USA BASEBALL NEWS

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USA Baseball Announces 2017 World Baseball Classic Roster

Five 2013 World Baseball Classic players return to Team USA in 2017
February 8, 2017
DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Wednesday the 28-man roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic. The roster is made up of 13 pitchers and 15 position players, and features 13 USA Baseball alumni - five of whom participated in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.The roster also features 18
DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Wednesday the 28-man roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic. The roster is made up of 13 pitchers and 15 position players, and features 13 USA Baseball alumni - five of whom participated in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
The roster also features 18 Major League All-Stars, two Most Valuable Players and nine Gold Glove recipients.

"We're excited to kick off the 2017 World Baseball Classic with the announcement of our roster," said Paul Seiler, Executive Director and CEO of USA Baseball. "USA Baseball strives to compete at the highest level on the international stage and we are thrilled to welcome a group of stellar athletes who will work tirelessly towards a World Baseball Classic title for the United States."

Luke Gregerson, Eric Hosmer, Adam Jones, Jonathan Lucroy and Giancarlo Stanton all return from the 2013 World Baseball Classic squad and join fellow alums Chris Archer, Alex Bregman, Brandon Crawford, Danny Duffy, Mychal Givens, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey and Marcus Stroman on the roster. The USA Baseball alumni collectively span two 16U National Teams, four 18U National Teams, four Collegiate National Teams, two Professional National Teams (comprised of players not on active 25-man Major League Baseball rosters) and one World Baseball Classic team.

The 2017 World Baseball Classic will reunite former USA Baseball teammates in McCutchen and Posey (2004 18U National Team), and Archer, Duffy and Hosmer (2010 Professional National Team).

The U.S. also announced the addition of Brett Cecil, Michael Fulmer, Sonny Gray, J.A. Happ, Drew Smyly and Alex Wilson to the designated pitcher pool. For the first time, teams will be able to select up to two pitchers to join the roster following each round of the tournament. These players will not immediately join Team USA in the first round but are available for designation upon advancing.

Gray (2009, 2010 Collegiate National Team) and Smyly (2011 Professional National Team) are also alumni of USA Baseball.

USA Baseball's 2017 World Baseball Classic roster:
Name, Position, MLB Club, Birthplace
Christian Archer, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays, Raleigh, N.C.
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies, Newport Beach, Calif.
Alex Bregman, INF, Houston Astros, Albuquerque, N.M.
Matt Carpenter, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals, Galveston, Texas
Tyler Clippard, RHP, New York Yankees, Lexington, Ky.
Brandon Crawford, SS, San Francisco Giants, Mountain View, Calif.
Danny Duffy, (D.P.P.) LHP, Kansas City Royals, Goleta, Calif.
Sam Dyson, RHP, Texas Rangers, Tampa, Fla.
A.J. Ellis, C, Miami Marlins, Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Mychal Givens, RHP, Baltimore Orioles, Tampa, Fla.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks, Wilmington, Del.
Luke Gregerson, RHP, Houston Astros, Park Ridge, Ill.
Eric Hosmer, 1B, Kansas City Royals, South Miami, Fla.
Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles, San Diego, Calif.
Nate Jones, RHP, Chicago White Sox, Butler, Ky.
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Detroit Tigers, Tucson, Ariz.
Jonathan Lucroy, C, Texas Rangers, Eustis, Fla.
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates, Fort Meade, Fla.
Jake McGee, LHP, Colorado Rockies, San Jose, Calif.
Andrew Miller, LHP, Cleveland Indians, Gainesville, Fla.
Daniel Murphy, 2B, Washington Nationals, Jacksonville, Fla.
Pat Neshek, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies, Madison, Wis.
Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants, Leesburg, Ga.
Tanner Roark, (D.P.P.) RHP, Washington Nationals, Wilmington, Ill.
David Robertson, RHP, Chicago White Sox, Birmingham, Ala.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Miami Marlins, Panorama, Calif.
Marcus Stroman, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays, Medford, N.Y.
Christian Yelich, OF, Miami Marlins, Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Designated Pitcher Pool:
Brett Cecil, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals, Dunkirk, Md.
Michael Fulmer, RHP, Detroit Tigers, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Sonny Gray, RHP, Oakland Athletics, Nashville, Tenn.
J.A. Happ, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays, Peru, Ill.
Drew Smyly, LHP, Seattle Mariners, Little Rock, Ark.
Alex Wilson, RHP, Detroit Tigers, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

The Miami Marlins lead all Major League clubs with three players represented on the Team USA roster, while eight teams are represented with two athletes apiece (Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals).

