By Tyler Maun @TylerMaun

GIJGANG, Korea — Pitcher Alejandro Rosario was slinging fire, and the United States rode it to victory.

Caught in a tight matchup with upstart Spain during the Opening Round of the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup 2019, the world’s No. 2 baseball programme trailed 3-2 after six innings, but Rosario helped steady the Americans’ ship, while setting the mark for fastest pitch of the Opening Round.

Rosario touched 155 km/h (96.3 mph) as part of four stellar innings in relief of United States starter Mick Abel.

The right-hander from Miami (Florida) Christian High School is the 18th-ranked prep player in the United States, according to trade publication Baseball America, and is committed to play at the University of Miami, if he doesn’t sign with a Major League Baseball team following the June 2020 draft.