dad played baseball in high school and was always a fan of the sport. Then, he got my brother playing it and that was kind of the dynamic, right? I wanted to do everything my older brother did. So I played along with him-he's four years older than me-so I was playing catch up the entire time. He would dominate me for years and I was just trying to be like him. I think it helped be develop earlier, maybe, because I was always playing against older kids with him. But that is one hundred-percent why I fell in love with baseball, because I got to spend time with my older brother. 
USAB: Was there any particular point where it clicked in your mind that you could keep up with the older guys?
TP: Out of necessity we played on the same Little League team. I was eight years old and he was 12. I was good for an eight-year-old, but should I have been playing with 12 year olds? I don't know. But we had to-we lived 45 minutes from where we played, so for my parents to have two practices to go to, it just wasn't going to happen. So we were on the same team and, again, you play with those guys and they are older… you get frustrated because you're losing all the time and it drives you. And that is where I started developing a passion to be better. I just wanted to fit in.
USAB: Other than your brother, was there anyone else that served as a hero or had a strong influence in your love of baseball or sports?
TP:
At that time in my life, not really. I just wanted to play and have fun with him. And then as you get older you start to watch baseball on TV… I grew up in LA-outside of LA-so I was a big Dodgers fan. I liked weird players. One of my favorite players was Brett Butler growing up and I bet that he's not been a lot for people. He was my guy. He bunted a lot. I was so small that I bunted and that was part of my game. I was a little fast so I would bunt because maybe I couldn't hit as well as the other guys. So I resonated with that. The Dodgers at the time had the five rookies of the year in a row: Mike Piazza, Todd Hollandsworth, Hideo Nomo, Eric Karros, and Raúl Mondesi, possibly. The Dodgers early on in my childhood helped my love for baseball grow.
USAB: You were named to the USA Baseball 16U National Team roster and go play in the Pan-American Youth Championships in Venezuela. What was that experience like for you, especially at such a young age?
TP: It was awesome! We went to a tournament in Arizona and I was selected to try out for the team. That was the first time I felt like I was surrounded by guys who I was like, 'Whoa, this guy is really good.' [It was the] first time I really questioned myself, if I am as good as some of these guys. I went to the tryout and I was. And, it was cool I made the team, so that was a big confidence booster for me. Then we went to Venezuela and that was the first I had ever been out of the country. It was an eye-opening experience for me. I had a great time. I think we flew into Caracas, and then went to Barquisimeto and went to a bunch of a different fields. It was a completely new experience for me and it's something I will never forget. I have very vivid memories of that time: getting the silver medal-we lost to Cuba, which was tough. Being able to play against different countries [while] wearing USA across your chest… I think anybody that you ask that plays for Team USA will tell you, it is different. It's just different. It is a selfless brand of baseball. You don't care necessarily how you do, you just want to win. You don't get that a lot. Even in Pro ball, you're playing because it's your job. But [with] Team USA, it's all about red, white and blue, and it was the first time I experience that and it was great.
USAB: What were your first impressions-culturally-of how the game is treated and played across the globe, as opposed to the one style that you grew up with here in the States?
TP:  I think they are just a little bit more fanatical about about it, a little bit more passionate about it. I don't want to say that people in the U.S. aren't passionate about baseball. Clearly, we are. But, it's different. It's a more vocal type of passion for it. You're going to be playing against them and they're going to be cheering, and they're going to be doing different things all game. And their fans are doing the same thing! It's a different type of vibe, similar to what guys will you tell you playing winter ball. In that particular tournament, I think it was just teams from Latin America, so that vibe is wild. They party in the stands. I love that type of baseball and I love the Latin teammates I played with, bringing that energy. I just love that type of energy. That's the first thing you notice and then they are really good at baseball.. It's our national pastime but these countries are really good at baseball.
USAB: You were drafted in the first round to the Minnesota Twins as a teenager. What was your transition like with this sort of fast forwarding in your baseball career? You were playing high school baseball and then all of a sudden it's professional?
TP: The biggest thing-and it's similar to what I said earlier-when you start to play in tryouts, [I'm] not sure if I was good enough. I was a first rounder, 20th overall, [and I earned] all the accolades you could get in high school, so I was confident in my ability. Then you get to Spring Training and Pro ball and it's like 'Man, every single person is good.' Every single person was like I was in high school. They were the best players in their area and you just have to go and prove yourself all over again. It doesn't matter what round you go in or how much money they give you to sign. That is going to give you more opportunities to fail, but you still have to go prove yourself against the best of the best. 
That was very eye opening to me when I first got to Spring Training. Everyone is just really, really good. How are you going to separate yourself? I remember being sent to Elizabethon (Editor's Note: Rookie-Level club in the Minnesota Twins system) and we had Angelo Fermin. He was a 21-year-old shortstop and he was really good, and I was like, 'I am going to have to battle this guy to play shortstop.' My teammates would say, 'Bro, you're a first rounder, you're going to play.' But, in my mind, I was like, 'This guy is better than me. I have to go be better than him or I'm not going to play.' So… that competitiveness comes back out and you have to keep going. Just because you drafted into Pro ball doesn't mean anything. You just have to go and continue to improve your game and find ways to get better.
USAB: Prior to the Draft, what was the first point in your baseball career that you felt being drafted into MLB was going to be a possibility?
TP: I don't know the exact point. I did some showcase stuff-I didn't do a lot of that. I do remember one in particular. Delmon Young-a buddy of mine- was going to do some showcase and he couldn't do it, so he told the people to let me fill in for him. Again, I was young for that showcase, but I went and did well, and I think after that I started to get some notoriety. Colleges started coming to my games and [I was] thinking, 'OK, I can go to college, this is pretty cool.' That was my goal. I wanted to go to college, play baseball. I didn't want to have to pay for college, we all know about that. Nobody wants to take out of college loans or take out that debt. That was my thing in high school: I want to play in college, get an education and see where life takes me. Senior year in high school I start to realize I have a chance to get drafted but, still, my focus was to go to college. Once I had that in the bag-I signed with USC-then it was like, 'We'll see what happens.' Even on Draft day, I wasn't sure. I knew I had to get drafted pretty high to forgo going to USC. I wasn't sure it was going to happen but it ended up happening. Again, it wasn't really until late my senior year that I was really like Pro ball was a real possibility.
USAB: How do you feel about walk-off home runs? You have to be good at those. You had one big one with Team USA and one that I think is your final major league home run. Can you walk us through both of those, starting with the one with Team USA?
TP: That was a great game! That was the second time I was on the U.S. team (Editor's Note: 2009 Professional National Team) and I was a professional at that time. We were in… I want to say it was Italy, but it could have been in Germany… it could have been either of those places, which was awesome. We were playing against Team Australia and I had buddies that were on the Australian team. People thing it is USA versus Australia, the U.S. should dominate. That's not the case, There is some really good Australia players. They had a bunch of those guys on that team. It was just kind of like a game we had to win… and we were back and forth with them all day. I came up in the bottom of the-I don't know if we played nine innings or seven in that tournament… I assume nine-I came up and had a good at bat. I remember the swing still. I hit and knew it was gone right away and that is one of the coolest feelings you can have as a baseball player. You ended the game. You get to slow trot around the bases. You get to see your teammates waiting for you. It's just different. USA is just different. It's a different type of baseball. It put us into a really good position to be in the Final Round, but that was the craziest emotional game I had played in, in a long time. Going through the Minor Leagues, you're not going to get too many emotional games at that point… [I was] still trying to work my way up and to have that happen was really cool. I still… when I see guys, they still remember that game.
USAB: For the second walk-off home run, you, for whatever reason, had some success against position players hitting. You were 2-for-2 in your career, including this walk-off home run in the 16th inning against the Dodgers. What was that like?
TP: I had another one against Cleveland earlier in my career that was a lot of fun. But on the tail end of my career, I was starting in the Minor Leagues that year, and worked my way back up to the Bigs, which is a cool accomplishment. And then against my hometown Dodgers… I was not starting that game but I came in… I think I came on in the 10th inning-or something like that-and Rich Hill was warming up. I was going to hit and I'm stoked, I like lefties and Rich Hill is a pretty good pitcher, but I'll take my chances. And Gabe Kapler, who I grew up with and who was my manager-we just had a cool connection-and he really… we really wanted this series. It was a big series for us in the year. And, all of a sudden, we see Kike Hernández run out to the mound and I have never seen a bigger sigh of relief from someone than Kap did. He was like [audible deep sigh]. And, yes, I went up, hit a home run. I felt really confident in the at bat. I knew how to calm my emotions down so I went and hit a home run. It was great and now I do have the distinction as the best hitter ever in the history of baseball against position players pitching: 2-for-2, two home runs. I don't think anybody is ever going to beat that. If they do, 'Kudos, bro." But, right now, I've got that title. So I'm happy with that. It's kind of funny but it's true.
USAB: As far as the walk-offs are concerned: Did you have a knack for coming up with that kind of big, clutch hit? 
TP: No, but you know, you just want to be up in those moments. Or you better want to be up in those moments. You don't want to be the guy that shies away from that. That's not going to be good for you career. That's what you play for. You want to be the guy who wins the game. You want to be the guy who is up to bat against the good pitcher and have the chance to do something for your team. I've always… sometimes you feel nervous and that's fine, but make sure you want to be up there. That's how I've always felt. If I'm hitting fifth in the ninth and we have a chance to win the game, I'm like, 'I want two of you get out because I want to be the guy.' It sounds funny to say that but you better have that mindset or else you're just not going to succeed in those situations. There are times I wasn't as confident but I tricked myself into being confident because you have to be that way if you want to have success. 
USAB: You are a two-time USA Baseball alum, once at 16U level and another at Professional level… those are drastically different points in your career. What did those experiences do for your baseball career?
TP: It's a different type of baseball when you're playing with 'USA' across your chest. It's a selfless type of baseball, so I think you kind of have to have a little bit of that in you as well and I think that helps you. I'll reiterate how it made me confident. Knowing I'm playing with the best players in the country for that age group… it's something that is going to help you out a ton in your confidence. Everybody goes through that: you wanna know if you're good enough. And, a lot of times, you don't know. To go and put yourself in those situations and for the first one [16U National Team], I went through a tryout and got picked. That really helped me out. I really took that into my high school career and did well with that. When I was a Pro, I… played with the best guys in the Minor Leagues, had success, and the next year I was in the Big Leagues. I think there is a direct correlation to that. Just that confidence that it brings… I mean, when you put that jersey on it just gives you… it's automatic confidence.
USAB: Tell us about what you have going on currently with your new show called 'Sequence.' What is it and how did it come about?
TP: It's really cool. I partnered up with Jomboy Media. I was a fan of their's before I started working with them. I got to meet Jimmy and Jake, who run the show there, and we had a great rapport right away. I knew right then I wanted to work with them … I met them last year in November and we've been going strong ever since. A week ago we launched my show called 'Sequence.' Basically, what it is, I take some guys that I like-the guys that are buddies of mine that are still playing in the Big Leagues-and we take them through an at-bat that they use to get their proprioception back. Every hitter has couple videos -maybe a handful of videos-that they go back and they look at to feel comfortable and to get that feeling back. I like to ask guys, 'What is your highlight?' They give me the highlight and we run through it pitch-by-pitch and it's really cool to have that flowing conversation. You're able to get crazy insights like… we had Mitch Garver on, who is the Silver Slugger award winner for catcher's last year (Editor's Note: Garver won Silver Slugger for the American League), and just to hear him talk… there is a lot of hitting on Twitter you know, guys speaking absolutes. It's fun to hear the best of the best talking about it because they are going to tell you there is more than one way to do it, this is how I approach it, and this is what I was thinking during this at bat. It's just cool to open up their minds a little bit because I don't think the public gets to see that too often. Guys are really guarded, but I try to break the walls down a little bit, let you in on what guys are thinking at the big-league-level. We have three episodes out right now, we're going to do many more. Check it out on Jomboy Media on YouTube and search for the Sequence.
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2000GoldMedal-GamedaySocial-0920