General Manager Joe Torre and Field Manager Jim Leyland lead Team USA's staff. Also on the coaching staff is Tom Brookens (bench coach), Jeff Jones (pitching coach), Marcel Lachemann (bullpen coach), Tino Martinez (hitting coach), Willie Randolph (third base coach), Alan Trammell (first base coach), Mark Reed (BP catcher) and Roly DeArmas (BP pitcher).

USA Baseball's World Baseball Classic team will play its first-round games as part of Pool C at Marlins Park in Miami. The U.S. will face Colombia at 6:00 pm (ET) on Friday, March 10, before taking on defending champion Dominican Republic on March 11, and Canada on March 12.
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On This Date: September 27, 2000 – USA vs. Cuba (Sydney Olympic Games)

Team USA captures first-ever Olympic gold medal with win over Cuba
September 27, 2020
On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA captured its first-ever Olympic gold medal by defeating Cuba 4-0. Ben Sheets earned the win on the mound as Team USA finished the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games with an 8-1 record. In a rematch for the ages, Sheets took the mound

On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA captured its first-ever Olympic gold medal by defeating Cuba 4-0. Ben Sheets earned the win on the mound as Team USA finished the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games with an 8-1 record.

In a rematch for the ages, Sheets took the mound with teammate Pat Borders behind the plate. Borders had been battling an ankle injury that occurred during the first matchup between the two squads and was returning for the first time since.

After using ace Jose Contreras to beat Japan in the semifinal, Cuba went with typical closer Pedro Luis Lazo as the starter. Lazo had managed the first two outs of the game when Team USA’s Mike Neill hit a solo home run to left field to open up the game and put the American’s on top early, 1-0.

In the bottom half of the first, Sheets struck out the first two batters before giving up a single to Cuba’s Omar Linares. Shaking off the early hit, Sheets recorded another strikeout to end the inning and with one inning under their belt, Team USA never looked back.

John Cotton led the second inning off with a double and forced the hand of Cuba’s pitching staff, bringing in Jose Ibar to relieve Lazo. Ibar and Sheets went to head-to-head in the second, third and fourth innings, matching zeros heading into the top of the fifth with Team USA still ahead 1-0.

In the fifth, Team USA broke through again as Doug Mientkiewicz managed a walk. Pat Borders doubled to right center, easily bringing home Mientkiewicz and extending the lead to 2-0. Borders was thrown out at third on a bunt by Adam Everett, however in the next at bat, Brent Abernathy recorded a base hit and put runners on the corners.

Cuba made a second a change on the mound bringing in Maels Rodriguez and hoping the sudden increase in speed could slow down the Americans. However, Team USA couldn’t be shaken at the plate as Wilkerson forced a walk and loaded the bases for Mike Neill.

Neill, with a home run already in the game, couldn’t repeat and struck out for the second out in the inning. Ernie Young, who had gotten hit in the pool play matchup with Cuba, came through for Team USA with a two-run single right back up the middle, running the score to 4-0 for Team USA.

With top notch defense backing up Sheets, including a Mientkiewicz diving stop in the fourth, Everett stopping every groundball that came near him and a Young sliding catch to end the eighth inning, manager Tommy Lasorda refused to take him out of the game, even after surpassing the 90-pitch count.

The Cubans had only managed three singles heading into the bottom of the ninth and Sheets wouldn’t have them add any more. Finishing the game, the way he started, Sheets struck out the first two batters in the final inning.

With one out left in the Olympics, Neill made the sliding snow cone grab in left field for the final out. For the first time in USA Baseball history, Tommy Lasorda and Team USA were Olympic Gold Medalists.

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 4 9 0
CUB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Win: B. Sheets Loss: P. Lazo | Box Score | Watch On Demand

 

GAME HIGHLIGHTS
- Ben Sheets earned the win recording five strikeouts and allowing only three hits in nine innings
- Mike Neill was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a home run
- Ernie Young was 2-for-4 with two RBIs
- Pat Borders was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI

 

 


QUOTABLES

- “From Day One, we knew if we had one player we could build around, if we needed to have somebody who could win the gold medal for us, that player was Ben Sheets. We didn’t have the prettiest team, we didn’t have a Ferrari. But if we did have one, it was Sheets.” Paul Seiler (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

- “I was fired up. I knew it was an opportunity of a lifetime, and I was ready for it.” Ben Sheets (Miracle on Grass)

- “I can’t describe the feeling. We came here to do one thing, win the gold, and nobody gave us a chance to do it. We proved everybody wrong.” Brent Abernathy (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

