In front of a vocal hometown crowd, Team USA was able to strike first after capitalizing on two Guatemala errors. Anthony Alford (Columbia, Miss.) singled to center field after a C.J. Hinojosa (Spring, Texas) strikeout and was then pushed to third base after the second baseman mis-threw a routine ground ball courtesy of Brandon Viceral (Pleasanton, Calif.). Chris Rivera (Anaheim, Calif.) flew out to second base but an errant throw again by the second baseman allowed Alford to take home plate and score the first run for Team USA in Guatemala.
Nolan Rogers (Bloomington, Ind.) then tallied the first RBI of the trip as he sent an RBI single to right field to score Viceral from third and put the U.S. up 2-0 in the second inning.
The U.S. plated four more runs in the top of the third inning, again capitalizing on Guatemalan errors.
It all started when Chris Chinea (Miami, Fla.) was hit by a pitch and Connor Martin (San Jose, Calif.) placed a ball down the right field line for an RBI double. Martin, however, was thrown out on his way to third base for the second out of the inning.
Hinojosa reached third base after an error by the right-fielder and a single and double by Alford and Viceral, respectively, plated two more runs. Joe Dudek (Wall Township, N.J.), who pitched his one scoreless inning of work in the bottom of the second inning showed his valuable versatility as his single to right plated the fourth run for the U.S. in the third inning; pushing the lead to 6.
Guatemala threatened in the bottom of the fifth inning as an error by third baseman Cody Poteet (Bonita, Calif.) and a four-pitch walk by Alford put runners on first and second with two outs. But Alford struck out the following batter looking and ended the threat that saw the first Guatemalan reach farther than first base all evening.
As the defenses for both teams took control for the following few innings, Guatemala was able to scratch a tally on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jonny Locher (Burien, Wash.) walked a Guatemalan batter and saw a triple, that just slightly knicked the right-field line, break the shutout as the Guatemalan 16U team picked up their first run. Locher would then immediately strike out the next batter in three pitches to end the game.
For Team USA, today was a staff-pitching day as six different pitchers made their way to their mound Pitchers Nolan Rogers, Joe Dudek, Bryant Hodge (Moore, Okla.), Robert Whalen (Stroudsburg, Pa.), Anthony Alford and Jonny Locher managed the six inning, two hitter as they combined for 14 strikeouts; Dudek, Hodge and Whalen each struck out the side in their respective single inning of work.
Alford highlighted the Team USA roster as he went 2-2 with 2 runs scored and pitched a solid inning of relief in the game as he was credited with the win.
The U.S. will begin the 2008 COPABE Pan Am "A" Qualifier Saturday, November 29, 2008 as they take on the 14U Guatemalan team in the game immediately following the opening ceremonies. The game will take place at the Enrique "Trapo" Torrebiarte stadium in Guatemala City, Guatemala at 7pm central time.