On This Date: September 20, 2000 – Korea vs. USA (Sydney Olympic Games)

Mientkiewicz lifts Team USA over Korea with go-ahead grand slam
September 20, 2020
On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA shut out Korea 4-0 in a pitcher’s duel for the ages. Roy Oswalt threw seven shutout innings of his own and recorded his first win of the tournament as Team USA brought its Olympic record to 4-0. After falling 15-0 in

On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA shut out Korea 4-0 in a pitcher’s duel for the ages. Roy Oswalt threw seven shutout innings of his own and recorded his first win of the tournament as Team USA brought its Olympic record to 4-0.

After falling 15-0 in an exhibition game to Team USA, Korea decided to switch up their pitching in game four of the Olympics and started their submarine pitcher, Tae-Hyon Chong. The decision proved to be the right move as Chong pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out five, forcing Oswalt to match.

However, Oswalt lived up to the challenge, even striking out one more on 100 pitches. Behind Oswalt was impeccable defense such as Adam Everett’s continuous work at shortstop and Mike Kinkade’s clutch play at third. In a bases-loaded sixth inning, Kinkade made a diving play, tagging third and making the throw to first for the inning-ending double play and preserving the shutout for the Americans.

The Koreans switched up pitching in the eighth resulting in just what Team USA needed. In the bottom half of the inning with one out, Mike Neill connected on a single to right and Ernie Young managed to get on base with a walk. Despite a change in pitchers, Kinkade forced a walk and loaded the bases for Doug Mientkiewicz.

With one swing on a 3-2 count, Mientkiewicz broke through the shutout and hit a go-ahead grand slam for Team USA.

Chris George and Ryan Franklin ended the game on the mound for Team USA as the squad defeated Korea and moved on to their next challenge in Italy.

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
KOR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 2
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 4 8 0
Win: R. Oswalt Loss: T. Chong | Box Score

 

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

- Roy Oswalt recorded six strikeouts and didn’t allow a single run in seven innings on 100 pitches
- Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-4 with four RBIs on the go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the eighth
- Ernie Young was 1-for-3 with one run and a stolen base
- Brent Abernathy recorded his third double of the Olympics

 

QUOTABLES

- “I was at second base, so I had a perfect angle to see the pitch. Doug was seeing the ball really clearly, because he laid off some tough pitches to hit. I knew the way he was seeing it, he was going to have a productive at-bat, and he didn’t miss the fastball. The guy had to challenge him, with a full count.” Ernie Young (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

- "We've had some difficulty with the different pitching we've faced, but we're finding ways to score," Mientkiewicz said. "We've had different guys come through." Doug Mientkiewicz (Baseball America)

- “If Kinkade doesn’t make that double play, we lose. I don’t get my chance to shine. But I have a great still-frame memory of that moment, running up the line with my finger in the air, and (first-base coach) Reggie Smith high-fiving me. That was one of the longest home runs I’ve ever hit in my life.” Doug Mientkiewicz (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

 

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2000GoldMedal-GamedaySocial-0919

On This Date: September 19, 2000 – USA vs. Netherlands (Sydney Olympic Games)

Team USA ties Cuba for best Olympic record with win over Netherlands
September 19, 2020
On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA moved to 3-0 in the Sydney Olympic Games with a 6-2 win over the Netherlands. Kurt Ainsworth got the start on the mound for Team USA in what he called the most important game of his life. Brent Abernathy got Team

On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA moved to 3-0 in the Sydney Olympic Games with a 6-2 win over the Netherlands. Kurt Ainsworth got the start on the mound for Team USA in what he called the most important game of his life.

Brent Abernathy got Team USA started with a leadoff double and the rest of the American squad wasted no time in following suit. Brad Wilkerson put runners on the corners with a bunt and Ernie Young brought the pair home with a double of his own to left field, taking a 2-0 first inning lead.

Despite a bases-loaded inning in the bottom half of the first, Ainsworth was able to preserve the lead, allowing only one run and getting out of the inning with a force out and double play.

From there, the offense just clicked for Team USA. Young and Wilkerson added to the lead each with solo home runs in the third and sixth innings respectively and single runs sparked by Young in the seventh and eighth widened the gap to 6-2 for Team USA.

With the win, Team USA moved to 3-0 to tie Cuba for the best record in the Olympics.

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 2 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 6 8 0
NED 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 8 0
Win: K. Ainsworth Loss: R. Cordemans | Box Score

  

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

- Ainsworth allowed only one run on five hits through 6 2/3 innings and recorded three strikeouts
- Abernathy was 2-for-4 with a leadoff double
- Wilkerson was 2-for-5 with a home run in the sixth inning
- Ernie Young was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a home run in the third inning

 

QUOTABLES

- “We beat a good team. They beat us in the exhibition round, so it was important that we came back and won this one. We can't look past any team. We have to win every game, and it doesn't matter who we play.” Ernie Young (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

- “This was the best we've played as a team. We put everything together today, with power, timely hits and error-free baseball. That's important. Now we just have to keep doing it." Ernie Young (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

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2000GoldMedal-GamedaySocial-0918

On This Date: September 18, 2000 – South Africa vs. USA (Sydney Olympic Games)

Cotton sets Team USA Olympic record in win over South Africa
September 18, 2020
On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA continued its Olympic run and moved to 2-0 after a dominating 11-1 victory over South Africa. Jon Rauch got the start on the mound for the Americans recording 13 strikeouts and allowing only three hits and one run on the day.

On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA continued its Olympic run and moved to 2-0 after a dominating 11-1 victory over South Africa. Jon Rauch got the start on the mound for the Americans recording 13 strikeouts and allowing only three hits and one run on the day.

