Special to the Daily Light
BARQUISIMETO, Venezuela - After leading the charge to fix a rain-soaked field and an hour and 17 minute delay to the start of the game, the Youth National Team routed Mexico, 19-0, on Sunday afternoon, getting a combined one-hitter in the win.
When the team arrived for batting practice, the field was in no condition for a baseball game. The Youth National Team then went out and got the field ready, almost entirely by themselves, so that the game could be played.
USA starter Zach Lee (McKinney, Texas) struck out six batters and held Mexico to one hit in five scoreless frames, while Colton Cain (Waxahachie, Texas) had a pair of strikeouts in the sixth inning and Jacob Tillotson (Lake City, Fla.) fanned one in the seventh.
Team USA came out of the gate hot, scoring five runs in the top of the first. Rightfielder Robert Refsnyder (Laguna Hills, Calif.) and centerfielder Andrew Aplin (Suisun, Calif.) were both hit by pitches to start the inning. Catcher Luke Bailey (La Grange, Ga.) then singled to short and when the throw from Mexico shortstop Gerardo Diaz sailed over the head of first baseman Angel Rios, Refsnyder scored, Aplin advanced to third and Bailey moved to second. Two batters later, third baseman Richie Shaffer (Charlotte, N.C.) sent an RBI-single up the middle, scoring Aplin and moving Bailey to third. Shaffer would then steal second and Bailey would score on a sacrifice fly to left by Cain. After Shaffer advanced to third on a passed ball, second baseman Justin Charles (Galt, Calif.) turned on a 3-1 pitch and sent a two-run homer over the wall in right center to cap the frame.
Mexico would load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the first and threaten to score but Lee got Diaz to strike out swinging to end the inning.
In the top of the second, Lee helped his own cause, hammering a 1-0 offering over the wall in left center for a leadoff home run that put Team USA up 6-0.
Team USA added three runs in the top of the fifth to extend their lead to 9-0. Leftfielder Max Stassi (Yuba City, Calif.) singled to left to begin the frame. Shaffer then sent a first-pitch double to left to move Stassi to third. Mexico would appeal the play and throw to first and Shaffer was called out after missing first base. Stassi then scored on an RBI-groundout to second by Cain. Charles followed with a walk and scored from first when shortstop Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) doubled off the wall in center. Lee then capped the frame with an RBI-single to center to drive in Fontana.
In the top of the sixth, Shaffer lined a two-out single to left before advancing to second when Cain was hit by a pitch. Charles then drew a walk to load the bases. Zach Vincej (Saugus, Calif.) came on to pinch hit and cleared the bases with a three-run triple to the gap in right center, giving Team USA a 12-0 advantage.
Team USA would then put up seven runs in the top of the seventh to take a 19-0 lead. Rightfielder Randal Grichuk (Rosenberg, Texas) belted a 3-2 pitch to deep center for a leadoff home run. Aplin was then hit by a pitch and catcher Nate Gonzalez (Clermont, Fla.) drew a walk. Two batters later, Shaffer drew a walk to load the bases. Tillotson followed with a bases-loaded walk that scored Aplin. Charles then sent an RBI-single to right to plate Gonzalez. Vincej followed with a sacrifice fly to right to score Shaffer and first baseman Matt Davidson (Yucaipa, Calif.) laced a two-run double down the left field line to drive in Tillotson and Charles. Grichuk then capped the inning with an RBI-single through the left side to score Davidson.
Charles led Team USA at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and four runs scored. Lee went 2-for-3 with a solo jack and an RBI-single, Shaffer finished 2-for-4 with an RBI-single and three runs scored and Vincej was 1-for-1 with a triple and four RBI. Grichuk went 2-for-2 with a solo homer and an RBI-single, Fontana was 2-for-2 with an RBI-double and a run scored and Davidson finished 1-for-2 with a two-run double and a run scored. Bailey went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored, Stassi was 1-for-4 with a run scored and Cain finished with a pair of RBI’s and a run scored. Tillotson had an RBI and a run scored, while Aplin scored twice and Refsnyder and Gonzalez both scored a run in the win.
