USA BASEBALL NEWS

WNT

USA Baseball Names 2019 Women's National Team Staff

Five-time Team USA alum Veronica Alvarez will make her managerial debut in 2019
July 19, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball named the coaching staff for the 2019 Women's National Team that will compete in the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships from August 18-25 in Aguascalientes, Mexico, on Friday. Highlighted by the naming of five-time Women's National Team alum Veronica Alvarez as manager, Manny Crespo, Sr., Reynol Mendoza and Alex Oglesby will round out the staff for Team USA.

Alvarez is making her managerial debut with Team USA in 2019 but she is no stranger to donning the stars and stripes. She served as an assistant coach on the 2018 staff and is the first Women's National Team alumna to be named manager of the team, having also played for Team USA five times in her career.

Her time with the red, white and blue started in 2008 and every team she participated on medaled in international competition, including the 2015 Women's National Team that won a gold medal at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. She also won bronze medals with Team USA at the 2008 and 2010 International Baseball Federation (IBAF) Women's Baseball World Cups before winning a silver medal at the 2012 World Baseball Softball Confederation Women's Baseball World Cup.

"This has been a goal of mine since my first time playing for the Women's National Team and I am honored to have been chosen to lead these talented and driven women," Alvarez said. "I am looking forward to working alongside the staff we have put together. We are four individuals with a wealth of diverse knowledge and experience that complement each other, and I am excited to see what we will accomplish."

Since finishing her playing career in 2016, Alvarez has continued to help grow the next generation of female baseball players as a coach at the Trailblazer Series from 2017-2019 and the Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series Showcase & Development Camp in 2018 and 2019, joining the collaboration between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball to foster the next generation of female baseball players in the United States.

Additionally, she served as a coach with the Oakland Athletics at Major League Baseball Spring Training in 2019 and has previously coached at the USA Baseball Women's National Team Identification Series. Most recently, Alvarez was a member of the 2019 12U National Open coaching staff.

"Veronica has represented our organization incredibly well as both a player and a coach for over ten years and we could not be more thrilled to have her serve as the manager for our 2019 Women's National Team," said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO, Paul Seiler. "The passion, experience and talent within this group of coaches is unmatched and we cannot wait to watch as they continue to represent and showcase women's baseball at the highest level both on and off the field this summer."

Crespo, who joins the 2019 Women's National Team staff as an assistant coach, is in his 14th year as the Director of Latin American Player Development for the Detroit Tigers. Prior to his time with the Tigers, he worked in the San Diego Padres, New York Yankees and Miami Marlins organizations. Crespo was selected in the third round of the 1968 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox and spent nine years playing professionally before his retirement in 1978. In addition, Crespo served as a bench coach during the 2013 World Baseball Classic and was a manager during the 2017 event.

Currently the head coach at Eagle Pass High School (Eagle Pass, Texas), Mendoza will serve as Team USA's pitching coach in 2019. Under his guidance, the Eagles have made playoff appearances in each of the last thirteen seasons and played in the regional finals in both 2013 and 2014. The Miami Marlins selected Mendoza in the seventh round of the 1992 MLB Draft and he spent seven years in the Marlins system, including three seasons at the Triple-A level.

Rounding out the 2019 staff is Women's National Team alum Alex Oglesby, who will also serve in an assistant coach role for the 2019 team. Oglesby was a member of the inaugural Women's National Team that won a gold medal at the IBAF Women's Baseball World Cup in 2004 and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Prior to representing the U.S., she played in the Ladies Professional Baseball League and was the youngest player when the league began in 1997. At just 17 years old, Oglesby led the San Jose Spitfires to the league's first World Series Championship and was named both Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year for her efforts. She also helped form the California Women's Baseball League in 2002, where she earned MVP honors twice.

Most recently, Oglesby has served as a coach at the Trailblazer Series in from 2017-2019, as well as at the first-ever Major League Baseball and USA Baseball GRIT in 2019. In addition, she was a member of the coaching staff at the 2018 Women's National Open and the 2018 Women's National Team Trials.

Crespo, Mendoza and Oglesby are all making their national team coaching debuts for USA Baseball in 2019.

