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U-17 Men's National Team – Pan American Championship

November 8, 2019

GUATEMALA CITY ––  U-17 Men's National Team – Pan American Championship


U-17 Men's National Team overcomes early three-run deficit to clinch 13-8 victory over Belize

November 7, 2019
Web Release: Link
GUATEMALA CITY –– The USA Softball U-17 Men’s National Team (MNT) overcomes early three-run deficit to clinch 13-8 victory over Belize, improving their record now 2-3 at the Pan American Championship.
Belize jumped on top early, taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. A leadoff walk came around to score after an infield single, while two more runs stole home to put the U.S. down, 3-0. Eli Rivas (Whittier, Calif.) gave Team USA their first baserunner of the day in the bottom of the frame with a hit-by-pitch and eventually sent himself around the bases by stealing second, third and home to cut Belize’s lead down 3-1.
A quiet second inning from Belize sent Team USA back to the plate. Ian Winterhalder (Murray, Utah) led off the inning with a triple to center field followed by a double from Cody Gibbons (St. Paul, Minn.) to score Winterhalder and put the U.S. within one run. Matthew Armitage (Evansville, Wisc) continued the U.S. rally, reaching base on a walk and advancing all the way to third base after taking advantage of two passed balls. Parker Hopkins (Decatur, Ill.) then sent a two-out single through the infield to score Armitage and knot the score, 3-3.
Another dominant defensive inning from Team USA quickly brought up the U.S. offense in the bottom of the third. A leadoff single from William Ponce (Olathe, Kan.) would start the inning, followed by a sac-fly from Chase Thomson (Murray, Utah) which sent Ponce within 60-feet of home plate. Gibbons then sent a ground ball to shortstop, scoring Ponce and giving the U.S. a 4-3 lead.
The Red, White and Blue offense exploded in the bottom of the fifth inning, tacking on five runs to extend their lead 9-3. Gibbons picked up his fourth RBI of the day on a line drive to left field, scoring Ponce and Winterhalder who both started the inning off with walks. Manuel Mendham (Vassar, Mich.) plated another U.S. run with a single, while Blake Kerr (Vassar, Mich.) reached base on an infield-error to send Caden Luna (Gardner, Kan.) to the plate to score the two final runs of the inning after sending a fly ball to left field.
The Belize offense threatened the U.S. lead in the top of the sixth, adding five runs of their own. Two leadoff walks started the inning for Belize followed by a double and a pair of singles, cutting Team USA’s lead to 9-8.
Team USA bounced back in the bottom of the frame, plating four runs to extend their lead 13-8. Ponce led off the inning with a walk followed by singles from Thomson, Gibbons and Mendham. Klay Kilpatrick (Sydney, Australia) sent a line drive to left field for a two-out double, but a ground out from Rivas ended the inning.
Three outs away from the victory, Team USA buckled down. A strikeout from Gibbons and two groundouts to the U.S. defense ended the inning, earning the Red, White and Blue the 13-8 win over No. 46 Belize.
Gibbons led the U.S. on both sides of the field, going 3-for-4 at the plate with five RBI while earning the win in the circle with six strikeouts. Mendham, Hopkins and Luna also contributed offensively with one RBI a piece while Winterhalder went 1-for-2 with a triple.
The U.S. is back in action tomorrow, November 8 at 2 p.m. local time against No. 25 Panama. Live stats will be available through
Held November 2-9 in Guatemala City, Guatemala, a total of 30 games will be played across eight days as participating countries battle it out to qualify for the 2020 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup.

The top two teams from the Preliminary Round will compete for the Pan American Championship Final on Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. local time, while the third and fourth-place teams will compete for the Bronze Medal at 11:00 a.m. local time on the same day.

Led by Bob Piddock (Castro Valley, Calif.), the roster was announced in September following selection by the Men’s National Team Selection Committee (MNTSC). Joining Piddock on the coaching staff are Tony Aresco (Stoneham, Mass.), Avon Meacham (Upper Marlboro, Md.), and Jerry Zimmerman (Ephrata, Pa.).

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