15U: U.S. Wins Bronze With Victory Over Panama
A six-run seventh inning for Team USA blew open a 1-1 ball game.
IWAKI, Japan - Behind some outstanding team pitching and a clutch six-run seventh inning, the USA Baseball 15U National Team brushed aside some of the disappointment from the last few days to claim the bronze medal at the WBSC U-15 World Cup with an 8-3 triumph over Panama Sunday morning.
After losing to Cuba and Colombia to miss out on the gold medal game, the U.S. showed heart Sunday in taking down a scrappy and talented Panama squad.
The two nations were locked in an impressive pitchers' duel for much of the game, as the score sat at 1-1 entering the seventh inning. The American bats finally got it going after getting a clutch out with the bases loaded from pitcher Jared Jones (Whittier, Calif.) and the U.S. defense to end the top half of the seventh.
Coleman Brigman (San Jose, Calif.) opened the bottom half with a double with one out. He was followed by a Jones single, Jasiah Dixon (Santa Ana, Calif.) RBI sacrifice bunt, Anthony Volpe (Watchung, N.J.) RBI single, Justin Campbell (Simi Valley, Calif.) intentional walk, Cade Doughty (Denham Springs, La.) RBI single and Colton Olasin (Spring Hill, Fla.) RBI single to pile on six runs and take a 7-1 lead.
Team USA added an insurance run in the eighth on another Volpe RBI single, and LHP Nick Gorby (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) turned in two solid innings on the mound (3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO) to close out the U.S. win.
U.S. pitching was strong for much of the contest, as RHP Zach Martinez (Peoria, Ariz.) got the day going with 4.1 strong innings where he allowed a run on four hits and two walks while striking out two batters.
Jones followed and turned in 2.2 clutch frames where he allowed only two hits and two walks while striking out a batter.
Volpe led the U.S. at the plate with two hits, two RBI, a walk and run scored, while Carter Young (Selah, Wash.) posted two hits, an RBI, walk and run scored. Doughty tallied two hits, an RBI and two runs scored and Brigman had a hit, RBI and run scored.
The U.S. finishes with a 7-2 record overall and is now 16-3 all-time in two years at the WBSC U-15 World Cup. The Americans own a silver medal from 2014 to go along with their bronze from this year's tournament.
Manager Mike Strickland
On team overcoming disappointment to win bronze …
"We played 20 bad minutes of baseball that cost us, which was that inning that got kind of sideways on us against Cuba. It (not playing for gold) was tough and it was tough on our guys, but much like anything, when you set your goal at the absolute pinnacle of what's out there and you get hit in the face and you know you're not going to be able to attain it there is a tremendous amount of disappointment and self-introspection. It showed yesterday in what we did, and it showed a little bit today, but these guys finally made the decision that 'we are going to be accountable and we aren't going to back down from the goal we set but we are going to continue to move forward.' That's what you saw today."