The Saga of Men’s Softball
November 13 2012
ARGENTINA CROWNED NEW WORLD CHAMPION
PARANÁ, ARGENTINA — Argentina was crowned World Champion this weekend for the first time in history, after beating Japan 5-0 in the final game of the IX ISF Jr. Men’s World Championship. The home team won the title undefeated, winning all their games in the tournament. Third place went to Australia, losing in the playoff with Japan by 5-4, in ten innings.
A crowd of more than seven thousand people witnessed the final on a historic day for Softball Argentina, which was broadcasted live on TV and High Definition for the entire country on Public TV.
The game started with an exciting pitching duel between starters Huemul Mata and Kento Okazaki, who both had a no-hitter heading into the fourth inning. The first run of the game came in the top of the fourth. Joaquín Alegre got on base with a walk, and then Roman Godoy hit an RBI triple to put the game 1-0. That was all for Okazaki, who threw 3.1 innings and recorded 1 H, 1 R, 3 BB and 3 K. In relief, Ogushi Taiki worked three innings and allowed the other 4 runs, with 3 hits, 3 walks and 5 strikeouts. The remaining runs were scored in the sixth (1 run) and seventh (3 runs).
On the defensive side, Huemul Mata had a sensational night, being close to a perfect game, allowing just 1 hit in 6.2 innings, striking out 6, allowing no walks or runs. Mata only received help from Franco Gini, who entered in the sixth inning to face one batter. Mata then returned to complete the game.
Australia, who was unable to defend their title, received the bronze medal after a long day. In the first game, they defeated New Zealand 2-1, and then beat Canada by 3-2. However, in the medal game lost to Japan 5-4 in ten innings.
Fourth place went to Canada, which defeated USA 4-2, but could not stay in the race after losing against Australia.
Loss to Canada ends medal hopes for USA Junior Men’s Fastpitch Team
PARANA, Argentina – The USA Softball Junior Men’s National Team fell to Canada 4-2 in a playoff elimination game on Saturday at the International Softball Federation (ISF) IX Junior Men’s World Championship the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. With the loss, Team USA takes sixth place in the 13-team tournament.
“We just never could really get things going offensive today,” said USA Head Coach Tim Lyon. “Six of our first 10 at-bats ended with a strike out. We were finally able to put some runs on the board late in the game but spotting them four runs in the first four innings really hurt us.”
Tyler Johnson (Union, Mo.) began the game with a single for Team USA in the top of the first inning and eventually found his way to third by way of a stolen base and passed ball but a pop up and two strike outs ended the USA at-bat, stranding Johnson on third.
The USA hitting slump continued into the second and third innings as they went 10 consecutive batters before Mauro Olivarria (San Diego, Calif.) was able to connect with a base hit in the fourth inning.
On the other side of the ball, Canada jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning after USA starting pitcher Jerlin Rutt (Ephrata, Pa.) hit the first batter of the inning which was followed with an RBI triple in the next at-bat. Three batters later, an error at short stop for Team USA scored the second Canadian run. Two innings later, Canada added to their lead with a third run despite two Rutt strikeouts in the inning.
Two three up, three down at-bats for USA and Canada in the third inning preserved the 3-0 score to the fourth. USA failed to take advantage of their second base runner of the game in the top of the fourth and then allowed a fourth Canadian run in the bottom half of the inning to extend their lead to 4-0.
USA finally got things going from the plate in the fifth when Spencer Yackel (Lake Crystal, Minn.) walked and Austin Tuttle (Payson, Utah) followed with a single. With the runners at first and second, consecutive wild pitches to Dylan Elmer (Machesney Park, Ill.) first advanced them to second and third and then scored Yackel and put Tuttle on third. Elmer drew the walk to bring up the top of the order for Team USA. With a 2-2 count, Tyler Johnson grounded up the middle to the short stop who tagged Elmer at second but the hit was enough to score Tuttle from third to make the score Canada 4, USA 2.
USA held Canada scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings preserving the 4-2 score into the seventh. With one last opportunity to get back into the game in the top of the seventh, the USA batters came up short sealing the victory for the Canadians.
USA finished the tournament with a 5-3 record, the first winning record for a USA Junior Men’s National Team at the ISF World Championships since a 7-3 finish in 1985. Team USA outscored its opponents 55-33 in the event and went 58-of-193 from the plate for a combined batting average of .301.
Jerlin Rutt led the way for the Americans from the circle. The right hander finished the tournament with a 4-2 record and a 2.52 ERA.
“I’m really proud of the way this team competed at this World Championship,” said Lyon. “These guys went on a run that really opened some eyes to the program. I think the success that we had this year is going to be huge for the Junior Men’s National Team in the future.”
The next ISFJunior Men’s World Championship is scheduled for June of 2014 in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Please visit www.USAsoftball.com for box scores and photos from all of USA’s games at the 2012 ISF World Championship.
Argentina outscores USA Junior Men in a shootout at ISF World Championships
PARANA, Argentina – A crowd of 7,000 watched the USA Softball Junior Men’s National Team faceoff with the Argentinean National Team in Parana on Thursday in the first round of playoffs at the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) announced today. The seven inning contest saw four lead changes with Argentina ultimately coming away with the 8-5 win.
USA jumped on the board first in the bottom of the second inning. Jonathan Lynch (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) gave the Americans their first base runner when he drew a walk with one out in the inning and in the next at-bat, Jake Rutt (Ephrata, Pa.) was hit by a pitch advancing Lynch to second. With the runners in position, Junior Centeno (Salem, Utah) connected on a 1-2 pitch for an infield grounder. Centeno was thrown out at first but the ground ball was enough to bring Lynch home for the first run of the game. After two innings, Team USA led 1-0.
