18U BWC: USA squeezes past Venezuela in Thriller

18U BWC: USA squeezes past Venezuela in Thriller
03/09/2012

Seoul (Korea). The United States won the highly anticipated and crucial Group A matchup against Venezuela on Monday evening at Jamsil Stadium. They needed an eighth-inning run to prevail by a final score of 3-2, overcoming a 0-2 deficit in the process. Venezuela dropped to 2-2 in the standings, while the USA improved to 3-1.

Seoul (Korea). The United States won the highly anticipated and crucial Group A matchup against Venezuela on Monday evening at Jamsil Stadium. They needed an eighth-inning run to prevail by a final score of 3-2, overcoming a 0-2 deficit in the process. Venezuela dropped to 2-2 in the standings, while the USA improved to 3-1.

Venezuela brought out the best of the US squad. Wiliam Cuicas doubled home Angel Yepez and would cross the plate a few minutes later on a sac fly by Isaias Lucena to give his team a 2-0 lead. The United States needed just one frame to regroup and answered in the bottom of the fourth. RBI singles by Christian Arroyo and Ryan Boldt tied the game after William Abreu had opened the inning with a triple.

The teams exchanged zeros on the scoreboard afterwards until the eighth inning. Arroyo led off the bottom half with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a sac bunt by Dominic Nunez. Cavan Biggio, the son of future Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, pinch hit for Connor Heady and in difference to the loss against Korea, he came through this time. His single through the middle plated Arroyo easily from third and eventually lifted the USA to the win.

Otherwise it was an interesting pitcher’s duel. Ismael Zerpa stifled the American bats for seven-plus innings, allowing 11 hits and four walks, but still managed to keep them to only three runs, even though he struck out just two.

Carson Sands started for the US, issuing one hit, two runs and four base on balls in three-plus innings. Dominic Taccolini took over after a leadoff walk in the fourth and completely shut down the Venezuelan offense. The right-hander mixed speeds and showed an impressive breaking ball, striking out eight of the 20 batters he faced. He conceded only one hit and a walk in six innings of scoreless relief, receiving a well-earned win.