Team USA will wrap up play in Pool A against Japan on Monday at 2 p.m. The top two teams from Pool A and the top two teams from Pool B will resume play in Barquisimeto on Wednesday, while the three and four seeds from each pool will play in San Cristobel.
The Youth National Team opened the World Youth Championship with a 13-3 win over Brazil on Saturday afternoon, scoring eight runs in the bottom of the seventh to enforce the 10-run rule. The 10-run rule is enforced when a team has a lead of at least 10 runs after seven innings.
Brazil took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, scoring on an RBI-single by third baseman Daniel Katayama.
Team USA responded with a three-run first inning to take a 3-1 lead. After rightfielder Robert Refsnyder (Laguna Hills, Calif.) was hit by a pitch to start the frame, centerfielder Andrew Aplin (Suisun, Calif.) doubled off the wall in left center to move Refsnyder to third. Pitcher Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) then lifted a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Refsnyder and moving Aplin to third. Catcher Max Stassi (Yuba City, Calif.) followed with an RBI-single to short to plate Aplin. Third baseman Luke Bailey (La Grange, Ga.) then laced a first-pitch double to left to move Stassi to third. Stassi would later score on a wild pitch to cap the inning.
Rightfielder Alexandre de Oliveira added an RBI-single in the top of the fourth to cut USA’s lead to 3-2. Brazil would then load the bases with two outs but Maddox struck out pitcher Guilherme Watanabe looking on a 3-2 pitch to get out of the jam.
Team USA added a pair of runs in the bottom half of the fourth to extend their lead to 5-2. Leftfielder Randal Grichuk (Rosenberg, Texas) laced a one-out double down the left field line to start the inning. After second baseman Zach Vincej (Saugus, Calif.) was hit by a pitch, shortstop Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) drew a walk to load the bases. Refsnyder was then hit by a pitch, allowing Grichuk to score. Aplin followed with an RBI-single to right to drive in Vincej.
Centerfielder Victor de Lelis da Silva had a leadoff home run to center to begin the top of the fifth, cutting USA’s lead to 5-3. Maddox would bounce back, however, striking out the next two batters looking before getting leftfielder Leonardo Costa dos Santos to foul out to third to end the inning.
After Maddox walked the first two batters in the top of the sixth, left-hander Steven Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.) came on in relief. Stassi would then throw out first baseman Lucas Sato at second for the first out of the inning. Rodriguez followed with a pair of strikeouts to end the frame, getting catcher Lauro Watanabe Jr. and pitcher Renan Hidani to go down swinging.
Team USA exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the seventh, enforcing the 10-run rule and ending the game at 13-3. Refsnyder drew a leadoff walk before advancing to second on a bunt single by Aplin. Rodriguez then doubled off the wall in center, driving in Refsnyder and moving Aplin to third. Stassi followed with a two-run double to left center to score Aplin and Rodriguez. Bailey would then reach on an RBI-single that bounced high over Katayama’s head at third and scored Stassi. Pinch hitter Colton Cain (Waxahachie, Texas) and Grichuk then drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Justin Charles (Galt, Calif.) came on to pinch hit and cleared the bases with a three-run double to right. After Fontana walked, Charles moved to third on a double play groundout by Refsnyder and then scored on a wild pitch to end the game.
Stassi led Team USA at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a double, three RBI and two runs scored. Aplin finished 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored, Bailey was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored and Charles went 1-for-1 with a three-run double in his lone plate appearance. Rodriguez finished 1-for-1 with an RBI-double and a run scored, Grichuk went 1-for-3 with a double and two runs scored and Refsnyder had an RBI and two runs scored. Maddox added an RBI, while Cain and Vincej both scored a run in the victory.
Maddox picked up the win after holding Brazil to three runs on nine hits in five innings of work with six strikeouts. Rodriguez earned the save, striking out two batters in two hitless frames.
USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The organization selects and trains the USA Baseball National Team, the USA Baseball Junior National Team (18-under), the USA Baseball Youth National Team (16-under), the USA Baseball 14U National Team (14-under), and the USA Baseball Women’s National Team which participate in various international competitions each year. For more information on USA Baseball please log onto www.usabaseball.com.