SALT LAKE CITY – Comeback efforts fell short for the USA Softball Junior Men’s National Team (JMNT) Saturday afternoon as the U.S. fell to Page Break 11-10 (four innings) and Wasatch Properties 4-3. The JMNT finish pool play at the Larry H. Miller Pioneer Days Tournament 0-3 and enter single-elimination bracket play Sunday morning at 9 a.m.
“Today was a huge improvement for our team,” said Head Coach, Tyron McKinney (Ashland, Ohio). “I really thought we moved the ball a lot better and made strides forward. Our job still isn’t done and we have to be better tomorrow than today.”
Page Break 11, USA JMNT 10 (four innings)
Click here for box score<https://gc.com/game-5b2d62f7e514ab001c0de157>
An eight-run, fourth inning rally to tie the game was not enough for the JMNT, falling to Page Break on a solo home run as the one hour and 45 minute time limit expired.
Team USA responded in the best way possible to Page Break’s seven-run third inning with a rally of their own. All eight runs came with two outs as the Red, White and Blue sent 13 hitters to the plate. Highlighting the offensive explosion was a three-run bomb by Derek Gomez (Austin, Texas) before back-to-back singles by Justin Martinez (Covina, Calif.) and Seth Brandel (Houghton Lake, Mich.) drove in the tying run.
One pitch into the home half of the fourth, Page Break connected on a pitch that was sent out beyond the left field wall to secure a slugfest win for opposition.
Page Break opened up the affair by striking first thanks to a three-run home run from their cleanup hitter.
Team USA responded with a crooked number of their own in the top of the second. Jason Obregon Jr. (Pico Riviera, Calif.) led off the inning with a sharp single through the left side before Tony Wark (Munger, Mich.) moved Obregon Jr. into scoring position via a sacrifice bunt. Martinez drove in the JMNT’s first run scoring Obregon with his second triple of the summer. Crossing the plate on the same play was Martinez as a Page Break throwing error to try and retire him at third found its way to the fence.
Alex Ibarra (Cedar, Hill, Texas) suffered the loss out of the pen in a one-third of an inning of work.
Wasatch Properties 4, USA JMNT 3
Click here for box score<https://gc.com/game-5b2d630ae119dd001ce5891d>
The USA JMNT continued to show its resilience at the plate in the nightcap despite dropping its final pool play game. Brandel drove in the game’s first run with a single to right field collecting his second RBI of the day.
Wasatch Properties got a hold of JMNT starter Craig Lewis (Winston, Mo.), plating a pair of runs in the second via a pair of singles.
Both teams recorded zeros the next two innings before the bats came back alive in the fifth. With a pair of runners in scoring position for the USA, C. Lewis helped his own cause with a RBI ground out to short evening the contest at 2-2.
USA went to right-hander Nathan Landry (Indian Brook, Nova Scotia) out of the pen following a walk and a hit-by-pitch by C. Lewis. Landry buckled down to get two outs despite a walk to load the bases. A single to right field that also resulted in an error allowed Wasatch to break the short-lived tie. Landry limited the damage with a strikeout to leave the score at 4-2 after five.
Down to their final three outs, USA sparked another late rally as Obregon Jr. led off the half inning with a line drive single up the middle before Jose Dominguez Jr. (Union City, Calif.) entered the game as a courtesy runner. After advancing to second on a ground out, Dominguez crossed the plate following a stolen base and wild pitch to pull the USA within one before Chayton Lloyd (Lakeside, Calif.) went down on strikes to close out the pool play finale.
To follow along with the USA Softball National Team Program, please visit USASoftball.com<https://www.teamusa.org/usa-softball>.