“I was expecting what we got–a lot of good pitching and keeping us off balance all game, that’s their game plan,” said the 17-year-old Miami commit. “But my swing in the second inning, (Kawabata) was great out there, and he had me on the ropes all night. He just made a mistake 0-2, and I was able to put a good swing on it . . .

“I really didn’t hit another pitch after that to be honest. I struck out three more times, and that just speaks to the volume of their pitching. I give them a lot of credit, but I was able to get on top of that one fastball, and that was the only ball I hit today.”

Adding some insurance beyond Casas’ home run, USA center fielder Michael Siani scored a third run, scoring from second on a passed ball in the fifth, and driving in another with a single in the sixth. He reached base four times.

“It’s a big win, especially for us,” Weathers said. “Now we know going forward that we just have to get one more and we’re into (the super round) and what we’ve been playing for the whole time . . . They had a great lineup, and I had a good outing, but I take nothing away from them. They’re a great team. There’s a reason why they’re listed as the No. 1 team.”

Notes from around the tournament:

After the second day of play in Thunder Bay, only two other teams remain undefeated, with Cuba defeating the Netherlands, 3-0, and Korea taking down Taiwan, 8-2. Australia beat Italy to see both teams go to 1-1 in the tournament, and both Mexico’s game against South Africa and Nicaragua’s contest against the host Team Canada were postponed because of the weather and are likely to be made up on the scheduled off day Wednesday.