USA tops Cuba 4-3 to repeat as U-15 Baseball World Cup champions

USA tops Cuba 4-3 to repeat as U-15 Baseball World Cup champions
05/09/2022
It's USA’s seventh world title in this age bracket (including results of the U-16 Baseball World Cup).

USA defeated Cuba in the World Championship Final of the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2022 on Sunday at Sonora Stadium to win their second consecutive title in this age category. Brady Murrieta homered in the second inning and Brady Ebel had two RBI to power USA past Cuba. See the box score, here.

“I just wanted to put the guys in a good spot to be successful. That was my main goal here,” said USA manager Andrew Briese. 

“When we started to train in Cuba we knew we had a good team, ready to compete. And that’s what we did,” said Cuban manager Alexander Urquiola. “It’s a bit bittersweet moment now, you saw the game...but they played better than us and ended with the title.”

USA took an early lead in the game. In the first inning, designated hitter Andrew Costello drew a five-pitch walk, then advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches and scored on a grounder to second base by Brady Ebel. 

Cuba put two runners on in the top of the second, but they couldn’t score. Yaider Ruiz was hit by a pitch, and Jonathan Valle hit a two-out single to put runners on first and second. But Chase Bentley struck out Segian Perez to end the inning.

In the bottom of the second, USA's Brady Murrieta hit a home run over the left field fence to the left field line to give his team a 2-0 advantage.

Cuba took the lead with a three-run rally in the top of the third. Dulieski Ferran led off the inning with a bunt-single, and advanced on a sacrifice by Alejandro Prieto. Maikol. Rodriguez walked and then Alejandro Cruz doubled in the first Cuban run. Ruiz followed with a two-run double to left center to give Cuba a 3-2 lead. 

USA starter Bentley was taken out of the game after 2.1 innings, surrending four hits and three runs in his outing. Zane Burns then took the mound for the US and walked Roberto Peña, before retiring Pedro Daguillecourt and Valle to end the inning.

USA responded immediately with back to back singles by James Tronstein and Coy James with no outs. Cuban starter Robier Hernandez was replaced by Daniel Reyes. With runners on second and third, Brady Ebel's infield single brought in the tying run, but Costello was caught off third base and thrown out at the plate to end the threat.

Cuba loaded the bases in the top of the seventh, with a one-out single by Alejandro Prieto and consecutive walks to Rodriguez and Cruz. USA manager replaced Burns and sent right-hander Ryan Harwood to the mound to retire the last two outs. And the flame-thrower struck out Ruiz and Peña, cranking up the velocity as high as 90 mph to secure the win.

This is USA’s seventh world title in this age bracket (including the U-16 World Cup).

Final Standings:

  1. USA
  2. Cuba
  3. Chinese Taipei
  4. Japan
  5. Puerto Rico
  6. Panama
  7. Mexico
  8. Venezuela
  9. Colombia
  10. Czechia
  11. France
  12. Guam
  13. South Africa