Baseball may be out of the Olympics, but USA Baseball is going to keep going for gold medals in other world championships.
The latest first-place finish goes to the 16U team, which beat Cuba with a ninth-inning rally to capture the gold at the 2009 IBAF World Youth Championships in Taichun, Taiwan.
Team USA was down 6-5 going into the ninth inning. With one out, outfielder Austin Cousino (Dublin,
Ohio) drew a walk and advanced to third on a single by shortstop Francisco Lindor (Clermont,
Fla.). Second baseman Kevin Kramer (Turlock,
Calif.) tied the game at six apiece with a sacrifice fly, which also moved Lindor to third after he had stolen second. Kevin Kramer (Turlock,
Calif.). Catcher Evan Powell (Lake Charles,
La.) then doubled to push the lead run across the plate.
Cousino, who is scheduled to graduate high school in 2011, was named the tournament’s MVP after hitting .581/.632/1.161 with two home runs, eight doubles, two triples and 18 RBIs in eight games. He was also 4-for-5 in stolen bases and scored 18 runs. Lefthander Cory Geisler (Spring,
Texas), a member of the Class of 2012, led the team on the mound going 2-0, 0.00 in 15 innings. He allowed just 10 hits and two walks while striking out 19.
The win gives Team USA four straight world championship titles and brings its record to 31-0 in the last four years. The last loss for the Americans in this age group came against Cuba in the world championship gold medal game in 2005 in Monterrey, Mexico.