After trailing 1-0 in the first inning, Brad Wilkerson tripled to right field and fired up the Team USA offense. Ernie Young managed to get on base with a walk and John Cotton brought the pair home with a two-run double down the first-base line, giving Team USA a 2-1 lead.

Cotton continued to lead the way at the plate collecting an Olympic record five RBIs as Team USA tallied nine more runs throughout the second, fourth and sixth innings and never looked back. Brent Abernathy, Doug Mientkiewicz and Pat Borders all managed hits as the American squad crusied to a 10-1 lead after five innings.

Mike Neill recorded his second home run of the Games in as many days in the sixth inning, giving Team USA a 10-run lead. After South Africa was unable to produce a run in the top of the seventh, Neill’s solo shot was the deciding factor and ended the game early due to the international 10-run rule.

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
RSA 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 1
USA 2 5 0 3 0 1 - 11 9 1
Win: J. Rauch Loss: L. Mauritz | Box Score

 

 

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

- Jon Rauch’s 13 strikeouts was one short of the Team USA Olympic record for strikeouts in a game (B.J. Wallace, 1992)
- John Cotton’s five RBIs set a Team USA Olympic record
- Mike Neill hit his second home run of the Games
- Brad Wilkerson was 2-for-3 at the plate and recorded a stolen base

 

QUOTABLES

- “I had to settle down and focus and get back to what I do best, which is throw strikes. It took me a while to settle down and get in a rhythm with (Pat) Borders, but once I did that, I threw well.” Jon Rauch (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

- “The record really does mean everything…I’m getting a chance to show teams in the U.S. and overseas that I can play this game, and hopefully help us win a gold medal, too.” John Cotton (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

- “It’s important that we are off to a 2-0 start, but every night is important. That’s what’s different about this tournament.” John Cotton (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

 

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2000GoldMedal-GamedaySocial-0917

On This Date: September 17, 2000 - Japan vs. USA (Sydney Olympic Games)

Team USA captures first Olympic win with extra innings walk-off
September 17, 2020
On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA opened the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games with an instant classic against Japan. After six scoreless innings and still tied throughout nine, the second game of the Olympics became the longest in history since baseball became a medal sport. Mike Neill gave

On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA opened the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games with an instant classic against Japan. After six scoreless innings and still tied throughout nine, the second game of the Olympics became the longest in history since baseball became a medal sport. Mike Neill gave Team USA its first Olympic win with a two-run walk-off home run in extra innings.

Ben Sheets threw seven scoreless innings on the mound and recorded three strikeouts for Team USA before reaching his pitch count for the day. Japan’s Daisuke Matsuzaka held Team USA off until the bottom of the seventh when John Cotton tripled to lead off the inning. Cotton put Team USA on the board after coming around on a single by Mike Kinkade. A hit-and-run by Doug Mientkiewicz moved Kinkade to third and a Marcus Jensen fielder’s choice brought the score to 2-0 for Team USA.

Japan answered with a run in both the eighth and ninth innings and forced the game into extras. Ryan Franklin took over on the mound for Team USA and threw four shut-out innings, tallying four strikeouts along the way.

In the bottom of the 13th inning, Mike Neill hit a towering two-run home run to right field and gave Team USA a 4-2 walk-off win over Japan.

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 R H E
JPN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 7 1
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 10 3
Win: R. Franklin Loss: T. Sugiuchi | Box Score

 

 

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

- Ben Sheets pitched seven scoreless innings and recorded three strikeouts
- Ryan Franklin pitched four scoreless innings and recorded four strikeouts picking up the win in relief
- Mike Neill went 2-for-4 and hit a two-run walk-off home run

 

QUOTABLES

- “I wouldn’t say anything about it was normal. I got caught up in the moment. It was an unbelievable feeling, because I knew it was gone when I hit it. It was an intense game, and I’m glad it’s over with.” Mike Neill (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

- "We’ve got a good ballclub. I think we have a pretty complete team, because we played great defense today, we showed we can pitch and have a good bullpen, and we have a little power.” Tommy Lasorda (Baseball America)

- “This is bigger than the Dodgers, bigger than Major League Baseball. We’re doing this for America.” Tommy Lasorda (Miracle on Grass)

 


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One Hundred and Sixty-Five USA Baseball Alumni on 2020 Opening Day Rosters

