Need Final Four Finish to Qualify for 2022 WBSC World Cup in New Zealand
Will Face Guatemala at 11am ET/8am PT and Cuba at 2pm ET/11am PT
The USA Men’s National Team, coming off yesterday’s big Super Round win against Venezuela will face Guatemala and Cuba in their quest for a Final Four spot in the tournament, and a berth to the 2022 WBSC World Cup slated in the fall in New Zealand.
The USA has played well throughout the tournament, notching two run rule wins in the preliminary round, 14-7 over Colombia and 19-9 over Puerto Rico, while battling in two close loses, to the gold and bronze medalist teams from the last World Cup, 2019 in Prague, Argentina and Canada. In their 4-2 loss to Canada, the USA took a 2-1 lead into the fifth inning, before Canada overtook them with two home runs, off the bats of Derek Mayson and Jason Hill. Argentina scored two early runs and added a late insurance run to top the Red, White and Blue, 3-1. In both of these contests, the USA ran into world caliber pitching, Sean Cleary and Devin McCullough for Canada and gold medalist Hueml Mata for Argentina.
The USA’s ace, lefty Brad Kilpatrick pitched in both of those contests, keeping his team within striking distance. Kilpatrick is 2-2 in the Pan American tournament, with wins over Colombia and Venezuela, while taking tough losses to Canada and Argentina. Kilpatrick has surrendered 10 runs in 20.2 innings pitched, while striking out 23.
Offensively, the USA has tallied 45 runs in 5 games. Zac Shaw has driven in 8 runs, while Erick Ochoa and Cam Schiller each drove home 5. Nick Mullins and Zac Shaw lead the team in runs scored with 6. Zac Shaw also leads the team in hits with 7, while Erick Ochoa and Yusef Davis each added 4.
The USA finished the preliminary round with a 2-2 record, and were in every game. Canada grabbed the top spot in the USA Pool B, at 4-0, including a win over Argentina which took the second spot with a 3-1 record.
In the Super Round Thursday, the USA notched an 8-1 win over Venezuela, running their overall record to 3-2. Meanwhile, Canada won two Super Round games Thursday, running their overall record to 6-0, while Argentina cruised to two more wins and is now 5-1 overall.
Cuba came out of Pool A with a 4-0 record, but it remains to be seen how the Super Round will play out. Cuba will face the Americans at 2pm ET/11am PT, and then Canada at 5pm ET/2pm PT.