|Defeats defending World Champions, Argentina, in shutout fashion|
|AUCKLAND, New Zealand – In what snapped a 22-year medal drought for the U.S. Men’s National Team (MNT), the 2022 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Men’s Softball World Cup ended in victory for the Eagles after a 2-0 win over world-ranked No. 1 Argentina clinched the bronze medal for Team USA. The win earned the Red, White and Blue its 10th overall WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup medal – fourth in the bronze category – with the last U.S. podium finish happening at the 2000 Men’s Softball World Cup in East London, Africa. |
After falling to Argentina earlier in the tournament, the U.S. claimed redemption over the defending World Champions behind a complete game shutout from Brad Kilpatrick. The lefty thrower totaled 13 strikeouts in the win, a tone that was set after escaping a bases loaded jam with three-straight K’s in the bottom of the first inning. Kilpatrick and the U.S. defense limited the Argentina offense to six hits in the win while forcing seven stranded runs to keep Argentina scoreless for the first time in the tournament.
The game remained knotted through the first four innings until a clutch go-ahead home run off the bat of Yusef Davis gave the U.S. a one-run edge followed by a pair of base hits from Blaine Milheim and Erick Ochoa to put runners in position for a fielder’s choice RBI from Matt Palazzo to put the U.S. on top, 2-0. Despite a single and a pair of walks, the Argentina offense remained silenced through the final two innings with Kilpatrick sealing the U.S. victory via three strikeouts in the bottom of the seventh to earn Team USA’s fourth bronze medal in program history – first in 22 years.
The Eagles posted a 5-4 record through its quest to the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup with a 3-2 record through Opening Round followed by a 1-2 record through Super Round to edge the Eagles to its 10th Medal Round appearance in WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup history. Scoring at least one run in every game, the U.S. offense combined for a .272 team batting average highlighted by Milheim (.394) and Jonathan Lynch (.462) – a feat that landed the two among the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup All-World Team. The U.S. sent nine homers out of the park throughout the tournament thanks to three off the bat of Milheim, two from Lynch and one from Ochoa, Davis, Cam Schiller and Matt Palazzo. A force to be reckoned with on the base paths, Davis was awarded the Most Stolen Bases award with three stolen bases throughout the week. In the circle, the pitching staff of Kilpatrick, Javier Caballero, Jerlin Rutt and Jon Gwizdala combined for 71 strikeouts in 59 innings pitched with Kilpatrick fanning 49 in 35.1 innings followed by Gwizdala with 19 K’s in 13.1 innings pitched.
The WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup bronze medal caps the 2022 season for the U.S. MNT in historic fashion, adding another medal to the collection alongside five gold medals (1966, 1968, 1976, 1980 and 1988), one silver medal (1972) and three bronze medals (1984, 1992 and 2000). To learn more about the USA Softball Men’s National Team Program, visit USASoftball.com.
The 2022 USA Men’s World Cup Team
Representing the Red, White and Blue will be a roster that includes 10 veteran members from the most recent Men’s National Team roster, which earned the the U.S. a spot in the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship after finishing fourth at the Americas Qualifier held in Parana, Argentina in April of this year. Among the veterans are Blaine Milheim, Brad Kilpatrick, Cam Schiller, Erick Ochoa, Jonathan Lynch, Nick Mullins, Tyler Bouley, Tyler Johnson, Yusef Davis and Zac Shaw. Re-joining the squad after a one-year hiatus are two additional veterans, Jon Gwizdala and Matt Palazzo, who each helped lead the U.S. to a fifth-place finish at the 2019 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship and a silver medal finish at the 2019 Pan American Games – the program’s first silver medal finish in 16 years. Also highlighting the 2022 roster are four rookies who will put on the Red, White and Blue for the first time in their career.
Remaining at the helm of the U.S. MNT for his third-straight season, Head Coach Ron Hackett will lead Team USA in its quest to the podium at the 2022 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship. Hackett joined the MNT as an Assistant Coach in 2019 where he helped lead the U.S. to a second-place finish at the Pan American Games and a fifth-place finish at the WBSC World Cup during the 2019 season before guiding the squad to a fourth-place finish at the 2022 WBSC Americas Qualifiers earlier this year.
Rounding out the 2022 MNT coaching staff include assistant coaches Gerald Muizelaar, Greg Hicks and Roman Foore. Muizelaar returns to the coaching staff following the 2021 Americas Qualifier while Hicks prepares for his fifth overall appearance as an assistant coach. Entering his first stint as assistant coach, Foore packs years of experience and a wealth of knowledge as a former MNT player.
The USA Softball Men’s Fast Pitch National Team garners nine WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship medals, including five gold medals (1966, 1968, 1976, 1980 and 1988), one silver medal (1972) and three bronze medals (1984, 1992 and 2000). In the Pan American Games, Team USA has advanced to eight gold medal games while claiming the silver medal each time. To learn more about the USA Softball Men’s National Team Program, visit USASoftball.com.