The USA Softball Junior Men’s National Team took the field versus Mexico on Sunday in the consolation finals of the International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Men’s World Championship and won convincingly 11-5 the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today. With the win, Team USA finished 7-4, their best record in the Junior Men’s World Championship since 1985.
“These guys played hard all tournament long, said USA Head Coach Tim Lyon. “They won more games than any USA Junior Men’s team has won in a long time and that’s something to be proud of.”
Zane Chason (Alma, Ga.) drew the start for Team USA but lasted just 2.2 innings before Phillip Zimmerman (New Holland, Pa.) entered in relief. Chason allowed four runs on four hits in his outing and Zimmerman gave up just one run on three hits in the remainder of the game. The duo combined for six strikeouts.
Offensively, USA jumped on the board early with three runs on four hits in the top of the first inning. With Bryce DuCharme (Hudson, Wis.) reaching base on a single to lead off the game, Tyler Stoffel (North Mankato, Minn.) homered to make it 2-0. A Daniel Centeno Jr. (Salem, Utah) RBI double later in the at-bat scored the third USA run of the inning.
Mexico quickly closed the gap in the bottom of the inning scoring two runs on two hits off of Chason. The 3-2 score remained until the bottom of the third when the Mexican National Team again scored two runs on two hits taking a 4-3 lead into the fourth.
Team USA tied it up in the fourth when Tayler Nielson (Lehi, Utah) singled to plate Blaine Milheim (Eaton Rapids, Mich.) from second. In the bottom half, Zimmerman retired the side to preserve the 4-4 score to the fifth.
In their next at-bat, the USA Junior Men rallied to score two more runs on three hits and one Mexico error. The home team got a run back in the bottom of the fifth but USA held onto a 6-5 lead entering the sixth when they opened the game up for good. Tristan Sensenig (Denver, Pa.) opened the inning with a double and scored to batters later on an error. Later in the at-bat, with one runner on, Jimbo Pernetti (Ceres, Calif.) homered to give Team USA a 9-4 advantage.
Zimmerman held Mexico scoreless again in the sixth and the USA batters added two more runs on three hits in the seventh. With an 11-5 lead, the USA defense secured the win in the bottom of the seventh and Team USA earned the Consolation Championship.
In the tournament finals Argentina defeated New Zealand 9-0 in six innings to win their second consecutive ISF Junior Men’s World Championship Gold. Japan took bronze with a loss to New Zealand earlier in the day.
Following the tournament, the ISF flag was presented from the Whitehorse host committee to Dan Highland, member of the USA Softball Men’s National Team Selection Committee, as he represented Midland, Mich. who will host of the next ISF Junior Men’s World Championship in 2016.
Visit www.USAsoftball.com to view stats, archived streaming and see photos from all of USA’s games at the 2014 ISF World Championship.