Twenty-nine of the 30 MLB Clubs boast at least one alum on their roster
July 24, 2020
CARY, N.C. - One hundred and sixty-five USA Baseball alumni appear on 2020 Major League Baseball Opening Day rosters, the organization announced on Friday. Twenty-nine of the 30 MLB Clubs claimed at least one past member of Team USA on their rosters to start the season, with 26 teams featuring
CARY, N.C. - One hundred and sixty-five USA Baseball alumni appear on 2020 Major League Baseball Opening Day rosters, the organization announced on Friday.
Twenty-nine of the 30 MLB Clubs claimed at least one past member of Team USA on their rosters to start the season, with 26 teams featuring four or more. The Cincinnati Reds led the way with 10 alums, followed closely by the Texas Rangers with nine and the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays with eight each.
Of the 165 alumni, 44 have suited up for the red, white and blue multiple times, led by the Chicago Cubs' Albert Almora who has played for Team USA seven times in his baseball career. Additionally, there are 19 members of the championship-winning 2017 World Baseball Classic Team, as well as Jake Arrieta, Dexter Fowler and Stephen Strasburg, who helped lead the U.S. to a bronze medal as part of the 2008 Olympic Team.
In addition to the 165 alumni playing on Opening Day rosters, there are also six USA Baseball alumni managing around the league, including Aaron Boone (New York Yankees), Terry Francona (Cleveland Indians), Joe Girardi (Philadelphia Phillies), Dave Roberts (Los Angeles Dodgers), David Ross (Chicago Cubs) and Scott Servais (Seattle Mariners).
The complete list of USA Baseball alumni in the Major Leagues is updated daily throughout the season and can be found here.
The complete list of USA Baseball alumni, by Major League club, who appeared on 2020 Opening Day rosters is as follows:
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (4)
Jon Jay - 2005 Collegiate
Carson Kelly - 2010 16U; 2011 18U
Robbie Ray - 2009 18U
Luke Weaver - 2013 Collegiate
ATLANTA BRAVES (7)
Travis D'Arnaud - 2011 Professional
Freddie Freeman - 2005 16U; 2006 18U
Mark Melancon - 2005 Collegiate; 2017 Professional (WBC)
A.J. Minter - 2014 Collegiate
Dansby Swanson - 2014 Collegiate
Touki Toussaint - 2011 16U
Kyle Wright - 2016 Collegiate
BALTIMORE ORIOLES (4)
Mychal Givens - 2006 16U; 2007 18U; 2017 Professional (WBC)
Rio Ruiz - 2007, 2008 14U
D.J. Stewart - 2014 Collegiate
Asher Wojciechowski - 2009 Collegiate
BOSTON RED SOX (4)
Matt Barnes - 2010 Collegiate
Jackie Bradley, Jr. - 2010 Collegiate
Jonathan Lucroy - 2013, 2017 Professional (WBC)
Alex Verdugo - 2010 14U
CHICAGO CUBS (7)
Albert Almora - 2007, 2008 14U; 2009, 2010 16U; 2010, 2011 18U; 2015 Professional
Kris Bryant - 2012 Collegiate
Nico Hoerner - 2011 14U; 2012 15U
Craig Kimbrel - 2013 Professional (WBC)
Dillon Maples - 2010 18U
Kyle Ryan - 2009 18U
Kyle Schwarber - 2013 Collegiate
CHICAGO WHITE SOX (8)
Steve Cishek - 2013 Professional (WBC)
Zack Collins - 2011 16U; 2014 Collegiate
Nicky Delmonico - 2008 16U; 2013, 2014 18U
Ross Detwiler - 2006 Collegiate; 2013 Professional (WBC)
Gio Gonzalez - 2013 Professional (WBC)
Yasmani Grandal - 2009 Collegiate
James McCann - 2011 Professional
Carlos Rodon - 2012, 2013 Collegiate
CINCINNATI REDS (10)
Trevor Bauer - 2009 Collegiate
Nick Castellanos - 2009 18U
Kyle Farmer - 2012 Collegiate
Sonny Gray - 2009, 2010 Collegiate
Travis Jankowski - 2015 Professional
Nate Jones - 2017 Professional (WBC)
Michael Lorenzen - 2008 16U; 2010 18U; 2011, 2012 Collegiate
Mike Moustakas - 2006 18U; 2010 Professional
Lucas Sims - 2010 16U
Jesse Winker - 2011 18U
CLEVELAND INDIANS (5)
Christian Arroyo - 2012 18U
Francisco Lindor - 2009 16U; 2010 18U
Tyler Naquin - 2011 Collegiate
Adam Plutko - 2012 Collegiate
Bradley Zimmer - 2013 Collegiate
COLORADO ROCKIES (6)
Nolan Arenado - 2017 Professional (WBC)
Daniel Bard - 2003 18U; 2004 Collegiate
David Dahl - 2011 18U
Garrett Hampson - 2015 Collegiate
Daniel Murphy - 2017 Professional (WBC)
Tony Wolters - 2008 16U; 2009, 2010 18U
DETROIT TIGERS (4)
Kyle Funkhouser - 2014 Collegiate
Grayson Greiner - 2013 Collegiate
Jordy Mercer - 2007 Collegiate; 2011 Professional
Christin Stewart - 2014 Collegiate
HOUSTON ASTROS (5)
Alex Bregman - 2010 16U; 2011 18U; 2013, 2014 Collegiate; 2017 Professional (WBC)
Lance McCullers - 2010 18U
George Springer - 2010 Collegiate
Kyle Tucker - 2012 15U
Justin Verlander - 2003 Collegiate
KANSAS CITY ROYALS (5)
Danny Duffy - 2010 Professional; 2017 Professional (WBC)
Alex Gordon - 2004 Collegiate
Ian Kennedy - 2002 18U; 2004, 2005 Collegiate
Mike Montgomery - 2010 Professional
Brett Phillips - 2015 Professional
LOS ANGELES ANGELS (8)
Jason Castro - 2009 Professional
Max Stassi - 2006, 2007 16U; 2008 18U
Noe Ramirez - 2010 Collegiate
Anthony Rendon - 2010 Collegiate
Matt Thaiss - 2015 Collegiate
Mike Trout - 2010 Professional
Justin Upton - 2004 18U
Taylor Ward - 2014 Collegiate
LOS ANGELES DODGERS (5)
Walker Buehler - 2014 Collegiate
Joe Kelly - 2007 Collegiate
Jake McGee - 2017 Professional (WBC)
AJ Pollock - 2011 Professional
Corey Seager - 2010 16U
MIAMI MARLINS (1)
Ryne Stanek - 2011, 2012 Collegiate
MILWAUKEE BREWERS (8)
Ryan Braun - 2009, 2013 Professional (WBC)
J.P. Feyereisen - 2019 Professional
Josh Hader - 2015 Professional
Keston Hiura - 2016 Collegiate
Corey Knebel - 2011 Collegiate
Justin Smoak - 2007 Collegiate; 2009 Professional
Bobby Wahl - 2012 Collegiate
Christian Yelich - 2017 Professional (WBC)
MINNESOTA TWINS (2)
Homer Bailey - 2002 16U
Tyler Clippard - 2017 Professional (WBC)
NEW YORK METS (4)
Dellin Betances - 2005 18U
Michael Conforto - 2012, 2013 Collegiate
Paul Sewald - 2015 Professional
Michael Wacha - 2011 Collegiate
NEW YORK YANKEES (3)
Gerrit Cole - 2009, 2010 Collegiate
Chris Iannetta - 2009 Professional (WBC)
Giancarlo Stanton - 2013, 2017 Professional (WBC)
OAKLAND ATHLETICS (5)
Matt Chapman - 2013 Collegiate
Robbie Grossman - 2007 18U
Daniel Mengden - 2013 Collegiate
Matt Olson - 2010 16U
JB Wendelken - 2015 Professional
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (8)
Jake Arrieta - 2006 Collegiate; 2008 Professional (Olympic)
Zach Eflin - 2015 Professional
Bryce Harper - 2008 16U; 2009 18U
Adam Haseley - 2010 14U; 2013 18U
Tommy Hunter - 2006 Collegiate
Cole Irvin - 2011 18U
Andrew McCutchen - 2004 18U; 2017 Professional (WBC)
Neil Walker - 2003 18U
PITTSBURGH PIRATES (5)
Adam Frazier - 2012 Collegiate; 2015 Professional
Derek Holland - 2013 Professional (WBC)
Bryan Reynolds - 2014 Collegiate
Cole Tucker - 2013 18U
Trevor Williams - 2012 Collegiate
SAN DIEGO PADRES (6)
Jake Cronenworth - 2019 Professional
Zach Davies - 2007 14U
Trent Grisham - 2014 18U
Eric Hosmer - 2007 18U; 2010 Professional; 2013, 2017 Professional (WBC)
Manny Machado - 2009 18U
Drew Pomeranz - 2009 Collegiate
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (5)
Tyler Anderson - 2010 Collegiate
Brandon Crawford - 2006 Collegiate; 2017 Professional (WBC)
Alex Dickerson - 2010 Collegiate
Kevin Gausman - 2009 18U; 2011 Collegiate
Drew Smyly - 2011 Professional, 2017 Professional (WBC)
SEATTLE MARINERS (5)
J.P. Crawford - 2009 14U
Marco Gonzales - 2012 Collegiate
Tim Lopes - 2010 16U
Justus Sheffield - 2013 18U
Evan White - 2016 Collegiate
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (7)
Jack Flaherty - 2013 18U
Dexter Fowler - 2008 Professional (Olympic)
Paul Goldschmidt - 2017 Professional (WBC)
Andrew Miller - 2017 Professional (WBC)
Lane Thomas - 2013 Collegiate
Matt Wieters - 2005 Collegiate
Kolten Wong - 2009 Collegiate
TEXAS RANGERS (9)
Kolby Allard - 2014 18U
Todd Frazier - 2006 Collegiate; 2010 Professional
Joey Gallo - 2011 18U
Kyle Gibson - 2008 Collegiate
Lance Lynn - 2007 Collegiate
Jeff Mathis - 2005 Professional
Mike Minor - 2007, 2008 Collegiate
Rob Refsnyder - 2007 16U
Jose Trevino - 2012 Collegiate
TORONTO BLUE JAYS (8)
Anthony Alford - 2008 14U
Cavan Biggio - 2012 18U
A.J. Cole - 2007 16U
Randal Grichuk - 2007 16U
Anthony Kay - 2015 Collegiate
Reese McGuire - 2012 18U
Tanner Roark - 2017 Professional (WBC)
Matt Shoemaker - 2011 Professional
WASHINGTON NATIONALS (7)
Sean Doolittle - 2005, 2006 Collegiate
Erick Fedde - 2013 Collegiate
Howie Kendrick - 2005 Professional
Max Scherzer - 2005 Collegiate
Stephen Strasburg - 2008 Collegiate; 2008 Professional (Olympic)
Kurt Suzuki - 2006 Professional
Trea Turner - 2012, 2013 Collegiate
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On-Field

USA Baseball Modifies On-Field Programming Schedule

All events continue to be subject to cancellation or postponement
May 18, 2020
CARY, N.C. - USA Baseball announced today a modified schedule of events for its 2020 summer season due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Created in adherence to the regulations set forth by the appropriate federal, state and local governments, the updated schedule is tentatively set to begin with
CARY, N.C. - USA Baseball announced today a modified schedule of events for its 2020 summer season due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Created in adherence to the regulations set forth by the appropriate federal, state and local governments, the updated schedule is tentatively set to begin with the 14U Cup from July 24-26 at the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.
All of these events continue to be subject to cancellation or postponement based on the future state of the evolving coronavirus situation. The organization will monitor the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), as well as consult its Medical/Safety Advisory Committee in order to evaluate the status of its upcoming tournaments.
All further decisions will be made in as timely a manner as possible with respect to the safety and well-being of all the participating athletes, coaches and fans. If these tournaments run as scheduled, teams and fans will be required to follow a series of return to play guidelines developed by USA Baseball. These guidelines will be shared with all participants within an appropriate timeframe leading up to the event.
"As the national governing body for baseball in the United States, we feel it is in the best interest of the thousands of baseball athletes in our country to postpone our return to the field due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. "We share in the longing for baseball's return, but we believe it is prudent to continue assessing the situation and finalizing a course of action that prioritizes the overall health and safety of our participants and their families in light of the continued transmission of this disease.
"This schedule was structured in an effort to secure as many opportunities as possible for athletes who hope to one day play for Team USA. We will remain steadfast in our commitment to this charge; however, we will continue to evaluate the situation on a daily basis and monitor the guidelines set forth by the CDC and the USOPC in case additional modifications need to be made."
The following events have been tentatively rescheduled on the 2020 calendar:
• 17U National Team Championships North Carolina (July 27-30)
• 14U and 15U National Team Championships Arizona (July 27-30)
• 16U and 17U National Team Championships Arizona (July 31-August 3)
• 15U National Team Championships North Carolina (August 4-9)
• 10U Futures Invitational (August 6-9)
• 16U National Team Championships North Carolina (August 11-16)
• 11U, 12U, 13U and 14U NTIS Champions Cup (August 19-23)
• 15U and 16U NTIS Champions Cup (August 26-30)
The following events and national team programming have been cancelled:
• 11U Futures Invitational
• 13U/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP)
• 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP)
• National Team Championships Florida
The 14U Cup (July 24-26) and 11U/13U Futures Series Irvine (August 28-30) are set to take place as originally scheduled.
Additionally, USA Baseball continues to work closely with the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) with respect to the international baseball calendar. To date, the WBSC has postponed the Americas Baseball Olympic Qualifier, U-15 Baseball World Cup and the Women's Baseball World Cup until further notice. The U-12 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier has also been postponed but will not take place this year.
"USA Baseball fully supports the WBSC and its decision to indefinitely postpone the events on the baseball calendar in an effort to protect our national team athletes at this time," continued Seiler. "When the time comes for Team USA to return to the field, we will be ready to continue our longstanding tradition of excellence on the international stage."
Corresponding to the status of the international baseball calendar, USA Baseball has cancelled all 12U National Team programming events for 2020, meanwhile any future events planned for the 15U National Team, 18U National Team, Collegiate National Team and Women's National Team this year will be announced as necessary.
The Medical/Safety Advisory Committee has published a free Athlete Preparation Plan that provides a series of at-home exercises aimed to prepare young athletes for their return to the diamond following a prolonged disruption from on-field activity. To access this plan and to read its recommendations for baseball players during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.
Further information on USA Baseball updates relating to COVID-19 can be found here. For up-to-the-minute updates on the organization and its events, follow @USABaseball on social media.
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InMemoriam3-Watson2

