USA Men Compete at ISGU Tournament
ORLANDO, Fla. – The USA Men’s Fast Pitch National Team failed to get much going offensively as they fell to Sopotocientos 5-3 in their opening game of the International Sports Group Union tournament the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and USA Softball announced today. Travis Price (Orange, Calif.) picked up the loss for the Americans going three innings and surrendering three runs on six hits.
“We stuggled in some areas tonight,” said USA Head Coach Peter Turner. “Anytime you spot a good team a four-run lead and leave seven runners stranded, you’re going to have a hard time coming out on top.”
Adam LaLonde (Ashland, Ky.) led off the game with a single and an error two batters later gave Team USA two runners on base to start the game but consecutive strikeouts followed and kept the score at zero. In the bottom half of the inning, Sopotocientos’ Oscar Arrea reached on a walk. Rafael Flores followed up his effort with a single that gave the home team two runners on base. In the following at-bat, Joel Vilchez doubled to score both runners and give his team a 2-0 lead.
The USA men managed two more base runners in the second inning but a ground out to third and a strike out ended the top half of the inning with runners standed. A single and two USA fielding errors in the bottom of the second scored two more Sopotocientos runs to give them a 4-0 advantage.
In the top of the third inning, Todd Schultz (Williamston, Mich.) led off with a double to right field. A fielding error in the next at-bat brought Schutlz around to score Team USA’s first run of the game. They managed one more run in the inning when Chase Turner (San Jose, Calif.) grounded to second for an RBI. At the end of two and a half innings of play, USA trailed 4-2.
Sopotocientos got one of the runs back in the bottom of the third off of a Carlos Santodomingo home run. Following the solo shot, Price managed to retired two of the next three batters to keep the Americans within three.
Both teams struggled to get much going offensively in the fourth. In the bottom half of the inning Josh Johnson (Brooklyn Wis.) entered the circle in relief and managed to hold Sopotocientos to a three-up, three-down at-bat. With the game’s one hour and 30 minute time limit about to expire, Team USA found themselves with one last chance to get back in it. Matt Palazzo (Des Moines, Iowa) began the top of the fifth by reaching on a walk. Two batters later, Derrick Zechman (Watsontown, Pa.) was hit by a pitch to give Team USA runners at first and third. With Palazzo in scoring position and one out, Turner again hit a chopper to second for his second RBI ground out of the evening. With the run USA trailed by just two runs but a ground out to the pitcher sealed any chances of a final-inning rally.
“We were able to get runners on base tonight but we just struggled to bring them in,” said Turner. “This was our first step on a long journey. We just have to learn for the mistakes that we made today and improve on them tomorrow.”
The USA Men will move on to play the Padres on Friday at 11:00 a.m. (EST) and then turnaround to face the Bravos in their final pool-play game of the tournament at 3:00 p.m. (EST). Please visit www.USAsoftball.com to follow live stats and see photos from all of USA’s games at the ISGU International Tournament.