- “Everybody had set the Cubans as the standard for this sport. But this is our sport. Baseball was started by us and it’s played by us. And now we’ve won the gold medal. These were the best games of my life, and if I don’t ever play again, I’ll be happy I was able to play in this game tonight.” Ernie Young (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

- “Well, you know when they said that the coaches don’t get medals, I got my medal when I saw them put those gold medals around my players. I got my medal when they played the National Anthem. I got my medal when they not only played the National Anthem, but when they raised the American flag, that’s when I started to cry. And when they played our National Anthem, I knew that we had done something. We had won for our country. Tommy Lasorda (Miracle on Grass)

- "It’s bigger than the World Series. It’s bigger than the Los Angeles Dodgers. And I have to say that it’s the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.” Tommy Lasorda (Miracle on Grass)

 

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Relive the 2000 Olympics Gold Medal Game On Demand

September 27, 2020
Relive every out of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games gold medal game between USA and Cuba, courtesy of The Olympic Channel. Team USA captured the gold after Ben Sheets threw a complete-game shutout to win 4-0. For more information on this game, visit the "On This Date" article here.
Relive every out of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games gold medal game between USA and Cuba, courtesy of The Olympic Channel. Team USA captured the gold after Ben Sheets threw a complete-game shutout to win 4-0. For more information on this game, visit the "On This Date" article here.
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On This Date: September 26, 2000 – Korea vs. USA (Sydney Olympic Games)

Team USA heads to gold-medal game with Mientkiewicz walk-off
September 26, 2020
On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA defeated Korea 3-2 in the Olympic semifinal with a walk-off two-run home run by Doug Mientkiewicz. With the win, Team USA secures a spot in the gold-medal game and a rematch against the two-time defending champion Cuba. Roy Oswalt was on

On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA defeated Korea 3-2 in the Olympic semifinal with a walk-off two-run home run by Doug Mientkiewicz. With the win, Team USA secures a spot in the gold-medal game and a rematch against the two-time defending champion Cuba.

Roy Oswalt was on the mound for Team USA in another bout with Korean pitcher Tae-Hyon Chong after opposing each other in their first contest in pool play. Throughout the first two innings, the game held a lot of similarity as neither pitcher allowed anything to get going at the plate.

However, Korea managed to break through first scoring two runs on two hits in the top of the third and taking the first lead of the game. Oswalt got out of the inning with a strikeout and a fly out and Team USA answered in the fourth.

Brad Wilkerson led off the inning with a double to right field and made his way to third on a ground out by Mike Neill. John Cotton, who had previously been in an 0-for-14 slump at the plate, doubled to the gap in left-center field, scoring Wilkerson and bringing the score to 2-1.

Until the seventh, the two pitchers matched and held the other’s offense at bay. Ryan Franklin came in to pitch in relief for Team USA and kept Korea scoreless. The Americans picked back up their attack when Mike Kinkade laid a bunt down the third-base line and was called safe at first in a close play. Despite a pitching change for Korea, Doug Mientkiewicz singled to right and Kinkade took an extra base, sliding safely into third in yet another close play. A Marcus Jensen sac-fly brought home Kinkade and the game was tied again at 2-2.

In the eighth, after Brent Abernathy doubled and made his way to third base, the weather was too much and caused a two-hour rain delay, Team USA’s second of the tournament. After the delay, Neill was intentionally walked, and on a Cotton grounder to third, both Abernathy and Cotton were called out on a force play at home and an interference call when Abernathy collided with the catcher, ending the threat by Team USA.

Todd Williams took over on the mound for Team USA in the top of the ninth making quick work of the side with two strikeouts and a fly-out.

In the bottom half of the inning, Mike Kinkade reached base after getting hit and was replaced on the base path by Travis Dawkins, Team USA’s fastest runner. When Dawkins was picked-off at first, Doug Mientkiewicz stepped up to the plate and called game. On a 2-1 pitch, Mientkiewicz sent a solo shot over the right field fence to walk-off and send Team USA to the gold-medal game.

Team USA will match up with Cuba in the championship game in a rematch for the history books. The two teams will enter the final day with 7-1 records each.

