Updated: Tuesday, Nov. 29, 6:02 p.m. ET.
USA Baseball's 18U Team defeated Canada Sunday afternoon in Cartagena, Colombia, to finish 9-0 and win the COPABE Pan Am Championship. The gold medal gives Team USA the amateur trifecta for 2011. The 14U team won its Pan Am tournament while the 16U squad captured the IBAF World Championship.
The clincher was a 12-2, mercy-rule shortened game that saw the U.S. trail for only a half inning. Down 1-0 before it's first at-bat, Team USA sent 12 batters to the plate, collected five hits and scored seven runs in the bottom of the first. The big blow came off the bat of shortstop Addison Russell, who hit a grand slam. [...] Continue Reading »
From March 28-31, the USA Baseball National High School Invitational will be held in Cary, N.C. The event is presented by Baseball America and the Town of Cary and will feature some of the top teams and players in the country. They will compete in a 16-team, single-elimination championship tournament though all teams will be guaranteed to play four games. Of the 16 teams, 12 are eligible for state tournament play—California has section championships and New York City has a city championship—and there are a total of 36 state titles in the schools' histories. Four of the teams have a Baseball America National Championship as well.
Not only will the tournament present a high level of competition and have a strong effect on national rankings, but the level of talent is likely to bring in dozens of area scouts, crosscheckers and scouting directors.
“We're thrilled with the quality of teams that we were able to commit to this inaugural event," USA Baseball Director of Development Rick Riccobono said. "The talent and history of the participants is truly consistent with the mission of the program: To bring together our nation’s most accomplished high school baseball teams in one championship tournament.”
Listed in alphabetical order below is the tournament field with a short capsule on each team as well as a chart with the top 25 2012 and 2013 prospects that will be at the event. [...] Continue Reading »
With wins over Mexico and Argentina, USA Baseball's 18U team improved to 3-0 in the Pan Am Championships in Cartagena, Colombia. Team USA beat Mexico 3-1 Friday afternoon and followed with a 16-2 win over Argentina on Saturday.
In Friday's game, the U.S. scored two in the first inning when outfielders David Dahl and Albert Almora drew walks. First baseman Joey Gallo singled to drive in Dahl and catcher Jeremy Martinez knocked in Almora with a single of his own. Third baseman Carson Kelly reached on a dropped third strike in the fifth, advance to second on an Addison Russell sacrifice bunt and put the U.S. up 3-0 when Dahl singled. Mexico's lone run came in the sixth inning.
Righthander Walker Weickel earned the victory, tossing 5 2/3 innings and allowing one run on four hits and two walks. He struck out two. Righthander Clate Schmidt pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief before righty Carson Fulmer pitched a perfect ninth to get the save.
On Saturday, the U.S. was in a tight game against Argentina early, but pulled away with four runs in the fourth and eight runs in the sixth on the way to a 16-2 win. The game ended after seven innings under the mercy rule.
Righthander Chase DeJong allowed just one run over five innings to earn the win. Center fielder Albert Almora led the offense with a double, triple, four RBIs and two runs scored.
Team USA's next game is Sunday evening against Puerto Rico.
Originally scheduled to have Thursday off, Team USA instead played their opening game of the Pan Am Championships against Aruba. The change didn't have any effect as the 18U squad pounded out 19 hits on the way to a 15-0, mercy rule win over Aruba. Gavin Cecchini started at second base and led the offense with a 4-for-5 night. Jesse Winker, known for having one of the better bats in the 2012 draft class, got the start on the mound and needed just 66 pitches to complete the shutout.
"I Felt good, my arm felt strong, the changeup was there for me," Winker said. "I tried to throw as many strikes as I could and let the good defense behind me make plays. The double plays turned kept my pitch count down."
Right fielder David Dahl had three hits of his own while left fielder Mikey White, center fielder Albert Almora, first baseman Joey Gallo, catcher Jeremy Martinez and third baseman Carson Kelly each had two hits. Martinez led the team with three RBIs.
"Great start to the event, we swung the bats well," head coach Scott Brosius said. "That was a huge performance from Jesse Winker with his complete game shutout. Very positive start for tournament."
Team USA will play Mexico today after the conclusion of the 9:30 a.m. EST game between Venezuela and Antilles.
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