Team USA routs Guatemala 16-0
Albert Almora went 3-3 with 5 RBI and a 3 run home run
Almora (Hialeah, Fla.) picked up the first hit for Team USA (1-0) as his double through the left side in the first inning put a runner in scoring position early. Rio Ruiz then came up and slammed a 2-2 pitch 378 feet to the warning track of centerfield for an RBI triple, scoring USA's first run of the tournament.
The U.S. tallied another run in the first inning as Ruiz scored on a wild pitch by Guatemalan starting pitcher Marco Lemus.
Guatemala (0-1) threatened the U.S. defense in the bottom of the first on starting pitcher Adrian Marin (Miami, Fla.) as Alvaro Croker took advantage of a throwing error by shortstop C.J. Hinojosa (Spring, Texas) and set on second base with only one out. But Marin would not let Guatemala capitalize as he struck out the next two batters to end the early threat.
USA got back on the board in the third inning in a big way. Anthony Alford (Columbia, Miss.) drew a walk and Hinojosa laced a ball to right field to put runners on second and third with no outs and Almora up to bat.
Almora then jacked a home run to deep center that not only cleared the 380 foot fence on the field, but topped off the wall of the stadium that stands 25 feet high and 400 feet away from home plate. The home run put the U.S. ahead 5-0.
But the inning wasn't over for USA as Guatemalan reliever Diego Claveria surrendered four more runs, pushing the lead to 9-0 before the top of the order came back to the plate.
Starting in the exact fashion as their previous at bats, Alford walked for the second time in the inning and Hinojosa picked up another hit putting two runners on with Almora at bat again. Almora then knocked a 2 RBI triple to left-centerfield to put the lead at 11-0 and his RBI tally at 5. Rio Ruiz (Covina, Calif.) and Chris Chinea then hit back-to-back doubles scoring the final two runs of the inning leaving the U.S. ahead 13-0 after two and a half.
Three runs in the fourth inning pushed the U.S. to the final run differential of 16. Nolan Rogers (Bloomington, Ind.) and Jonny Locher (Burien, Wash.) each tallied an RBI walk and Ruiz picked up his third RBI with a sac fly to left.
David Petrino came on in relief of Adrian Marin in the bottom of the fourth with a 16 run cushion. While Petrino surrendered a hit to the first batter of the inning, he benefited from a strikeout-caught stealing double play and then struckout the final batter to seal the day.
Adrian Marin (1-0) picked up the win for Team USA as his three innings of work resulted in 4 strikeouts, no runs and one hit. Marco Lemus (0-1) took the loss for Guatemala. Lemus surrendered five runs on four hits.
Team USA welcomed special visitors after the game. Staff sergeant Ron Caddle and Colonel Humberto Rodriguez, representatives of the U.S. embassy in Guatemala shared their sentiment and pride in the 14U team and their appreciation. Leading the team in the "Go USA!" cheer after the game, both Staff Sergeant Caddle and Colonel Rodriguez were presented with a USA Baseball jersey for their dedication to the safety of Americans in Guatemala.
The U.S. has now pushed their international winning streak to 15 games with the win over Guatemala.
USA will take on Mexico (0-0), Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 3pm at Enrique "Trapo" Torrebiarte Stadium in Guatemala City.