18U: USA loses heartbreaker in extras
USA can't match Canada's run in 10th inning
SEOUL, South Korea -- After nine scoreless innings, Canada pushed across a run in the top of the 10th and held USA scoreless in the bottom of the inning to hold on for a 1-0 victory.
USA starter Garrett Williams got off to a shaky start. After issuing a leadoff walk, the left-hander gave up a single to Kyle Hann to put two on with no outs. A fielder's choice put runners on the corners with one out, but Williams snagged a line drive back to himself and fired to first for an inning-ending double play.
Williams continued to be inconsistent in the strike zone in the second inning. He hit two of the first three batters. Mirroring the first inning, a fielder's choice put runners on the corners, but a lazy fly ball to right field ended the threat.
On the other side, Canada starter Ryan Kellogg was almost flawless through five innings. The southpaw allowed a single in the third inning to Chris Okey, but it was erased when Okey was caught trying to steal second. Kellogg faced the minimum through four.
Meanwhile, Williams found his groove on the mound. After pitching around free passes in the first two innings, Williams cruised into the sixth inning, having not allowed a runner to reach third base since the second frame.
After getting the first two outs in the sixth, Williams surrendered a double to deep left field, and manager Scott Brosius made a move to the bullpen, bringing in fellow left-hander Ian Clarkin.
Clarkin got the first batter he faced to hit a soft bouncer to Cavan Biggio at first base to end the inning. The out closed the books on Williams who threw 5 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, allowing four hits, walking two and striking out four.
Biggio collected his first hit of the night in the bottom of the sixth inning. The left-handed hitter hit a line drive to the opposite field with one out. Batting behind Biggio, Christian Arroyo ripped a ball to left field, but Nathan Desouza moved over to make the catch for the second out. With Ryan Boldt batting, Biggio stole second base, but Kellogg would got Boldt swinging to send the scoreless game to the seventh.
Clarkin applied the effectively wild technique in the seventh inning. After getting a strikeout and a groundout to first base, Clarkin issued back-to-back walks to put two on for Canada. However, he got three-hole hitter Desouza to fly out to right field to end the threat.
USA had the go-ahead run 90 feet from home in the bottom of the seventh inning. Jeremy Martinez drew a one-out walk and moved up to second when Kellogg was called for a balk. Reese McGuire grounded out to the shortstop to get Martinez within striking distance with two outs. Kellogg gave the USA runners on the corners when he hit Andy McGuire with a 2-2 pitch. The USA couldn't cash in, though, as Kellogg got Willie Abreu to ground out to second base to end the inning.
Clarkin continued to match Kellogg's zeros. In the top of the eighth inning, Clarkin struck out the side, getting the first two hitters swinging before catching Jesse Hodges looking to end the inning.
After Kellogg retired the United States 1-2-3 in the bottom of the eighth, Josh Naylor led off with a single for Canada. When Canada elected to send right-handed pinch-hitter Chris Shaw to the plate, manager Scott Brosius brought in Keegan Thompson out of the bullpen.
Thompson delivered his first pitch, and Reese McGuire fired to first from his knees to catch Naylor leaning off first for an out. Thompson handled the rest, striking out Shaw and getting Mitchell Triolo to send the game to the bottom of the ninth.
With two outs, Martinez singled up the middle. Reese McGuire hit a ground ball to the third baseman who fired to second, just beating Martinez for the inning-ending fielder's choice, sending the game into the international tiebreaker rule.
In the top of the 10th, Canada elected to place Triolo on first and Shaw on second. The leadoff man, Robson, laid down the sacrifice bunt. USA intentionally walked Hann to load the bases. After fouling off five pitches, Desouza singled to left to give Canada the 1-0 lead.
Down a run, USA rolled the dice with Boldt and Arroyo on first and second, respectively. Rather than laying down the sacrifice bunt, Dom Nunez pulled back and tried to slash over the crashing third baseman's head. The ball tailed foul, and with two strikes, Nunez grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. That moved Arroyo over to third with Martinez up. Martinez hit a sinking fly ball to right field, but Morgan ran under it to end the game.
USA returns to crossover action at 1 a.m. ET (2 p.m. local) on Thursday against Chinese Taipei in a must-win game to keep USA's gold medal hopes alive.