USA Baseball Mourns the Loss of Bob Watson

Former Team USA General Manager led the stars and stripes to an Olympic gold medal and back-to-back world championship titles
May 15, 2020
CARY, N.C. - USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler released the following statement mourning the loss of Bob Watson. Watson, also known as "The Bull," was a pioneer in every sense of the word within the game of baseball and was an integral part of a tremendous period of success
CARY, N.C. - USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler released the following statement mourning the loss of Bob Watson. Watson, also known as "The Bull," was a pioneer in every sense of the word within the game of baseball and was an integral part of a tremendous period of success for Team USA on the international stage from 1999-2009.
"'Bull' was one of those rare people in life who made everyone around him better, both on the field and off. His baseball résumé is legendary, but the impact he made on others in every walk of life is what truly sets his legacy apart. Personally, and professionally, I am honored to have called him a friend and humbled to have learned so much from him. On behalf of USA Baseball, our hearts are heavy today for his wife, Carol, his children, Keith and Kelley, and for all who were lucky enough to have known him."
Serving as the General Manager for four USA Baseball national teams, Watson helped lead the U.S. to unprecedented heights, winning the gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, qualifying the U.S. for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and winning back-to-back International Baseball Federation (IBAF) World Cup titles in 2007 and 2009. Team USA held a 27-3 cumulative record during his tenure as General Manager with the red, white and blue. Additionally, he was vital to the introduction of professional athletes to the USA Baseball national team program for the first time in 1999 and served on the selection committee for the XIII Pan American Games roster, which ultimately won a silver medal and earned its spot in the Sydney 2000 Olympic baseball tournament.
Watson was a two-time All-Star for the Houston Astros in 1973 and 1975, and spent 19 years playing in the Majors. He finished his career also playing for the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves, holding a .295 career batting average with 184 homers, 989 RBIs and 802 runs scored.
After his playing career ended in 1984, he went on to be the hitting coach for the American League pennant-winning Oakland Athletics in 1988 before becoming the second African American General Manager in major league history when the Astros hired him in 1993. Watson then served as the GM for the New York Yankees from 1995-1997, where he helped the Yankees win the World Series in 1996-their first title since 1978.
Watson would later work for MLB beginning in 1997 as the vice president in charge of discipline and of rules and on-field discipline before retiring in 2010.
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BAQGeneric-Article

Americas Olympic Baseball Qualifier Postponed

Dates for the rescheduled Americas Qualifier will be announced at a later time
March 12, 2020
CARY, N.C. - The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), in collaboration with event-host USA Baseball, today announced the postponing of the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020 due to player, personnel and spectator health and safety measures amid concerns surrounding the COVID-19 (coronavirus)
CARY, N.C. - The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), in collaboration with event-host USA Baseball, today announced the postponing of the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020 due to player, personnel and spectator health and safety measures amid concerns surrounding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
Dates for the rescheduled Baseball Americas Qualifier in Arizona will be announced at a later time.
The Americas qualifier was set to take place in Surprise and Tempe, Arizona, from March 22-26. After consulting with governmental and medical authorities, as well as following the guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO), the WBSC and the Local Organizing Committee (USA Baseball) jointly decided to postpone the event.
"The health and safety of our athletes, coaches, staff and fans remain the top priority of USA Baseball, and we applaud the international federation's shared commitment to the overall well-being of athletes globally," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. "We will continue to collaborate with the World Baseball Softball Confederation in order to deliver a world-class international baseball event in the future. Additionally, our staff will continue working diligently with our coaches, scouts and Major League Baseball in preparation for this tournament, as we remain dedicated to our goal of representing the United States at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games."
The eight national teams set to compete in the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier include host-country USA, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
The winner from the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier will earn a berth into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, while the second- and third-place finishers will have a second chance to qualify for Tokyo 2020 at the Final Qualifier in Taichung and Douliu, Taiwan, which has been rescheduled from April 1-5 to June 17-21.
The winner of the Final Qualifier will earn the sixth and final berth into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic baseball tournament.
Four nations have already qualified for baseball at the 2020 Olympics: host Japan, Israel, Korea and Mexico.
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MiscUSA

Team USA to Kick-Start Olympic Qualifying in Arizona

January 31, 2020
MEXICO CITY -- The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) announced the groups and the schedule for the Americas Baseball Olympic Qualifier on Thursday. The event will take place from March 22-27 at Surprise Stadium (Surprise, Ariz.) and Tempe Diable Stadium (Tempe, Ariz.). Visit www.wbsc.org, the official tournament website, for more
MEXICO CITY -- The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) announced the groups and the schedule for the Americas Baseball Olympic Qualifier on Thursday. The event will take place from March 22-27 at Surprise Stadium (Surprise, Ariz.) and Tempe Diable Stadium (Tempe, Ariz.).
Visit www.wbsc.org, the official tournament website, for more information. The website is available in six languages: English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.
Team USA is currently ranked No. 2 in the WBSC World Baseball Rankings and will look to join host-country Japan, Korea, Israel and Mexico in the six-team Olympic baseball tournament. The U.S. will open the tournament in Group A with the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico.
The top two teams from Group A and Group B will advance to the Super Round. The winner of the tournament will earn a spot in Tokyo 2020. The second and third place teams will advance to the WBSC Final Olympic Qualifier in Taiwan.
The opening round schedule for Team USA is as follows:
March 22: USA vs. Nicaragua (7 p.m. MT)
March 23: USA vs. Dominican Republic (7 p.m. MT)
March 24: USA vs. Puerto Rico (7 p.m. MT)
Stay tuned to USABaseball.com and follow @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the most up-to-date information on the USA Baseball Professional National Team and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifying.
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Dickson

Four Members of Team USA Named to All-World Team

November 18, 2019
TOKYO -- Bobby Dalbec (1B), Brandon Dickson (RP), Erik Kratz (C) and Brent Rooker (DH) were named to the All-World Team by the World Baseball Softball Confederation following the completion of the Premier12 on Sunday night. The U.S. finished the tournament in fourth place with a 4-4 record. The four players
TOKYO -- Bobby Dalbec (1B), Brandon Dickson (RP), Erik Kratz (C) and Brent Rooker (DH) were named to the All-World Team by the World Baseball Softball Confederation following the completion of the Premier12 on Sunday night. The U.S. finished the tournament in fourth place with a 4-4 record.
The four players on the list were the most of any country in the tournament, followed by two each from Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea, and one from Mexico.
Dalbec finished the Premier12 first on Team USA and second in the tournament with eight RBIs, picking up four with a grand slam against the Netherlands in the opening game of the event in Guadalajara. He started all eight games of the tournament and finished with a .250 batting average with two home runs.
The closer for Team USA, Dickson tied for the tournament lead with three saves. He struck out two or more batters in each of his five appearances and tied for the team lead with 11 total strikeouts in the Premier12.
Kratz started behind the dish in all but one game of the Premier12 tournament and finished second on Team USA with a .381 batting average and two home runs. He finished the winner-take-all game against the Dominican Republic in Guadalajara a triple short of the cycle to lead the stars and stripes into the Super Round. Kratz's leadership behind the plate also led the U.S. pitching staff to a collective 3.28 ERA and 75 strikeouts.
Outfielder and designated hitter Rooker finished the Premier12 leading Team USA with a .800 slugging percentage and tied for the team and tournament lead with three home runs. He came in against the Netherlands as a substitute and contributed six total bases with a two-run home run and a double. Rooker then started six of the next seven games and hit a two-run home run against Chinese Taipei that proved to be the game winner and put the U.S. in a spot to play for a bronze medal.
Rooker also received the award for most home runs in the tournament, hitting three in just 20 at-bats.
2019 Premier12 All-World Team
SP: Yi Chang (Chinese Taipei)
RP: Brandon Dickson (USA)
C: Erik Kratz (USA)
1B: Bobby Dalbec (USA)
2B: Ryosuke Kikuchi (Japan)
3B: Wei-Chen Wang (Chinese Taipei)
SS: Ha-Seong Kim (Korea)
OF: Jung-Hoo Lee (Korea)
OF: Jonathan Jones (Mexico)
OF: Seiya Suzuki (Japan) - Tournament MVP
DH: Brent Rooker (USA)
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vaughnslide

