USA Men secure No. 4 playoff seed with shutout victory over Guatemala at Men's Pan American Championship

October 31, 2014

Parana, ARG

USA Men secure No. 4 playoff seed with shutout victory over Guatemala at Men's Pan American Championship



PARANA, Argentina  -  The USA Softball Men’s National Team completed round robin action at the IX Conpasa Men's Fastpitch Panam Championship on Thursday evening with a 1-0 shutout win over Guatemala, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today.  With the win, the USA Men locked up a spot in the playoffs and qualified for both the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario Canada and the XIV International Softball Federation (ISF) Men's World Championship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. 


"Tony pitched another great game," said Head Coach Denny Bruckert (Gillespie, Ill.).  "Our bats aren't exploding but we're playing really great defense.  Today is a new day and we're going to have a tough rematch with Argentina tonight."


Click here for coverage throughout the IX Conpasa Men's Fastpitch Panam Championship

Team USA struck early in the game against Guatemala, scoring the sole run of the game in the bottom of the second inning.  Frank DeGroat Jr. (Ringwood, N.J.) led off the at-bat with a single to left field and advanced to second base on a sac bunt from Tony Mancha (Las Cruces, N.M.).  With a runner in scoring position, Derrick Zechman (Watsontown, Pa.) sent a line drive to center field to plate DeGroat Jr. and give USA the 1-0 lead.


"It felt good to finally contribute and help the team," said Zechman.  "I've been struggling at the plate the whole tournament, so to help our team secure a playoff game meant a lot.  It was a great team win to get us in the playoffs."


The contest stayed at a 1-0 U.S. lead throughout the remainder of the game, with neither side failing to put runners in scoring position until the bottom of the sixth inning when the U.S. would load the bases.  Chase Turner (San Jose, Calif.) got a leadoff single and was followed by a walk to Matt Palazzo (Pleasant Hill, Iowa).  A walk to Mancha loaded the bases for Team USA with two outs, but a strikeout kept the runners from doing further damage.


Mancha got the win in the circle for Team USA and threw lights out throughout the contest.  In his seven innings pitched, Mancha issued 15 strikeouts, giving up just one hit and one walk to Guatemala.  Mancha also retired at least two batters per inning via the strikeout.      


With the win over Guatemala, USA secured their spot in the playoff rounds at the IX Conpasa Men's Fastpitch Panam Championship and are set for a rematch with Argentina tonight at 7 p.m. CT.  In their last meeting earlier this week, USA defeated host country Argentina in a 1-0, shutout win.  The win also qualified Team USA for both the 2015 Pan American Games, which will be held July 15-26 , and the ISF Men's World Championship, which will be held June 26 - July 5, 2015.  You can follow all of the USA Men’s National Team action at www.USASoftball.com.


About ASA
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.

About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles as well as claimed seven World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com.



Codi Warren


Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications

Amateur Softball Association of America/USA Softball

Office 405.425.3431 | Cell 405. 420. 2817



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