Argentina responded in the top of the third with two runs of their own off of two hits and a USA error but the Americans retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning. With two down, Mauro Olivarria (San Diego, Calif.) walked prompting a rally that saw three consecutive USA hits resulting in four runs. After the third inning was complete the USA Junior Men had retaken the lead by three runs.
It didn’t long for Argentina to cut into that American lead. A single from the first batter of the inning in the top of the fourth was followed with a two-run homer to left field making the score USA 5, Argentina 4.
Team USA was unable to pad their lead in the bottom of the fourth going three up, three down and Argentina took advantage in the top of the fifth. With the crowd behind them, they rattled off three more runs on four hits prompting the fourth lead change of the game. The Americans continued to struggle from the plate in the bottom of the inning and after five the score was Argentina 7, USA 5.
Argentina added an insurance run in the sixth inning. After a single and stolen base gave them a runner in scoring position, third baseman Juan Cruz Zara hit a high fly ball to the gap in right-center field that was just out of Dakota Wells’ (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) reach. The ball rolled to the fence giving Zara an RBI Triple and Argentina a three-run lead.
Neither team managed to get anything going offensively in the bottom of the sixth or top of the seventh and Team USA found themselves with one last chance to get back into the game in the bottom of the seventh. A throwing error on a ground ball to third base put Justin Wurtz (New Haven, Mo.) on second base to start the at-bat but it was followed with consecutive strike outs. With two down, Lynch drew another walk to reach base for the fourth time in the game and keep Team USA’s hopes alive. With two runners on, Jake Rutt (Ephrata, Pa.) stepped to the plate representing the tying run. The right hander, already having hit two home runs in the tournament, took a called strike on the first pitch before fouling off the second and looking at a ball on the third. With a 1-2 count, Rutt swung hard and popped up to second base ending the game.
Jerlin Rutt (Bernville, Pa.), who pitched the complete seven innings, picked up his first loss of the tournament after giving up eight runs on 11 hits and recording eight strikeouts. Rutt’s tournament record now stands at 3-1.
With the loss, the USA Junior Men, 5-2 in the tournament, move on to face Canada (5-2) on Friday at 1:00 p.m. (EST) in an elimination game. The winner of USA’s game with Canada will get the opportunity to face the winner of New Zealand and Australia at 6:30 p.m. (EST) on Friday for a spot in Saturday’s medal games. Please visit www.USAsoftball.com to follow live stats and see photos from all of USA’s games at the ISF Junior Men’s World Championship.
USA secures No. 2 seed with first loss at ISF Junior Men’s World Fastpitch Championships
PARANA, Argentina – The USA Softball Junior Men’s National Team fell to Australia 12-1 in their last pool-play game at the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship on Thursday the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. With the loss, USA raps up pool play with a 5-1 record securing the No. 2 seed entering Thursday’s bracket play.
“At this point in the tournament everyone starts with a clean slate,” said USA Head Coach Tim Lyon. “We have to put everything that has happened over the past few days behind us and focus on the coming games. If we play like we’re capable of playing then we’re going to be just fine.”
Zach Lach (Frankenuth, Mich.) started the game in the circle for Team USA. The right hander threw 3.2 innings allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks. With the loss, Lach’s tournament record moves to 1-1.
The Americans struggled to get much going offensively throughout most of the night. After little production in the first two innings Nicolas Serrato (Corona, Calif.) and Dylan Elmer (Machesney Park, Ill.) both managed to reach base to begin the third inning. A sacrifice bunt from Tyler Johnson (Union, Mo.) advanced the runners to second and third but was followed up with two strikeouts to end the inning and the runners were stranded on base.
With two outs in the top of the fourth, Brent Meshke (Lake Crystal, Minn.) entered the circle for Team USA and picked up the final out of the inning to preserve a 4-0 Australian lead.
The USA’s sole run came in the fifth inning when Serrato again reached base from the lead-off position, this time after being hit by a pitch. Two batters later, Justin Wurtz (New Haven, Mo.), facing an 0-2 count, hit a ball to center field and a fielding error turned the play into a double bringing Serrato around from first base to score. After five innings of play, USA found themselves trailing 6-1.
Both teams were held scoreless in the sixth inning and the USA had one last opportunity to get back into the game in the seventh. Meshke began the inning but surrendered three runs on four hits prompting the second USA pitching change. Michael Lewis (Amboy, Minn.) entered the circle with his team trailing 9-1 and allowed three additional Australian runs before recording the final out.
Dakota Wells (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) began the bottom of the seventh with a chopper that bounced over the first baseman’s head for a base hit. Two batters later Wells was put out at second when Dylan Elmer grounded to first for the fielder’s choice. In the next at-bat Elmer was able to reach third when a ground ball from Tyler Johnson rolled under the second baseman’s glove for an error. Team USA found themselves with two runners on base but a ground ball to the pitcher ended any chances of a comeback.
With a 5-1 record, the USA Junior Men lock up the No. 2 overall seed in Pool A. The team will now turn it’s sights toward a 5:30 p.m. (CT) matchup with the host country Argentina who ran through Pool B with perfect 6-0 record to gain the No. 1 seed from that pool. With a win over Argentina, USA would advance to face the winner of Australia and Japan but a loss would mean a matchup with the winner of Thursday morning’s New Zealand versus Mexico game. Please visit www.USAsoftball.com to follow live stats and see photos from all of USA’s games at the ISF World Championship.