TEAM USA WINS 7-6 THRILLER OVER CANADA

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sports update

Clark hits game-tying homer, McGonigle delivers go-ahead triple in fifth

SARASOTA, Fla. – Team USA used a four-run fifth inning to come from behind and beat Canada, 7-6, in World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup pool play on Monday night at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida.

With the win, the U.S. remains unbeaten at 3-0 in Group A play.

After falling into a 4-1 hole in the third inning, Team USA chipped away and entered the bottom of the fifth down by two. Then, with Bryce Eldridge (Vienna, Va.) on first after a walk, Max Clark (Franklin, Ind.) cranked a two-run, game-tying blast over the right-field wall, sending the U.S. dugout into a frenzy and knotting the game at five. RJ Hamilton(Hoover, Ala.) singled two batters later to place the go-ahead run on base, setting the table for Kevin McGonigle’s (Aldan, Pa.) RBI triple down the right-field line to put the U.S. in front 6-5.

After McGonigle later scored on a wild pitch to make it a two-run lead, Blake Mitchell(Sinton, Texas) worked into and out of a jam in the seventh to secure the 7-6 victory for Team USA.

Clark and McGonigle – who were the keys to the rally in the fifth – both had two hits in the win. Clark’s game-tying blast gave him a team-high two RBIs and he was one of five U.S. players to score a run in the contest. Eldridge – who drew two walks, along with Colt Emerson (Cambridge, Ohio) – and McGonigle each scored twice in the victory.

Alex Clemmey (Middletown, R.I.) earned the win out of the bullpen, getting five crucial outs in the fifth and sixth innings. Clemmey entered the game in a jam in the fifth and allowed just one run to keep the contest within striking distance and then turned in a scoreless sixth inning after the U.S. tied the game. Makaio Cisneros suffered the loss for Canada after allowing four runs in 1.1 innings pitched, including Clark’s homer and McGonigle’s triple. Mitchell worked an eventful seventh to lock down the save.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Bryce Eldridge hit a one-out single in the second and scored on a wild pitch, giving the U.S. a 1-0 lead.
  • Canada grabbed a 4-1 lead in the third when Tyrus Hall scored on a wild pitch before a bases-loaded walk and RBI hits by Hugh Pinkney and Sam Shaw made it a three-run lead.
  • Kevin McGonigle hit a ground-rule double to straightaway center and scored on Gavin Grahovac’s RBI fielder’s choice to get the U.S. within two in the third.
  • A leadoff single and a walk put two on with no outs for Canada in the fourth, but a caught stealing, fly out, and line out got Cameron Tilly out of the jam unscathed.
  • Team USA continued chipping away in the fourth, scoring a run on a two-out error to trim Canada’s lead to 4-3.
  • Canada’s Hugh Pinkney hit an RBI groundout in the fifth as Canada re-took a two-run edge at 5-3.
  • With Bryce Eldridge on first base following a fifth-inning leadoff walk, Max Clarkdeposited a game-tying, two-run blast over the right-field wall to tie the game at five.
  • In the fifth, RJ Hamilton singled through the left side and scored on a two-out, RBI triple from Kevin McGonigle as the U.S. grabbed the lead back at 6-5.
  • Kevin McGonigle came home on a wild pitch in the fifth to extend Team USA’s edge to 7-5.
  • Canada scored a run on a bases-loaded walk in the seventh but two straight strikeouts got Blake Mitchell out of the jam and finished off the win.

OF NOTE

  • Aidan Miller collected a hit and drew a walk in the win and now owns a tournament-best .846 on-base percentage. He also leads the event with a 1.875 slugging percentage.
  • Alex Clemmey has now made two appearances at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup and not allowed a run, striking out four batters in 2.2 innings of work.
  • With Max Clark’s homer on Monday, Team USA now has six home runs as a team to lead the tournament.
  • Before pitching the seventh, Blake Mitchell caught the first six innings and threw out a runner attempting to steal. Baserunners are now 0-for-2 when attempting to swipe a bag on Team USA’s backstop.
  • The victory was Team USA’s fifth-consecutive win against Canada at the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup. The U.S. is 14-2 all-time against the Canadians in the tournament’s history.
  • With the win, the United States sits alone atop the Group A standings at 3-0.