The 2019 Women's National Team season will start with an invitation-only Women's National Team Development Program (NTDP) from August 7-10 in Carrollton, Texas. The Women's NTDP will offer identified athletes an opportunity to connect with USA Baseball staff to better prepare for a future national team experience. The program includes skill development sessions, an intrasquad series between Stars and Stripes teams, and exposure to the Women's National Team staff. Athletes who participate in the Women's NTDP may be chosen to compete for Team USA this summer.

Following the announcement of the final 20-woman Women's National Team roster on August 10, the 2019 Women's National Team will train in Carrollton, Texas, from August 11-14 before traveling to Aguascalientes, Mexico, for the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships from August 18-25.

For the most up-to-date information on the Women's National Team, follow @USABaseballWNT on Twitter.

View More
NHSI

USA Baseball Unveils 2020 National High School Invitational Field

The ninth annual NHSI will take place April 1-4 in Cary, North Carolina
January 14, 2020

Durham, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Thursday the 16 teams that will compete in the 2020 National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary. The ninth annual event will take place from April 1-4 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, and select games will be streamed live on USABaseball.com, MLB.com and Facebook Live.

Reagan High School (Pfafftown, N.C.) will serve as the host team in this year's tournament. Led by Head Coach Gary Nail, the Raiders finished the 2019 season with a 21-7 record and advanced to the semifinals of the NCHSAA AAAA state playoffs.

"USA Baseball is excited to continue celebrating high school baseball on the national stage with the ninth annual National High School Invitational," said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. "In its sterling history, the NHSI has drawn elite baseball talent and the premier prep teams from across the United States for a truly one-of-a-kind tournament, and this year will be no different. We look forward to welcoming all sixteen teams, their families and their fans to our National Training Complex for an unforgettable baseball experience."

The three-time defending champions, Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, Calif.), return to the NHSI in 2020 for the sixth time in program history (2012, 2014, 2017-19). The Lancers have won its last 13 consecutive games at the NHSI dating back to 2014 and holds an 15-4 all-time record at the event.

Also returning to the NHSI in 2020 is American Heritage School (Plantation, Fla.), Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), three-time NHSI finalist Harvard-Westlake School (Studio City, Calif.), Mount Carmel High School (Chicago, Ill.), Parkview High School (Lilburn, Ga.), Regis Jesuit High School (Aurora, Colo.) and St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.).

In total, nine states are represented in the 2019 NHSI field, led by California and Florida with four teams apiece. Joining Harvard-Westlake and Orange Lutheran out of the Golden State is Notre Dame High School (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) and Thousand Oaks High School (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), who are both making their first-ever trip to Cary. Florida returns three schools to the NHSI in 2020 with American Heritage Plantation, Calvary Christian and St. Thomas Aquinas, and they are joined by newcomer American Heritage School (Delray Beach, Fla.). Georgia is the only other state with multiple schools participating in the event in North Gwinnett High School (Suwanee, Ga.) and Parkview.

Rounding out the 2020 field are schools from Alabama, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, whom are all making their debut at the NHSI: Bob Jones High School (Madison, Alabama), Red Land High School (Lewisberry, Pa.) and Baylor School (Chattanooga, Tenn.).

"The National High School Invitational is the gold-standard event in high school baseball," said Scott Dupree, Executive Director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance. "There is no better national showcase of premier teams and elite players at the high school level, and USA Baseball has done a fantastic job of creating and cultivating this event, both in terms of generating excitement and its economic impact. The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance is proud to be on board as a host partner."

The National Training Complex (NTC), in partnership with the Town of Cary, has been the official home of USA Baseball since 2007, and the NHSI since its inception in 2012. The NTC has had numerous Major League Baseball players venture through its gates, including Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg and Mike Trout. The Town of Cary received the National Gold Medal Grand Plaque Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management in 2016. The award honors U.S. communities that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition.

There has been no shortage of premium talent to take the field at the NHSI in the nine years following its debut. Major Leaguers Cody Bellinger, Joey Gallo, Austin Meadows, and Jack Flaherty are just a few of the more notable professional athletes who have played in the event, with more recent standouts including MLB first-round draft selections CJ Abrams, Triston Casas, Riley Greene, Matthew Liberatore, Brice Turang and others.

