CARY, N.C. -- The 18U National Training Team defeated Pitt Community College, 11-2, at the National Training Center (NTC) on Tuesday. The game was its first of four training games for the impending COPABE Junior 'AAA'/18U Pan American Championships in November.
The two teams traded scoreless half innings until the U.S. broke the scoring drought when it recorded a lone run in the bottom of the third. Albert Almora scored on an error by the opposing shortstop after he previously singled, stole second, and advanced on a fly-out to center field.
The lead would later be erased by Pitt CC when it took a one advantage in the top of the fifth inning. The visitors scored a pair of runs when Matt Ashorn and Cameron Capell scored on a Ryan Cranmer two-out, two-RBI double. The hit put Pitt CC up by one, 2-1.
The 18U National Training Team would take the lead back for good in the bottom half of the fifth inning when it had a two-run half inning of its own. In the inning, the U.S. took advantage of two wild pitches by Pitt CC by scoring a run on each one to take the lead 3-2.
From there, the U.S. would add on to its lead. It scored two more runs in the next inning when Jeremy Martinez had a two-RBI double to plate teammates Nelson Rodriguez and Gavin Cecchini who both had reached with a pair of singles. Leading 5-2, the U.S. still came to bat in the bottom of the ninth due to the rules of the training game. In the inning, it added six more runs on five hits to make it the final score of 11-2.
Cody Poteet received the win for the U.S. going two innings while allowing only two hits while Dakotah Thomas took the loss for Pitt CC. Recording the save for the U.S. was Jesse Winker. Almora, Rodriguez, and Cecchini each had two hits for the 18U National Training Team in the victory.
SUPER-SUB: Jeremy Martinez may not have started the game, but in his two plate appearances he was 1-for-1 with a walk. His one hit was a 2-RBI double and his 2 RBIs led the team.
FAST FOUR-WARD: The U.S. had four stolen bases in the game vs. Pitt CC. Four different players had a stolen base a piece. The four players that got in on the action were Almora, Alex Bregman, Winker and Cecchini.
ON DECK: After a 9:30 a.m. morning workout, the 18U National Training Team will travel to nearby NC State to play its second training game. First pitch will be at 7:15 p.m. with the U.S. taking BP at 5:00 p.m.