14U Team rallies past Brazil, 5-3
Kuet's homer, double help U.S. to gold medal game
Brazil out-hit the U.S., 7-6, marking the first time in program history that a 14U National Team has been out-hit in international competition. It was Kuet, however, who propelled the U.S. into the title game, as he was 2-for-2 with a solo home run and had the game-winning RBI.
Kron (2-0) picked up his second win of the tournament, after holding Brazil to three hits in his four-plus innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out two.
Chris Rivera added a home run and J.P. Crawford stole three bases for the second straight game, as both scored two runs. The three steals for Crawford ties a 14U single-game mark and his nine on the tournament are a 14U season record.
Thiago Tiara was a perfect 3-for-3 to pace a Brazilian squad that jumped out to a two-run lead on U.S. starter Matt Vogel.
The Brazilian first inning marked the first time in six games a team has scored against the U.S. With one out, Renana Ishihara singled and stole second. After an error put runners on first and third, Rafael Moreno stole second, and a wild pitch scored the first run.
Moreno then pulled off a straight steal of home, despite contention from the U.S. that the batter had swung at strike three, narrowly beating Dempsey Grover's tag to make it a 2-0 Brazil lead.
The U.S. quickly got one back in the bottom of the inning, as Crawford walked and stole his seventh base of the tournament. The catcher's throw sailed into center field, allowing Crawford to advance to third, and after another wild pitch, Crawford scored to cut the Brazilian lead to 2-1.
Brazil continued to take advantage of U.S. miscues by adding an unearned run in the second. With two out, Felipe Lot reached and moved to second on a throwing error by Grayson Ivey. Two wild pitches later, Lot scored the third Brazil run to move the lead back to two.
The U.S. answered again, this time courtesy of Kuet. With one out, Kuet hit his second home run of the tournament, a solo shot that made it 3-2.
After Kron got the U.S. out of a second and third, one out jam in the third, Kuet gave the U.S. what would be the winning run in the bottom half. Crawford started the frame with a single, and after Rivera walked, they executed a double steal. Brazil recorded the next two outs without a run scoring, but a wild pitch tied it, and Kuet's double over the right fielder's head gave the U.S. the go-ahead run.
Rivera would give the U.S. some insurance in the sixth by hitting a solo home run to provide the final 5-3 margin.
Ishihara took the loss, pitching the third inning and giving up two runs. Brazil will meet the loser of Friday's Puerto Rico-Venezuela game for the bronze medal.
The U.S. will meet Puerto Rico for the gold medal Saturday morning. First pitch from La California Stadium will be at 2:00 p.m. (ET).