The NHSI is a single-elimination championship tournament, with each participating team guaranteed to play four games. The 2020 championship game will be played under the lights on Coleman Field with the first pitch scheduled for Saturday, April 4, at 6 p.m.

USA Baseball will host its second annual NHSI Championship Festival beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the National Training Complex. Prior to the first pitch of the title-game, family-friendly activities-including a baseball skills competition, games and music-will be available for fans on the front lawn, in addition a food truck rodeo featuring six of the Triangle's most popular vendors.

The complete list of 2020 NHSI participants is as follows:

High School (City, State)
American Heritage School (Delray Beach, Fla.)
American Heritage School (Plantation, Fla.)
Baylor School (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
Bob Jones High School (Madison, Ala.)
Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Harvard-Westlake School (Studio City, Calif.)
Mount Carmel High School (Chicago, Ill.)
North Gwinnett High School (Suwanee, Ga.)
Notre Dame High School (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, Calif.)
Parkview High School (Lilburn, Ga.)
Reagan High School (Pfafftown, N.C.)
Red Land High School (Lewisberry, Pa.)
Regis Jesuit High School (Aurora, Colo.)
St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Thousand Oaks High School (Thousand Oaks, Calif.)

For more information on the USA Baseball National High School Invitational, visit USABaseball.com or follow @USABaseball and @USABEvents on Twitter.

View More

USA Baseball Elects Alvarez, Hopkins to Board of Directors

Elliot Hopkins to also serve as an officer on the Board of Directors
December 20, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Friday the election of four-time Women's National Team alumna Veronica Alvarez and National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Director of Sports, Sanctioning and Student Services Elliot Hopkins to its Board of Directors. Their selections were finalized at the annual Board of Directors meeting at the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego.

Alvarez and Hopkins replace long-time board members Jenny Dalton-Hill and Davis Whitfield, who collectively served 14 years on the USA Baseball Board of Directors.

"Veronica and Elliot are long-time associates of the United States Baseball Federation and devoted supporters of our events, initiatives and national team programs," said USA Baseball President Mike Gaski. "We are honored to welcome them to our Board of Directors and look forward to witnessing their influence on our organization as USA Baseball continues to develop and impact the amateur sports landscape in the United States."

Alvarez is a four-time alumnus of the Women's National Team (2008, 2010, 2012, 2015) and has most-recently served as the team's manager in 2019. She managed the red, white and blue to an undefeated record and a gold medal at the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships in Mexico and was recently honored by USA Baseball by becoming the first woman to be named its Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year. Alvarez has also continued to help grow the next generation of female baseball players as a coach at the Trailblazer Series from 2017-2019 and the Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series Showcase & Development Camp in both of the last two years. Additionally, she served as a coach with the Oakland Athletics at Major League Baseball Spring Training in 2019 and has previously coached at the USA Baseball Women's National Team Identification Series.

"I take a lot of pride in what it means to be a USA Baseball player," said Alvarez. "I aim to represent the athletes to the best of my ability so that their experience with USA Baseball continues to be nothing but the best."

Hopkins is currently the Director of Sports, Sanctioning and Student Services for the NFHS and this marks his second tenure on the organization's Board of Directors. At the NFHS, his responsibilities include being the staff liaison to the NFHS Student Services Committee, serving as the NFHS Baseball and Wrestling Rules Editor, supervising the NFHS Resource Center and directing the NFHS Student Leadership Summit. Hopkins also serves on the USA Baseball Medical/Safety Advisory Committee and is a former executive of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Inc. and sales representative for multiple Fortune 500 countries.

"I am thrilled to serve the baseball community on USA Baseball's Board of Directors. I feel that the voice of interscholastic baseball players is important in crafting the future of our national teams and representing our country," said Hopkins.

Additionally, Mike Gaski and Jason Dobis were also reelected as officers on the USA Baseball Board of Directors during the annual meeting, serving as president and treasurer, respectively.