 

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

 

GAME HIGHLIGHTS
- Roy Oswalt recorded four strikeouts and allowed two runs and only four hits in six innings pitched
- Ryan Franklin pitched two innings in relief and recorded two strikeouts
- Todd Williams earned the win, striking out two in the ninth inning
- Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-3 with an RBI and the walk-off home run
- Mike Kinkade was 1-for-2 and scored a run
 

QUOTABLES

- “One of the biggest hits of my life, for sure. Felt really good to come through for us in that situation, and get us on the scoreboard.” John Cotton (Miracle on Grass)

- “I remember seeing the pitch come up off his fingers, and the first thing I thought, the first instant when I saw the ball come out of his hand, was ‘Game over. Just put a good swing on it, put a good swing on it, it’s a change-up.’ I remember being a little bit out in front of it, but I got a good part of the bat on it, and I remember running to first base thinking, ‘That never happens. That never happens.’” Doug Mientkiewicz (Miracle on Grass)

- “One second I was so angry that Gookie had gotten picked off first, and by the time I had gotten back to the dugout, Doug had hit that ball over the fence. And it was pure joy." Tommy Lasorda (Miracle on Grass)

- Before his at-bat, Doug and I had a talk, and he said, ‘Skip, I’ll do whatever it takes for us to win the game.’ He’s never thought about his individual accomplishments this whole time, just of the team and winning.” Tommy Lasorda (Miracle on Grass)

 

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On This Date: September 24, 2000 – USA vs. Australia (Sydney Olympic Games)

Team USA heads to semifinals with run-rule win over Australia
September 24, 2020
On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA finished play in the preliminary round with a 12-1 win over Australia. With the win, Team USA heads into the semifinals with a 6-1 record and the second seed in the medal round. Former major-league pitcher Mark Hutton got the start

On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA finished play in the preliminary round with a 12-1 win over Australia. With the win, Team USA heads into the semifinals with a 6-1 record and the second seed in the medal round.

Former major-league pitcher Mark Hutton got the start on the mound for the host nation Australia in what would be their Olympic finale. Despite Hutton’s best efforts, Team USA’s play at the plate just could not be stopped.

The offensive slump that Team USA experienced in its loss to Cuba did not translate over, and in the second inning, the Americans scored four runs on three hits and never looked back. A 34-minute rain delay put the game on pause after Team USA added another run in the second to bring the score to 5-0, but they didn’t stop there.  

In the top of the fourth, the Americans brought around five runs and set the score at 10-0. Every Team USA player either had a hit or scored a run throughout the course of the game. 

On the defensive side of things, Kurt Ainsworth was on the mound for Team USA and through five innings he had only allowed one run on five hits, while striking out three in the process.  

With a 10-1 ballgame in the sixth, Marcus Jensen hit a solo home run to extend the lead by 10 runs. Team USA added a final run in the seventh and was complemented by Chris George pitching two shutout innings of relief to keep the score at 12-1. The extra runs ended the game after the seventh due to the international run-rule.

With the results of Korea over South Africa and Cuba over Japan, now second seeded Team USA will take on third seeded Korea in the semifinals. First seeded Cuba will take on fourth seeded Japan in the other semifinal.

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
USA 0 4 1 5 0 1 1 12 14 0
AUS 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 7 2
Win: K. Ainsworth Loss: M. Hutton | Box Score

 

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

- Kurt Ainsworth pitched five innings allowing only one run on five hits and struck out three
- Brent Abernathy was 4-for-5 with three RBIs and two doubles
- Brent Abernathy’s two doubles set the U.S. Olympic Record for most doubles throughout the tournament (5)
- Mike Kinkade was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs
- Marcus Jensen was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a home run
- Anthony Sanders was 1-for-3 with an RBI and scored three runs in his first start
 

QUOTABLES

- "I felt good about our ballclub, and I feel good about it now. I think our chances are good. If we play like we're capable of, we'll see what the results are." Tommy Lasorda (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

- “Our emotions had dropped a little after last night, and tonight we got our intensity back. We focused right in and got Kurt some runs and got off to a good start, which we haven’t been doing enough. We had a more businesslike attitude tonight, and that’s what we need for the final two games.” Doug Mientkiewicz (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

- “We were more relaxed tonight, and we went out and hit like we did in the exhibitions. The last few games, we’ve had some struggles, but the team made some adjustments.” Reggie Smith (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

- "I think when we play the way we're capable of, there's no team in this tournament that can beat us. It's up to us to play up to our capability." Brent Abernathy (Baseball America)

 

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On This Date: September 23, 2000 – USA vs. Cuba (Sydney Olympic Games)

Team USA suffers first Olympic loss in matchup with Cuba
September 23, 2020
On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA suffered its first loss of the 2000 Olympics to the two-time defending gold medalist Cuba in a 6-1 decision. The two clubs hold 5-1 records, the best of the tournament’s eight teams. Lefthander Rick Krivda got the start on the mound

On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA suffered its first loss of the 2000 Olympics to the two-time defending gold medalist Cuba in a 6-1 decision. The two clubs hold 5-1 records, the best of the tournament’s eight teams.

Lefthander Rick Krivda got the start on the mound for Team USA in his first appearance of the tournament. Along with being a lefty, Krivda came with major-league experience and a breaking ball manager Tommy Lasorda hoped would hold off the Cubans at the plate.  

