USA's 15U Team Wins World Cup, Continues Dominance
USA Baseball’s 15U team (comprised of players 15 years old and younger) won its first-ever 15U World Cup title by beating Panama, 7-1, on Sunday night.
The U.S. eliminated any drama very quickly, as Panama was forced to go to the bullpen twice before it recorded its first out in the first inning. The first six batters in the U.S. lineup ended up scoring in the first.
That was more than enough for U.S. starter Andrew Painter, who worked the first 5.1 innings, reaching 91 mph as he shut down Panama’s lineup, allowing four hits and one run. Luke Leto didn’t allow a hit in the final 1.2 innings to finish off the win.
Brady House went 1-for-3 with 2 RBIs. Josh Hartle, Ryan Clifford and Charlie Saum all added RBIs as well.
Painter was named the tournament's top starting pitcher. The rest of the all-tournament team included catcher Edgar Quero (Cuba), first baseman Brady House (USA), second baseman Seiya Fukuhara (Japan), shortstop Reginald Preciado (Panama), third baseman Luke Leto (USA), left fielder Ryan Spikes (USA), center fielder Luis Durango (Panama), right fielder Oscar Aude (Dominican Republic), designated hitter Aoi Sugishita (Japan) and relief pitcher Alexis Bernal (Panama).
The U.S. finished the tournament with an 8-1 record. Team USA cruised through some very easy opening round games (including a 27-0 win over China and a 10-0 win over Germany). It’s lone loss was a 2-1 loss to Taiwan.
The U.S. beat Cuba 10-0 and Japan 8-2 to advance to the championship game.
The win continues an amazing run for USA Baseball in international competitions. The U.S. pro team now currently holds the titles in the World Cups at the 12U, 15U and 18U levels as well as being the reigning World Baseball Classic champions. The pro team won the World Baseball Classic in 2017 while the 18U team won the gold medal at the 18U World Cup in 2017 and the 12U team won the 12U World Cup last year as well.
The 15U World Cup will help to add to the U.S.’s No. 1 international men’s baseball ranking. The U.S. topped Japan for the No. 1 ranking early this year. Japan lost to Taiwan in the bronze medal game at the 15U World Cup.
The 15U team won the regional Pan-Am “AA” Championship last year as well, but in the previous World Cup, it won the bronze medal in 2016 and the silver medal in 2014.