For more information on USA Baseball, visit USABaseball.com or follow @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

View More
15U
18U
CNT
WNT

2019 Organizational Award Winners Announced

18U National Team member Robert Hassell named Richard W. "Dick" Case Award winner
December 17, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the recipients of its annual organizational awards on Tuesday, recognizing the top athletes, coaches and performances from its 2019 USA Baseball national teams. 18U National Team member Robert Hassell was named the Richard W. "Dick" Case Award winner, becoming the fourth 18U team alumnus to earn athlete of the year honors. The award is given annually to USA Baseball's top player in honor of the organization's founding Executive Director and CEO.

Women's National Team Manager Veronica Alvarez was named the Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year, becoming the first woman to earn the award in USA Baseball's history. The organization also recognized the Women's National Team as its Team of the Year and infielder Alex Hugo was named the Sportswoman of the Year after she earned MVP honors at the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships.

Alec Burleson's late-game heroics against Japan in Game 2 of the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series garnered the International Performance of the Year honors, meanwhile Collegiate National Team Bullpen Coach Xan Barksdale was named the organization's first-ever Service Provider of the Year.

Rounding out the USA Baseball 2019 award winners is 15U National Team Manager Troy Cameron, who was named the Developmental Coach of the Year, as well as Volunteer Coach of the Year Andy Pettitte and the inaugural Coach Educator of the Year Darren Fenster.

"USA Baseball is pleased to recognize these outstanding individuals and their successes from our 2019 national teams," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director/CEO. "Not only did each and every award winner excel in the field of play or as a coach, they all served as outstanding ambassadors on behalf of the United States. It was an honor to have them represent our organization and the game of baseball with class on the international stage."

USA Baseball finished the year winning gold medals at the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-15 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier. The Collegiate National Team also won two of its three international friendship series against Chinese Taipei, Cuba and Japan in 2019.

The complete list of the 2019 USA Baseball organizational award winners is as follows:

Richard W. "Dick" Case Award: Robert Hassell, 18U National Team
Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year: Veronica Alvarez, Women's National Team
Team of the Year: Women's National Team
Sportswoman of the Year: Alex Hugo, Women's National Team
International Performance of the Year: Alec Burleson, Collegiate National Team
Service Provider of the Year: Xan Barksdale, Collegiate National Team
Developmental Coach of the Year: Troy Cameron, 15U National Team
Volunteer Coach of the Year: Andy Pettitte, Prospect Development Pipeline League
Coach Educator of the Year: Darren Fenster, Sport Development Blog

Hassell was awarded the Richard W. "Dick" Case Award following a summer where he was named to the All-World Team at the 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in South Korea. He led the 18U National Team in 10 offensive categories in 2019, including batting average (.514), hits (18), doubles (5), home runs (2), RBIs (14), total bases (31), slugging percentage (.886) and on-base percentage (.548), among others. Hassell was a mainstay in the U.S. lineup, starting all nine games of the World Cup in the outfield, and helped lead the red, white and blue to a silver medal. He was also recognized by the WBSC as its International Baseball Player of the Year.

Just the second female manager in USA Baseball history, Alvarez became the first woman to be named the Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year. Under her leadership, the Women's National Team finished the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships with a perfect 7-0 record and a gold medal. The U.S. outscored its opponents 124-20 in the tournament, held a cumulative .500 batting average and hit a record 11 home runs. Their dominating performance also earned the Women's National Team the USA Baseball Team of the Year award.

Two-time Women's National Team alum Hugo was named the 2019 Sportswoman of the Year. She earned tournament MVP honors at the COPABE Women's Pan-American Championships after leading Team USA in six offensive categories en route to a gold medal. In the tournament, she hit .652 (15-for-23) with five doubles and four home runs, tallied 18 RBIs, scored 20 runs, stole six bases, and amassed an astounding 1.391 slugging percentage in seven games.

ECU's Burleson earned the 2019 International Performance of the Year award after hitting his first-career walk-off home run in the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series. With the score tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 2 in Imabari City, Japan, Burleson lifted a 2-0 fastball over the right field fence to give the visiting U.S. a 3-2 walk-off win. His home run was the first one hit of the series and the victory tied the best-of-five-game series at one apiece for the red, white and blue.

