18U trials: Bats push USA by Brewers, 11-4
Abreu drives in three runs to lead the charge
FULLERTON, Calif. - An offensive attack in the first two innings put the USA 18U National Trials Team up 6-1, and they would never relinquish the lead in an 11-4 victory over the Brewers Scout Team on Monday night at Goodwin Field.
The offense showed up in a hurry for the trials team. After starter Stephen Gonsalves used just seven pitches to retire the side in the first inning, the offense got him a lead. Riley Unroe was hit in the hand by a pitch. He then stole second when he and Cavan Biggio executed a hit-and-run. Unroe and Jeremy Martinez, who reached on a walk, would both score on Willie Abreu's double to right. After a Chris Okey walk, Andy McGuire singled to right to push the lead to 3-0.
The Brewers would scrap back, getting a run in the second when Chris Rivera walked and came around to score on Luke Persico's sacrifice fly. Gonsalves would pitch around three free passes in the inning and minimize the damage to just one run.
The Red, White and Blue lineup would continue its assault in the second. Ryan Boldt reached on an error and scored two pitches later when Unroe drilled a triple to deep right field. Unroe scored on a passed ball, and Abreu made the lead 6-1 with his RBI-ground out to the right side scoring Biggio from third.
Abreu would finish the evening just 1-for-3 but his three RBI's led all hitters. Biggio added a pair of RBI's in a 2-for-3 performance from the three-hole.
The Brewers got another run back in the third inning against Gonsalves. JP Crawford led off the inning with a single and scored on Dominic Smith's double to left field. Smith would get thrown out trying to take third on the throw, and Gonsalves would induce back-to-back fly outs to get out of the inning.
The lefty would exit after his three scheduled innings, picking up the win. The San Diego-native allowed just three hits while walking two and striking out two.
Logan Shore and Connor Heady would throw consecutive innings in relief of Gonsalves, combining to allow just one run on three hits while each striking out a pair of hitters.
Up 7-3, manager Scott Brosius turned to reliever Keegan Thompson. He allowed just one unearned run over three strong innings of work. The righty from Cullman, Ala. struck out two and benefited from two unconventional 1-2-3 innings.
In the sixth, Thompson gave up a leadoff single, but it was quickly erased by a 4-6-3 double play. He promptly retired the next hitter on strikes. Again in the eighth, Thompson allowed a leadoff single. This time the threat was ended with an inning-ending 5-3-6 double play.
The offense would return in the bottom of the eighth as USA struck for three more. The big blow came when Biggio unloaded on a 1-0 offering to deep center for a two-RBI triple. The slugger from Houston came home to score on a wild pitch pushing the lead to 10-4.
Southpaw John Kilichowski came in to close it out, and he shut down the Brewer lineup including striking out two.
The 18U trials team returns to action Tuesday night, 7 p.m. (4 p.m. local) at Goodwin Field. The morning workout will be held at Angels Stadium in Anaheim. Follow @USABaseball18U for more information.