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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