The Collegiate National Team's Barksdale was a vital part of the team in 2019 after serving as a bullpen catcher and coach for the national team, and his efforts were rewarded with the first-ever USA Baseball Service Provider of the Year award. Barksdale provided unparalleled service to the athletes by offering creative and engaging training, bullpen and catching sessions that not only allowed the national team to prepare and excel on the field, but also promoted and protected their overall long-term athletic development.

Cameron earned the Developmental Coach of the Year award in 2019 after he led Team USA to its fourth consecutive U-15 Baseball World Cup Qualifier gold medal for the red, white and blue (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019), and the third straight international title for the 15U National Team. The U.S. finished the tournament with an 8-1 record and outscored its opponents 66-33 under his leadership.

Five-time World Series champion and three-time MLB All-Star Pettitte was named the 2019 Volunteer Coach of the Year by USA Baseball after working on the coaching staff for the inaugural joint MLB and USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline League. Every day, he used his experience to help players create comprehensive processes for their pitching routines and schedules, and assisted in developing pitch philosophies while fine-tuning pitcher deliveries and mechanics. Pettitte also incorporated advanced, progressive methods to the participants that resulted in significant developmental growth in an abbreviated timeframe.

Lastly, Fenster was named the first Coach Educator of the Year in USA Baseball history due to his continued contribution to the USA Baseball Sport Development department. While simultaneously serving as the Minor League Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator for the Boston Red Sox, Fenster draws upon his professional baseball career as a player and coach to provide unique and insightful educational content for the for the Sport Development Blog. Titled FUNdamental Skills Friday, his contributions assist coaches, parents and leagues in developing young players and improving their experience within the game of baseball.

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) annually honors one Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year based on nominations from its national governing bodies, as well as Olympic, Developmental and Volunteer Coach of the Year awards. USA Baseball's award winners serve as the organization's nominees in their respective categories with the USOC.

View More
15U
18U

WBSC Names Hassell and Schrier International Players of the Year

The awards were announced at the III World Baseball Softball Confederation Congress
December 3, 2019

SAKAI CITY, Japan - USA Baseball alumni Robert Hassell (2019) and Cody Schrier (2018) were named the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) International Baseball Players of the Year at the III WBSC Congress on November 22 in Sakai City, Japan.

The award recognizes the top baseball performer from all WBSC-sanctioned events in a given calendar year. The WBSC presents its individual awards every two years at its biennial Congress.

"It is a tremendous honor to have two of our national team athletes recognized by the World Baseball Softball Confederation for their individual performances while with USA Baseball," said USA Baseball Executive Director and CEO Paul Seiler. "To earn the title of international baseball player of the year is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement and it speaks volumes to the hard work and dedication they have committed to the game of baseball in their young careers. We congratulate them on this extraordinary accomplishment and are proud to call them alumni of our organization."

Hassell was named to the All-World Team following the 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in South Korea and earned the award for most RBIs during the event. He led the 18U National Team in 10 offensive categories in 2019, including batting average (.514), hits (18), doubles (5), home runs (2), RBIs (14), total bases (31), slugging percentage (.886) and on-base percentage (.548), among others. Hassell was a mainstay in the U.S. lineup, starting all nine games of the World Cup in the outfield, and helped lead the red, white and blue to a silver medal.

Schrier was named the MVP of the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup in 2018 after leading Team USA to its first U-15 baseball world championship in program history. He finished the tournament earning two additional individual awards on top of his MVP honors, including the batting title and the award for most runs scored in the tournament. Schrier started all nine games at shortstop for the stars and stripes and finished with a .476 batting average and 17 runs scored. He also led the team with two home runs and four stolen bases.

Members of Team USA have now been awarded the last three International Baseball Player of the Year awards with Triston Casas (2017), Schrier and Hassell.

For more information on USA Baseball and its national team programs, visit USABaseball.com or follow @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

View More
Pro Team

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 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)

View More
Pro Team

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  /   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.

View More
Pro Team

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 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.

View More
Pro Team

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)
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.

View More
Pro Team

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 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.

View More
Pro Team

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  /  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.

View More