15U: USA dominates D.R. Red, wins 9-1
Team USA sweeps four-game series in the Dominican Republic
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- The 15U National Team dominated its final game in the Dominican Republic, as it took down the Dominican Republic Red squad, 9-1, Wednesday afternoon.
The 15U National Team's bats came alive against the Dominican Republic Red team, as they jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Nick Madrigal led off the game with a walk and eventually stole second and third before being driven in by Kyle Dean, who hit a shot to center field for a triple. Chris Betts followed Dean with a line drive of his own to give Team USA the lead, 2-0.
The Dominican Republic answered with a run of its own in the top of the second inning after several fielding errors by Team USA, which went into the bottom of the second inning up, 2-1.
In the bottom of the third, Dean and Betts were at it again, as Dean hit a line drive up the middle and Betts followed with a single of his own to score Dean and make it 3-1. Nico Hoerner continued the hot start with a single to right field to put runners on the corners for John Aiello, who drew a walk to load the bases for Nick Anderson. Anderson delivered with a double to right field to score two more runs and increase the lead to 5-1.
Team USA broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth with a four-run inning initiated by Madrigal, who was driven in by Kyle Tucker to make the score 6-1. Dean followed with a single of his own to put men on the corners for Betts, who continued his big day at the plate by smoking a ball to right field and scoring both runners to put the team up, 8-1. To cap off the inning, Hoerner hit a ground ball to the second baseman to bring in Betts, as Team USA moved into the top of the fifth inning leading, 9-1.
Team USA's pitching dominated for the fourth consecutive game, as Luken Baker picked up the win with five innings pitched, three hits, one run and seven strikeouts. Kyle Robeniol and Isaak Gutierrez came on in relief and combined to throw four innings of no-hit baseball with five strikeouts.
At the plate, several players had big days for the Red, White and Blue. Dean and Betts both ended the day with three hits. Dean led the team in runs scored with three, and Betts led in RBIs with three. Madrigal and Hoerner also had multihit games and combined to score three runs.
The 15U National Team ended its series in the Dominican Republic a perfect 4-0 and outscored its opponents by a final tally of 31-3. On the mound, Team USA was untouchable, and in four games the team's ERA was 0.40, dealing out 57 strikeouts, 14.25 per game, while only walking eight batters and allowing two earned runs.