Long balls propel USA to first Premier12 win

Long balls propel USA to first Premier12 win
Waters, Adell, Dalbec and Rooker homered for the US team in the 9-0 victory over the Netherlands

Drew Waters blasted a leadoff home run on the first pitch of the game and Bobby Dalbec hit a grand slam in the fifth to lead USA to a 9-0 victory over the Netherlands, in the opener of the Premier12 2019 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Five different US pitchers combined for the shutout, limiting the Dutch offensive to only 2 hits.

Waters homered the first pitch of this Premier12 over the right-field fence of the Charros de Jalisco Stadium, the first of four homers for USA. “Drew’s homer set the tone for us,” said USA manager Scott Brosius. “He led us in the right direction.”

In the second inning, USA added one with a sacrifice fly. Mark Payton hit a short fly ball into foul territory, behind first base, that was caught by Juremi Profar with his back to home plate, allowing Jacob Cronenworth to score from third.

One inning later, 20-year-old left fielder Jo Adell crushed a ball in the top part of the strike zone to make it 3-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, with two outs runners on second and third and two outs, Netherlands manager Hensley Meulens intentionally walked Daulton Varsho to face Bobby Dalbec, and the cleanup hitter homered deep to center field to make it 7-0.

"We can hit, and we can hit it pretty far… and our pitching is always going to be rock solid," said Dalbec after the game.

Brent Rooker put an exclamation point on the USA victory, nailing a two-run home in the bottom of the eighth.

The winning pitcher was USA starter Cody Ponce (1-0) who worked five quality innings allowing only two hits, one walk and striking out five. The US bullpen picked up where Ponce left off, as Noah Song, Clayton Andrews, Brooks Pounders and Clayton Richard combined to throw four hitless innings to secure the victory.

For the Netherlands, veteran starter Rob Cordemans was charged with the loss in three innings of work. He allowed two hits and two runs (two earned) with two strikeouts.

In the second day of competition in Premier12 Group A, the Netherlands will take on the Dominican Republic at 12:00 hs. local time, while USA will face Mexico at 19:00 hs.