Team USA Falls to Mexico in Extra Innings

November 16, 2019
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E USA 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 6 1 MEX 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 3 7 0 Win: Carlos Bustamante Loss: Brandon Dickson Box Score /
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
USA 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 6 1
MEX 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 3 7 0
Win: Carlos Bustamante   Loss: Brandon Dickson
Box Score  /   Play by Play   /  Premier12 Stats   /  Game Notes   /  Media Guide
TOKYO -- Team USA gave up a leadoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning and a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th in a 3-2 extra-inning loss to Mexico at the Tokyo Dome in the bronze medal game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12.
The U.S. finished the Premier12 tournament in fourth place with a 4-4 overall record. With the loss, Team USA did not secure the automatic berth into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and will look to qualify for the Olympics during the WBSC Americas Olympic Qualifier in Arizona. The event will be held in March but no dates have been finalized.
Jo Adell put the U.S. ahead in the top of the first inning, launching a no-doubter over the right field wall with one out for an early 1-0 lead. It was Adell's third home run of the tournament.
Both offenses were silenced by the starting pitchers from that point until the sixth inning. CJ Chatham got into scoring position for the stars and stripes with a double down the left field line but was stranded there by a strikeout and a foul out. Mexico loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning on reliever Daniel Tillo and tied the game on a two-out infield single. Wyatt Mills then came on in relief and got the U.S. out of the jam to keep the score square at 1-1.
Andrew Vaughn led off the top of the seventh with a single to right field and moved into scoring position on an Erik Kratz sacrifice bunt. Bobby Dalbec then followed with an RBI-single up the middle to immediately regain the one-run lead, 2-1.
Mexico hit a leadoff homer in the top of the ninth inning off closer Brandon Dickson to tie the game and push the game into extra innings. With runners on first and second with no outs courtesy of the international tie-break rules, the U.S. bunted the runners over and loaded the bases on an intentional walk, but was not able to cross the plate in the top half of the 10th.
Mexico followed suit, bunting their runners to second and third and the U.S. intentionally walked the next batter to load the bases with one out. The stars and stripes turned to lefty Caleb Thielbar on the mound against Efren Navarro, but Navarro battled until he hit a walk-off single on the eighth pitch of the at-bat to score the game-winning run.
Team USA starter Cody Ponce set the tone for the U.S. pitching staff and defense on the day, pitching five innings of scoreless baseball, facing just two batters over the minimum. He struck out six batters and allowed just one walk in the no decision. Tillo surrendered one run in his 0.2 innings of work before Mills came in to get the U.S. out of a jam.
Clayton Andrews and Noah Song continued their solid pitching in the tournament, combining for two innings of hitless relief. Dickson (0-1) suffered the loss, giving up two runs (one earned) in 1.1 innings. Mexico reliever Carlos Bustamante (1-0) picked up the win.
Adell went 2-for-4 with the solo home run for the U.S. offense on the day and finished the tournament leading the team in batting average (.394) and tied for the lead in home runs with Brent Rooker (3).
Collectively, the 2019 Premier12 team's offense hit 15 home runs and collected 69 hits in its eight games. The pitching staff held a 3.28 ERA and struck out 75 batters in the tournament.
Stay tuned to USABaseball.com and @USABaseball on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for all of the latest information on the Professional National Team and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifying.
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Rooker

Rooker's Seventh Inning Homer Downs Chinese Taipei

Brent Rooker hits go-ahead two-run home run to lift U.S. to 3-2 win
November 14, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E TPE 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 4 0 USA 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 X 3 6 0 Win: Spencer Jones Save: Brandon Dickson Loss: Sheng-Feng Wu Box Score  /  Play
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
TPE 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 4 0
USA 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 X 3 6 0
Win: Spencer Jones Save: Brandon Dickson Loss: Sheng-Feng Wu
Box Score  /  Play by Play  /  Cumulative Stats  /  Game Notes  /  Media Guide
TOKYO -- Brent Rooker launched a go-ahead two-run home run to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning and Team USA defeated Chinese Taipei 3-2 at the Tokyo Dome in its final game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 Super Round.
With the win, the U.S. finished the Super Round with a 2-3 record (4-3 overall) and awaits the results of the three final games to determine who will play in the bronze medal game.
Team USA came out of the gates swinging and took a 1-0 lead in the home half of the first inning. Jo Adell laced a single down the left field line and stole second base before Andrew Vaughn followed with an RBI-single through the left side to put the U.S. ahead.
Chinese Taipei tied the game at one in the top of the third on a double play-ball and hit a home run to centerfield in the top of the sixth inning to take a 2-1 lead.
The red, white and blue offense struggled after the first inning, only getting two runners on base until Erik Kratz singled up the middle with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Rooker followed in a big way, slamming a 2-1 pitch into the second level of left field to retake the lead, 3-2.
Noah Song came in on the eighth inning and set the Chinese Taipei offense down in order thanks to two strikeouts and a ground out, and turned the ball over to Brandon Dickson in the ninth. Dickson (3) continued his outstanding performance in the Premier12, picking up a line-out and two strikeouts to tally his third save of the tournament and secure the U.S. win.
U.S. starter Parker Dunshee lasted just 3.1 innings in a no-decision, giving up one run and striking out one batter in his appearance. Clayton Andrews was the first out of the bullpen and faced the minimum through his 1.2 innings, giving up a hit and striking out one. Brian Flynn surrendered a home run in his 0.2 innings and Wyatt Mills got the final out in the sixth. Spencer Jones (1-0) pitched a perfect seventh inning to pick up the win for the stars and stripes, striking out two batters in his lone inning of work.
Rooker's blast (1-for-3, 2 RBIs) led the offense for Team USA but Jo Adell (seven games), Erik Kratz (six games) and Andrew Vaughn (four games) each continued their individual hitting streaks in the tournament with singles in the game.
If Chinese Taipei defeats Australia in their matchup tomorrow, the U.S. will play in the bronze medal game at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, November 16/12 p.m. JST on Sunday, November 17. Additionally, if that result comes to fruition and Korea defeats Mexico, the stars and stripes will face Mexico in the bronze medal game with a spot in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on the line.
Stay tuned to USABaseball.com and @USABaseball on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for all of the latest information.
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Payton

U.S. Drops 2-1 Decision to Australia

Mark Payton hit his second home run of the tournament in the eighth inning
November 12, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E AUS 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 0 USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 1 Win: Tim Atherton (1-1) Save: Jon Kennedy (1) Loss: Tanner Houck (0-2)
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
AUS 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 1
Win: Tim Atherton (1-1) Save: Jon Kennedy (1) Loss: Tanner Houck (0-2)
Box  /  Plays  /  Game Notes  /  Media Guide
TOKYO -- Mark Payton hit his second home run of the tournament in the eighth inning but it was not enough as the U.S. dropped a 2-1 decision to Australia at the Tokyo Dome in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 Super Round. With the loss, the stars and stripes move to 3-3 overall in the tournament and holds a 1-3 record in the Super Round standings.
The loss officially eliminates Team USA from gold medal-game contention at the 2019 Premier12. The red, white and blue is still mathematically in the hunt for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games berth from the tournament, but does not control its own destiny.
U.S. starting pitcher Tanner Houck struggled out of the gate, giving up a two-RBI single up the middle in the top of the first to face an early 2-0 deficit. After that, however, Houck was outstanding on the mound, retiring the next 13 consecutive batters before Daniel Tillo came on in relief in the sixth.
Erik Kratz picked up the team's first hit with two outs in the fifth inning on a single through the right side, but the stars and stripes' offense was held at bay throughout the game by strong Australia pitching and defense.
Still trailing 2-0 after seven, Payton put the U.S. on the board in the eighth inning when he lifted a 2-1 pitch over the right field wall, cutting the deficit in half. Jo Adell followed with a single up the middle and stole second base to put a runner in scoring position for the first time on the night, but a strikeout by Alec Bohm ended the inning.
Wyatt Mills came on in the top of the ninth to keep the lead at one and got one out before surrendering three straight singles to load the bases. The U.S. then called on Brandon Dickson out of the bullpen and he struck out the final two batters of the inning looking to get out of the jam.
Andrew Vaughn tried to start a rally for Team USA in the bottom of the ninth after legging out a leadoff infield single but a pop out and two fly outs ended the game 2-1 in favor of Australia.
Houck (0-2) suffered the loss for Team USA, giving up the two runs in the first inning. He finished the day with five strikeouts in five innings. Tillo and Noah Song combined to pitch three innings of hitless relief, striking out four batters and facing just one over the minimum collectively. Australia starter Tim Atherton (1-1) picked up the win and Jon Kennedy (1) got the save.
The U.S. will close out Premier12 Super Round play on Thursday, November 14 as Team USA faces Chinese Taipei at 10 p.m. ET (November 15, 12 p.m. local). Starting pitchers will be announced tomorrow and the game will be streamed live on the WBSC's Facebook page.
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20191112_PREMIERE12_USA-JAP_ezr_41

