Wallace's perfect game wins gold
Team USA finishes unbeaten, outscores opponents 102-1
Team USA got to work early on defense with Wallace on the mound. After forcing a foul pop up to catcher Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif.) Wallace followed by striking out the next batter and picking up a routine ground ball to third baseman Rio Ruiz (Covina, Calif.) to end the first half of the inning and bring up the U.S. offensive.
Chris Rivera (Anaheim, Calif.) led off for the U.S. and scored a base hit up the middle. C.J. Hinojosa then came up and perfectly executed a hit-and-run as his liner into left field put runners on the corners for Albert Almora (Hialeah, Fla.). A double steal put Hinojosa on second and scored Rivera for the U.S. to take an early 1-0 lead.
With runners on the corners, Ruiz knocked a base hit to right to bring in Hinojosa and put Almora on third. Anthony Alford (Columbia, Miss.) got on bag courtesy of an error by the third baseman, scoring Almora and bringing the lead to 3 with no outs.
Brandon Viceral (Pleasanton, Calif.) slammed a base hit and Guatemala went to their bull pen. Martinez then slammed the first pitch by the Guatemalan reliever over the left field fence for a 2-run homer to bring the lead to 6-0. Wallace helped out his own cause as he lined a single to center and in Rivera's second at bat of the inning he slammed an RBI double to the left field wall to score Wallace as the U.S. scored a barrage of runs in the first inning-going ahead 7-0.
Albert Almora started the second inning off with a bang as he hit his third home run of the tournament over the left centerfield fence-again leaving not only the field, but the stadium as the U.S. went ahead 8-0.
Wallace continued his stifling pitching effort as he struck out the side in the second and went three up and three down in the third as he brought his strikeout total to six on the day.
Joe Dudek (Wall Township, N.J.) picked up a walk after Wallace dominated again in the top of the fourth and Chris Chinea (Miami, Fla.) laced a single through the left side to put runners on first and second with two outs. Connor Martin (San Jose, Calif.) then slaughtered a 1-2 pitch out of the stadium for a 3-run home run as the U.S. went up 11-0.
Jimmy Wallace had an arduous task of finishing up the game as he came to the mound with only three outs away from a perfect game. Wallace's got a scare as the first batter tapped a slow-motion roller down the third base line but Wallace would take care of it easily as he lined the runner out at first and left only two outs to go. Wallace battled with the second batter as the count went full but his clutch pitching got him the strikeout, his eighth.
Then Wallace did what no other pitcher in the 14U program has ever done. His ninth strikeout secured the perfect game for the United States, winning the Gold medal and finishing the tournament unscathed as the U.S. outscored its opponents 102-1 in six games.
"It's indescribable," says Wallace. "I never pictured myself throwing a perfect game in a Gold medal final. Representing my country and being able to finish with a perfect game has truly been an extraordinary experience."
Head Coach Dave Webb led his team to a 6-0 record and extended the U.S. 14U National Team international winning streak to 21 games. To this day, the 14U team has never lost a game internationally.
"The team played hard for the entire game," Head Coach Dave Webb says, "they represented their country with pride and honor. It was a total team effort from the beginning; from every single player to every single member to the USA Baseball staff."
Team USA wrapped up their tournament as they donated equipment to the baseball federations of El Salvador and Guatemala as they help promote the growth of baseball in Central America...
And then wrapped themselves in the American flag and celebrated their victory.