After Cuba’s Jose Ibar retired the American side in order in the top of the first, it was Krivda’s chance to do the same. Despite his best efforts, Krivda was unable to find his rhythm and Cuba tallied four runs in the first inning.  

After a solid second inning for Krivda, he was relieved by Jon Rauch. Rauch was able to quiet the Cuban side, striking out eight through four innings and allowing only one run. With his eight strikeouts, Rauch pushed his Olympic total to 21 in just 11 innings on the mound.

With Cuba leading 6-0 heading into the ninth, Team USA was able to avoid the shutout as Pat Borders managed an RBI single and brought home Sean Burroughs putting the Americans on the board.

With the loss, Team USA heads into the final game before the four-team medal round with a 5-1 record. They will take on Olympic host Australia with medal-round seeding yet to be determined.

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 7 2
CUB 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 - 6 10 0
Win: J. Ibar Loss: R. Krivda | Box Score
 
GAME HIGHLIGHTS
- Jon Rauch allowed only three hits in four innings and recorded eight strikeouts
- Sean Burroughs was 2-for-4 with a double and the sole run for Team USA
- Pat Borders was 2-for-4 on the night with an RBI
 

QUOTABLES

- "I ran into trouble when I walked Omar Linares. They hit some high changeups, and even when I made a better pitch, Miguel Caldes was able to hit it into the gap. If I could have that first inning back, maybe it would be a different game.” Rick Krivda (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

- “I didn't go out there and do anything different. I just threw strikes. It's nice to go out and do well.” Jon Rauch (Baseball America)

 

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On This Date: September 22, 2000 – Italy vs. USA (Sydney Olympic Games)

Team USA stays undefeated in Olympics with win over Italy
September 22, 2020
On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA clenched a berth in the medal round of the Sydney Olympics with a 4-2 win over Italy. The win brought Tommy Lasorda’s squad to a tournament-best 5-0 record in the Games. Ben Sheets got the start on the mound for the

On this date in USA Baseball history, Team USA clenched a berth in the medal round of the Sydney Olympics with a 4-2 win over Italy. The win brought Tommy Lasorda’s squad to a tournament-best 5-0 record in the Games.

Ben Sheets got the start on the mound for the Americans and Team USA wasted no time in providing run support for their ace. Brent Abernathy started off the bottom of the first with a leadoff single followed by a Brad Wilkerson single of his own to right field to put runners on the corners.

Mike Neill brought home Abernathy on a fielder’s choice and made his way to second on a wild pickoff throw, putting Team USA on the board first and up 1-0. Ernie Young followed the trend with another single and brought Neill around giving the Americans the early 2-0 lead.

Despite the first inning jump, Team USA was relatively held at bay by the slower than usual speed of Italian starter Battista Perri. In the fourth, the Italians responded with three hits and two runs, tying the score at 2-2. 

The tie remained after six innings and Lasorda was forced to pull Sheets and bring in his top reliever in Ryan Franklin. Franklin had yet to allow a baserunner or a hit in his two appearances in the Olympics and continued the trend by sitting down the Italians in order in both the seventh and eighth innings.

In the bottom of the eighth, Young and John Cotton each managed a walk, forcing a change in pitching and in the pace of the game. Mike Kinkade reached on an overthrow to first base, and with plenty of foul territory at Homebush Bay, both Young and Cotton scored putting Team USA back up 4-2.

Todd Williams recorded the final three outs in relief for Team USA earning his first save alongside Franklin’s third win of the tournament.

 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
ITA 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 2
USA 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 - 4 6 1
Win: R. Franklin Loss: B. Perri Save: T. Williams | Box Score

 

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

- Ben Sheets recorded three strikeouts and allowed only four hits through six innings
- Ryan Franklin brought his record to 3-0 in the Olympics
- Brent Abernathy was 2-for-4 with one run
- Ernie Young was 2-for-3 with one RBI

 

QUOTABLES

- “I lost my voice from yelling so much because this was a tough, tough game. We were lucky to win tonight. But tomorrow when you look at the standings, it will say, ‘United States of America, 5-0.’” Tommy Lasorda (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

- “Some of these other teams aren’t as bad as everybody thinks. There's a lot of parity in this tournament.” Mike Neill (Baseball America, Miracle on Grass)

- "That's the game you guys have been talking about for five games. We'll find out about Cuba tomorrow. But we won't know what happens until we play them." Ernie Young (Baseball America)

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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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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 Neil 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 2 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 Neil 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 Neil (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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2020AlumsOpeningDay_Web

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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TP1

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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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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