Team USA Responds With 4-3 Victory Over Japan

The stars and stripes pick up its first win of the Premier12 Super Round
November 11, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E USA 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 4 11 1 JPN 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 3 7 0 Win: Clayton Richard  Loss: Rei Takahashi Save: Brandon Dickson Box Score  /  Play
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 4 11 1
JPN 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 3 7 0
Win: Clayton Richard  Loss: Rei Takahashi Save: Brandon Dickson
Box Score  /  Play by Play  /  Game Notes  /  Media Guide
TOKYO -- The U.S. jumped out to an early lead and held on for a 4-3 victory over Japan at the Tokyo Dome in its second game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 Super Round. With the win, the stars and stripes move to 3-2 overall in the tournament and holds a 1-2 record in the Super Round standings.
Team USA got on the board first in the top of the second inning to put pressure on Japan starter Rei Takahashi. Alec Bohm led off the inning with a double down the right field line and moved over to third on a groundout to second base. Jake Cronenworth then laced a ball to an extended first baseman who got the out at first but allowed Bohm to score, giving the red, white and blue the early advantage.
CJ Chatham led off the top of the third inning with a double of his own to the left-centerfield wall and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Mark Payton. Jo Adell would walk to put runners on the corners before Bobby Dalbec hit a double down the left field line to score Chatham and extend the U.S. lead to two after three innings.
Japan got one back in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI-single to right field by Hideto Asamura but Team USA responded immediately with a run of its own in the top of the fifth. Another leadoff double - this time by Payton - put a runner in scoring position with no outs. He would then come around to score on a Bohm RBI-single to regain the two-run lead, 3-1.
Japan picked up another run in the bottom of the sixth but the U.S. would respond once again in the very next inning, this time with an Adell solo homer to right field to bring the score to 4-2.
In front of a spirited home crowd of over 28,000, Japan continued to threaten throughout the rest of the game, scoring another run in the top of the eighth to get within one; but the relievers and defense stood tough, securing the win courtesy of a Brandon Dickson save for the final score of 4-3.
Starting pitcher Penn Murfee was strong on the mound in a no-decision for Team USA, giving up no hits in three innings of work and striking out two batters. Clayton Richard came out of the pen and pitched a solid outing in relief, giving up just one unearned run in 2.2 innings. JP Feyereisen and Spencer Jones both pitched an inning of scoreless relief for the stars and stripes while Caleb Thielbar gave up one run in his 0.1 innings pitched.
Dickson (2), who plays with the Orix Buffaloes in Nippon Professional Baseball, came in and pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out two batters for the save. Richard (1-0) got the win for the red, white and blue and Takahashi (1-1) suffered the loss for Japan.
Adell (2-for-3, RBI), Bohm (2-for-5, RBI), Brent Rooker (2-for-3) and Chatham (2-for-4, two doubles) paced the offense for the U.S. on the night, combining for eight of the 11 hits in the game.
Team USA will face Australia (1-4, 0-3) in the Tokyo Dome on Tuesday, November 12 at 10 p.m. ET (November 13, 12 p.m. local). The game will be streamed live on the WBSC's Facebook page.
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Rooker

USA Drops Super Round Opener to Korea 5-1

Brent Rooker hits his second homer of the tournament in the top of the sixth inning
November 10, 2019
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E USA 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 13 0 KOR 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 X 5 9 1 WP: Yang Hyeonjong LP: Cody Ponce Box Score / Play by Play
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 13 0
KOR 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 X 5 9 1
WP: Yang Hyeonjong LP: Cody Ponce
Box Score  /  Play by Play  /  Game Notes  /  Media Guide
TOKYO -- Brent Rooker hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning but it was all the offense Team USA could piece together as the red, white and blue fell to Korea, 5-1, at the Tokyo Dome in its opening game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 Super Round.
With the loss, the U.S. moves to 2-2 overall in the Premier12 and holds an 0-2 record in the Super Round.
The U.S. loaded the bases in the first inning with one out thanks to a double by Alec Bohm, a walk to Bobby Dalbec and a single by Andrew Vaughn, but two strikeouts from Korea starting pitcher Heonjong Yang ended the early threat. This would be the story of the night for Team USA as they outhit Korea in the game - holding an 13-9 advantage - but could not come up with the clutch hit with runners on base.
The stars and stripes put runners in scoring position again in the third, fourth, fifth, eighth and ninth innings, but Rooker's solo home run in the top of the sixth inning was all the scoring for the red, white and blue on the night. In total, the U.S. left 14 runners on base.
Team USA gave up three runs in the first inning on a three-run home run by Jaehwan Kim to fall behind 3-0 after one complete and Korea picked up two insurance runs on back-to-back RBI-doubles in the bottom of the seventh inning.
U.S. starter Cody Ponce (1-1) gave up three runs in his 3.1 innings of work on the mound and suffered the loss. Clayton Andrews was the first arm out of the pen and shut down the Korea offense in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings, striking out two batters.
Brian Flynn pitched an inning of scoreless relief before Wyatt Mills came in and surrendered a pair of runs in 0.2 innings of work. Caleb Thielbar and Brooks Pounders also pitched in relief for Team USA, giving up just one hit and striking out two collectively. Korea's starter, Yang, got the win (2-0).
Jo Adell and Vaughn both tallied three hits on the day for the offense, finishing 3-for-5 and 3-for-4, respectively. CJ Chatham also contributed multiple hits in the game, finishing 2-for-4 in the nine-spot.
Team USA will face Japan (4-0; 2-0) in the Tokyo Dome on Tuesday, November 12 at 5 a.m. ET (7 p.m. local). Tanner Houck will get the start on the mound for the stars and stripes.
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bohm

USA Downs Dominican Republic, Advances to Premier12 Super Round

November 4, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E USA 1 3 3 1 1 0 0 1 0 10 12 2 DR 0 2 0 1 4 0 0 0 1 8 8 1   WP: Wyatt Mills  LP: Carlos Sano  S: Brandon Dickson Box
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 1 3 3 1 1 0 0 1 0 10 12 2
DR 0 2 0 1 4 0 0 0 1 8 8 1
 
WP: Wyatt Mills  LP: Carlos Sano  S: Brandon Dickson
Box Score  /  Play by Play  /  Game Notes  /  Media Guide
GUADALAJARA, Jalisco, Mexico -- Team USA hit four home runs for the second time in the tournament and survived a late push by the Dominican Republic in a 10-8 victory on Monday night at Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco. The U.S. finished Group A with a 2-1 record and earned a spot in the Super Round of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 in Tokyo.
Through its first three games, eight Team USA batters have combined to hit 10 home runs, led by Bobby Dalbec and Erik Kratz, who have two homers apiece. The 10 homers are a team record for the red, white and blue in the Premier12, besting the 2015 squad who finished the inaugural tournament with three.
Mark Payton set the tone for the offense in the winner-take-all matchup, leading off the game with a solo bomb over the right field wall for an early 1-0 lead. It was the fourth leadoff home run for the U.S. in the tournament.
Jake Cronenworth followed suit in the top of the second with a solo shot of his own before Alex Bohm doubled to right-center and came home on an RBI-single by Kratz. Jo Adell would tack on one more run for the stars and stripes in the second inning with an RBI-single up the middle to give Team USA a 4-0 lead.
The Dominican Republic plated two runs in the bottom of the second but the red, white and blue responded immediately with a three-run blast by Bohm to extend the U.S. lead to 7-2 in the top of the third inning.
Both teams exchanged runs in the fourth inning and a solo bomb by Kratz in the top of the fifth put the score at 9-3. The Dominican Republic would not go silently, however, as they put up four runs in the bottom half of the fifth on an RBI-groundout and a three-run home run to pull within two at 9-7.
Wyatt Mills came in out of the bullpen for Team USA in the sixth and pitched two innings of stellar relief, facing the minimum and striking out two batters to stymie the Dominican Republic offense. Another Adell RBI-single plated a critical insurance run in the top of the eighth and Noah Song came in and struck out the side in the bottom half of the inning to set up a save opportunity for Brandon Dickson.
Dickson (1) gave up one run with two outs in the ninth but closed out the game for the stars and stripes, earning the save after striking out the final batter to end the game.
Bohm (3 RBIs) and Kratz (2 RBIs) both finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored to lead the U.S. offense. Adell also tallied multiple hits and RBIs on the night, finishing 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Kratz currently leads the team with a .625 batting average through three games.
Starting pitch Parker Dunshee struck out three batters in 2.1 innings for Team USA, surrendering two unearned runs in a no-decision. Penn Murfee and Brian Flynn combined to give up five runs in 1.2 innings of relief before Mills, Song and Dickson closed out the game. Mills (1-0) earned the victory while Dominican Republic starter Carlos Sano (0-1) suffered the loss.
Team USA will now travel to Tokyo, Japan, as the No. 2 seed from Group A in the Super Round of the Premier12. Super Round games will begin on Monday, November 11 at the Tokyo Dome and ZOZO Marine Stadium. Stay tuned to USABaseball.com and @USABaseball on social media for schedule updates.
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Kratz_HR

