Sept 2,2014(ISN) – HOUSTON, Texas-Team USA combined to steal seven bases, punch-out thirteen hits,
while limiting the Junior National Team to only five hits as they cruised to a 9-1
victory today at Cougar Field on the campus of the University of Houston.
The win gives the United States three consecutive victories over Canada with one
game remaining in the series tomorrow before both teams depart Wednesday for Mexico
and the 18U Pan American Championship/World Cup Qualifier.
“They’re a good club and if you’re going to beat the United States you’re going to
have to play all facets of the game,” said Head Coach Greg Hamilton. “You have to
pitch, play well on defence and get timely hitting. We haven’t been able to do that
since we’ve been down here and if you can’t against these types of teams you’re not
going to win.”
Team USA got to Canadian starter JP Stevenson (Hunter River, PE) early in the bottom
of the first as a two-out double to the gap in left off the bat of Lucas Herbert
scored two runs.
In the second a two-out double haunted Stevenson and Canada again as another run
came in when Team USA’s Trenton Clark hit a ball in the gap in left that staked the
Americans out to a 3-0 lead.
Team USA starter Kolby Allard was tremendous through three innings on the mound
holding Canada hitless giving up just one walk, while striking out four.
“He’s outstanding – the key to him is his arm is effortless and you can’t pick-up
(his) pitches,” explained Hamilton.
In the fourth, after Allard exited the game, Canada got two runners aboard when Luke
Horanski (Dugald, MB) walked and Gareth Morgan (Toronto, ON) was hit by a pitch with
one-out. Both runners moved into scoring position on a groundout, but a pop out to
first base ended the threat.
After giving up back-to-back doubles in the third that brought in the fourth Team
USA run of the game, Stevenson worked his way out of a jam in the fourth getting a
strikeout and a pop-out to second base with runners on second and third.
Team USA had a no-hitter going through five and two-thirds innings before LP
Pelletier (Montréal, QC) lined a single to left in the sixth. Luke Horanski
followed with a double to the gap in right-centre before being thrown out at third
base trying to stretch it into a triple.
Colton Wood (Victoria, BC) took over for Stevenson in the fifth and turned in a
solid inning getting a groundout and a pair of fly outs to end the frame, but the US
scored used RBI singles in both the seventh and eighth innings to add to their lead.
In the eighth, Canada loaded the bases after a walk, single from Mitch Robinson
(Surrey, BC) followed by another walk, but JF Garon (Terrebonne, QC) lined out to
the first baseman who stepped on first to double-off Charles Leblanc (Laval, QC).
The US tacked on three more runs in the third off of reliever RJ Freure (Burlington,
ON) to put them game out of reach before Pelletier picked up his second hit of the
game in the ninth and moved to third on a Gareth Morgan double only to be left on
With one game left in the series, the goal of qualifying for the 2015 18U World Cup
with a top four performance next week in Mexico is something for the team to remain
focused on above all else. Head Coach Greg Hamilton is confident that his group will
be ready when the games start to count.
“We’ve got a clearly defined (team) objective that we need to get done and I believe
we will get done,” stated Hamilton. “Again, we’ve got guys on our side who haven’t
played in three weeks and they need to get their touches (here).
“The difference on the other side (USA) is they’ve got guys who are pitching 91-93
(miles per hour), and you can afford to be a little bit off, it’s forgiving. Our
guys don’t run it up like that, so they have to hit spots. When they haven’t pitched
for three weeks, it makes a difference.”
Notes: The four-game Canada/USA series will conclude tomorrow at Cougar Field on the
campus of the University of Houston with a 1:30pm ET first pitch… You can follow
this game pitch-by-pitch with live scoring courtesy of USABaseball.com and by
following @Team_C_Updates…Following the exhibition series against Team USA, Canada
will participate in the 18U Pan American Championship/World Cup Qualifier from
September 5th – 14th in La Paz/Los Cabos, Mexico where the top four teams will
qualify for the 2015 IBAF 18U World Cup in Koshien, Japan.