14U Team wins 2009 Pan Ams
Miller's pinch-hit single gives U.S. 4-3 win, gold medal
Miller kept the 14U Team undefeated in international play, as the squad now has a 26-0 record all-time.
The U.S. came into the fifth trailing by a run. J.P. Crawford led off with a walk, and then stole his 10th base of the tournament. While on second, a pickoff attempt by the pitcher sailed into center field, allowing Crawford to advance. As he slid into third, the center fielder's throw skipped past the third baseman, tying the game at three.
Mondou came up with one out in the inning and reached on an error by second baseman Miguel Cintron. After yet another errant pickoff attempt, the fourth error of the inning, Mondou was on second with two outs. Miller came off the bench to single up the middle to score Mondou for the winning run.
Mondou finished the game 2-for-3 with a run and Jesse Kuet finished his impressive tournament with a 2-for-3 performance.
Alex Martinez came on in relief of Zack Aukes to earn his second win. Chris Rivera pitched the last two innings, striking out four, to earn the first save of the tournament and of the 14U Team history.
Joseph Monge took the loss for the Puerto Rican squad, as his record fell to 1-1. Rafael Caraballo and Javier Gonzalez both had two hits for Puerto Rico.
The U.S. got out to an early lead in the second. Dempsey Grover drew a walk and moved to third on an Aukes single. The very next pitch was wild, scoring Grover to make it a 1-0 game.
Puerto Rico took the lead, scoring all three of its runs in the third. With one out, Javier Gonzalez singled and moved to second on an Aukes balk. After a single put runners on the corners, the U.S. could not turn a 1-6-3 double play, as a hurried Rivera throw was off the mark, allowing the first Puerto Rico run.
Martinez then came in after Aukes hit the next batter. His first pitch sailed high to the backstop, putting runners on 2nd and 3rd. Rony Morales came up and his ground ball was thrown wide to first by Rivera, allowing both runs to score for a 3-1 Puerto Rico lead.
The U.S. made it a one-run game in the fourth before rallying in the fifth. Kuet singled with one out and moved to third on a Grover single to right. Grover was then caught in a rundown trying to advance to second but Miguel Cintron threw the ball away trying to get Grover diving back into to first, allowing Kuet to score before the U.S. rally in the fifth.
Crawford set a new 14U Team record for stolen bases in a season with his 10. He also stole three bases in two different games, also tying a team record.
Kuet was named the tournament's MVP after hitting .667 (6-for-9), hitting two home runs, scoring eight and driving in four.
Ryan Kirby earned best batter and slugger awards, Grayson Ivey was named the best at third base, Crawford won the most stolen bases award with 10 and Miller was named the tournament's best home run threat, tying several others for two home runs on the tournament.