USA Falls to Mexico 8-2 in Group A Action

November 3, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E MEX 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 5 0 8 10 0 USA 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 6 0 WP: Felipe Gonzalez  LP: Tanner Houck Box Score  /  Play by Play  /  Game Notes  /  Media Guide
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
MEX 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 5 0 8 10 0
USA 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
WP: Felipe Gonzalez  LP: Tanner Houck
Box Score  /  Play by Play  /  Game Notes  /  Media Guide
GUADALAJARA, Jalisco, Mexico -- Team USA got behind early in the first inning and eventually gave up six unanswered runs in an 8-2 loss to Mexico on Sunday in Group A action of the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier12 at Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco.
The loss forces the U.S. (1-1) into a must-win game against the Dominican Republic (1-1) on Monday at 8 p.m. ET. The winner will advance to the Super Round in Tokyo. 
Mexico jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a two-RBI single to left-centerfield in the first inning to put pressure on the red, white and blue early. The U.S. would eventually respond and tie the game at two-apiece with back-to-back leadoff home runs in the bottom of the third and fourth innings from Erik Kratz and Bobby Dalbec, respectively, but Mexico reclaimed its lead on a passed ball with two outs in the top of the fifth.
Mexico scored five more runs in the top of the eighth inning to break the game open and put it out of reach for the stars and stripes.
Starting pitcher Tanner Houck (0-1) suffered the loss for Team USA, giving up three runs (two earned) and five hits, and struck out six batters in 4.1 innings. Daniel Tillo was the first out of the bullpen and struck out three batters in 1.2 innings of hitless relief. Caleb Thielbar struck out two batters in his relief appearance but gave up two runs in one inning and JP Feyereisen gave up three runs in his 0.2 innings on the mound. Spencer Jones finished the game on the bump for the U.S., striking out three batters and giving up no hits.
Six different Team USA batters collected hits in the game, led by Kratz and Dalbec's solo home runs. Dalbec has now hit two home runs in two games in the Premier12 tournament.
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NED

Four Homers Lift USA Past Netherlands in Premier12 Opener

Bobby Dalbec's grand slam in the fifth inning breaks U.S. Premier12 record
November 2, 2019
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E NED 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 USA 1 1 1 0 4 0 0 2 X 9 11 1 WP: Cody Ponce (1-0); LP: Rob Cordemans (0-1) Box Score  /  Play-by-Play  /  Cumulative Stats  /  Game
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NED 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
USA 1 1 1 0 4 0 0 2 X 9 11 1
WP: Cody Ponce (1-0); LP: Rob Cordemans (0-1)
Box Score  /  Play-by-Play  /  Cumulative Stats  /  Game Notes  /  Media Guide
GUADALAJARA, Jalisco, Mexico -- Team USA hit four home runs in a 9-0 opening-round victory over the Netherlands in its first game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 at Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco on Saturday. Bobby Dalbec led the U.S. offense on the day, setting a U.S. Premier12 record with four RBIs in a single game after hitting a grand slam in the fifth inning.
The four home runs hit today surpassed the U.S. team record for homers in a Premier12 game (previously: 1) and is more than Team USA hit in the entire 2015 tournament (previously: 3). In total, the red, white and blue set or tied nine USA Baseball Premier12 records against the Netherlands.
Drew Waters led off the home half of the first inning with a first-pitch home run to right-field to give Team USA an early 1-0 lead and Jake Cronenworth scored on a sacrifice fly by Mark Payton in the bottom of the second to double the lead after two complete. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Jo Adell launched the second home run of the game over the left-field wall for a three-run U.S. advantage.
Back-to-back singles by Erik Kratz and CJ Chatham, and an intentional walk to Daulton Varsho loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth for Dalbec. On the seventh pitch of his at-bat, Dalbec launched a grand slam over the left field fence to break the game wide open and give the stars and stripes a 7-0 lead.
Team USA capped its scoring in the bottom of the eighth on another home run after Brent Rooker sent one out to left for the final score of 9-0.
Cody Ponce (1-0) was strong on the mound for the U.S., giving up two hits and striking out five batters in his five innings of work to get the win. Noah Song, Clayton Andrews, Brooks Pounders and Clayton Richard combined in relief to secure the shutout, giving up no hits, striking out two batters and combining to face just one batter over the minimum over the final four innings. Netherlands starting pitcher Rob Cordemans (0-1) suffered the loss.
Nine different U.S. batters recorded a hit on the day, led by Dalbec (2-for-4) and Rooker (2-for-2), who recorded the only multi-hit performances of the game.
Team USA (1-0) will face Mexico in its second game of Group A on Sunday, November 3, at 8 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed live on Facebook. The starting pitcher will be announced following the game between Mexico and Dominican Republic this evening.
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nov 16 044

USA Baseball Announces Premier12 Staff Changes

Three-time World Series champion Scott Brosius will now serve as the team's manager
October 16, 2019
DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced changes to its World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12™ coaching staff on Wednesday. Joe Girardi, who was named the manager of Team USA in August, has stepped down from his role with Team USA as he pursues open managerial opportunities in Major League Baseball.
DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced changes to its World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12™ coaching staff on Wednesday. Joe Girardi, who was named the manager of Team USA in August, has stepped down from his role with Team USA as he pursues open managerial opportunities in Major League Baseball. Three-time World Series champion, two-time USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year and current USA Baseball Senior Director of Player Development Scott Brosius will now serve as the team's manager.
"We are grateful that Joe was a part of Team USA and we appreciate the time and preparation he dedicated to our endeavor of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director and CEO. "On behalf of the organization, we wish him the best of luck as he seeks a manager position in Major League Baseball.
"Scott Brosius is respected across the baseball industry for his time as both a player and a coach. He possesses a tremendous resume and we are proud to have him step in and lead us in the Premier12 tournament. From top to bottom, the coaching staff we assembled boasts a wealth of international playing and coaching experience, and we are confident in their ability to help us achieve the goals we have collectively set for this team."
With Brosius taking the reins as manager, Willie Randolph will now serve as the bench coach for the team and Ernie Young will move from coaching first base to third base.
"It is a tremendous honor to be named the manager for the USA Baseball Premier12 team and I am pleased that my first act in this role is to welcome Anthony Sanders to our coaching staff," said Brosius. "Anthony comes highly recommended by his peers and we are thrilled to have him join the team. He will provide a unique perspective to this team having won a gold medal as a player with Team USA at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, as well as having coached at the international level in this very event four years ago."
Sydney 2000 Olympic Games gold medalist Anthony Sanders (pictured) will join the staff and take over the coaching duties at first base. Sanders, who served as an assistant coach for Team USA during the 2015 WBSC Premier12™, is currently the outfield and baserunning coordinator for the Colorado Rockies' minor league staff. He spent parts of three seasons in the majors as an outfielder with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners before making his coaching debut as a hitting coach with the Tri-City Dust Devils in the Rockies' farm system in 2007. After four seasons as a hitting coach, Sanders was named the manager of the Grand Junction Rockies in 2013, where he spent three seasons and was named the 2014 Pioneer League Manager of the Year.
USA Baseball announced its 28-man roster last week that will begin the WBSC Premier12™ in Guadalajara, Mexico, from November 2-4 as a member of Group A with the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Netherlands. The top two nations from Group A will advance to the Super Round in Tokyo from November 11-16.
The tournament is the first opportunity for Team USA to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The top finisher from both the Americas territory and Asia/Oceania territory (excluding Japan) will join host-country Japan and WBSC Baseball Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier champion Israel in the six-team Olympic tournament. The final two Olympic berths will be decided in March 2020.
The team will train in Surprise, Arizona, from October 21-28 at the Kansas City Royals Spring Training facility before traveling to Mexico for the opening round of the Premier12™.
For more information on USA Baseball and the WBSC Premier12™, follow @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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