18U trials: USA's 15 hits top Red Sox, 11-5
Sands, Davis and DeMers dominate the final six innings
FULLERTON, Calif. - An offensive surge Sunday night led the USA Baseball 18U National Trials Team to a 11-5 victory over the Red Sox Scout Team at Goodwin Field on the campus of California State University, Fullerton. USA knocked 15 hits, including multi-hit performances from Riley Unroe, Jeremy Martinez, Andy McGuire, Reese McGuire, Logan Shore and Connor Heady.
The Red Sox Scout Team jumped on Team USA early. Starter Ryan Olson set down the first two hitters on strikes, but the Sox found their offense. Michael Hickman singled up the middle to get Olson into the stretch. The next batter, David Denson, walked and was followed by a Lucas Hebert RBI-single to left.
The Sox weren't done there. After Olson plunked third baseman Jonah Hildebrandt, Tristan Hildebrandt laced a two-RBI double into the left-center gap putting the Sox up 3-0.
"Early on we didn't have the command we needed to have," said manager Scott Brosius. "I felt like we did a good job of bouncing back. We did a good job offensively and as the game went along our pitchers settled in and we were able to control the ball game."
The USA offense would respond in the bottom half of the first with a run of its own. Leadoff man Ryan Boldt hit a hard ground ball through the right side, and then proceeded to swipe second base a few pitches later. With two outs designated hitter Jeremy Martinez lined a ball through the left side and the speedy Boldt came around to score from second to bring the score to 3-1.
But, the Red Sox would strike again in the second. Olson struck out the first batter, but back-to-back doubles pushed the lead back to three runs with the Sox up 4-1. Olson would leave after the second inning, having struck out four batters while issuing just one walk.
USA would not stay down long. With one out in the second, Red Sox starter Kiko Garcia issued back-to-back walks to Bryson Brigman and Dom Nunez before Connor Heady loaded the bases with a single to right field. With one down, Boldt hit a ground ball to second to score Brigman, and one pitch later Riley Unroe cleared the bases with a towering two-run double to tie the game 4-4. Two pitches later Andy McGuire singled to bring home Unroe and put USA on top 5-4.
The Red, White and Blue added on in the third inning. With Brigman on, Dom Nunez walked. The pair completed a successful double steal to set up Heady who delivered an RBI-single to right, pushing the lead to 6-4.
Southpaw Garrett Williams would relieve Olson in the third inning and right the ship. The Louisiana native worked around back-to-back hit-by-pitches to put up the first scoreless frame of the night. The Red Sox would touch Williams up for a run in the fourth when the lefty couldn't corral a sharp comebacker with a runner on third base.
Williams picked up the win on the mound after firing two innings, allowing just one run while striking out two and issuing no walks.
USA continued its offensive surge in the bottom of the fourth, posting two more runs on the board when Logan Shore drove in Jeremy Martinez with a one-out single to right field and Reese McGuire came around to score later in the inning on a wild pitch. The pair of runs gave USA an 8-5 lead as it turned the ball over to Carson Sands.
"They (Sands, Davis and DeMers) were great," said Brosius. "Once Carson settled in, and the last couple guys came in and were pretty dominante. They had fastballs, but more importantly good breaking balls."
Sands pitched around two walks in the fifth inning, but settled in and dominated the Red Sox Scout Team lineup. The Florida lefty retired the last seven hitters he faced, including three strikeouts. He fanned four overall while not allowing a hit in three innings of work.
"I was a little nervous," Sands said of the early walks. "But once I got the bugs out of me, I settled down and did what I usually do: throw strikes and let them get themselves out."
USA would again put up two runs in the fifth inning when Reese McGuire drilled a ground ball down the right field line for a two-RBI double. The two-bagger scored Andy McGuire and Jeremy Martinez who singled and doubled ahead of R. McGuire, respectively.
Cavan Biggio pinch-hit to lead off the eighth inning, and crushed a 2-1 offering to deep left-center. Biggio raced around the bases for a stand up triple. One pitch later, Dom Nunez lifted a sac fly to center field to score Biggio, putting USA up 11-5.
Kevin Davis continued putting up zeros on the mound for USA. The righty struck out four batters in his two innings of relief. He allowed just one base hit to quiet a Red Sox lineup that knocked eight hits in the early innings.
Joe DeMers came in to close the door in the tenth inning-he slammed it. The 2015 high school grad struck out the side needing just 14 pitches to accomplish the feat.
The trials team will be back in action Monday evening at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local) at Goodwin Field.