USA Softball Junior Men’s National Team claims Fargo Memorial Tournament Title

May 27, 2018, 10 p.m. (ET)

Fargo, N.D. — The USA Softball Junior Men’s National Team (JMNT) went the distance on the final day of the Fargo Memorial tournament to collect three wins including the championship title, USA Softball announced. The Red White and Blue finished pool play with a 4-0 record and advanced to the semi-finals after defeating Notre Dame, 15-4. Team USA moved on to claim a 5-3 win over Duluth FP before setting up a rematch with the Fargo Knights, where they fought eight innings to pull out a 8-7 win.


“I am so proud of how our team competed this weekend,” said Head Coach Tyron McKinney (Ashland, Ohio). “I saw a fight in them that I wasn’t sure if they had or not. They proved it in a big way during the Championship game after falling behind in the sixth inning and coming back to win it. Again, I am so proud of what they gave me today on the field. I’m thankful for the hard work and preparation of the coaching staff this past weekend and throughout this journey we’re on to the World Championship."

  

USA 15, Notre Dame 4

Box score

 

Three innings was all it took for the U.S. to secure their fourth pool play win and advance to the semi-finals of the Fargo Memorial tournament, defeating Notre Dame 15-4. Dalton Gray (South Jordan, Utah) went yard on a 2-0 count to lead things off for Team USA before Derrick Gomez (Austin, Texas) hit a solo shot past the center field fence to put the U.S. up, 2-0. Notre Dame would respond would respond with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame to take a 4-2 lead.


Team USA took back the lead for good in the second inning, loading the bases after a hit-by-pitch to Ethan Rodriguez (San Ramon, Calif.), a back-to-back bunt-singles from Jose Dominguez (Union City, Calif.) and Gray. Gomez then connected for a line drive down the right field line to tack on three runs for the U.S. and make it 5-4. C. Lewis then singled and after an infield error, advanced to second while Gomez crossed home. The U.S. exended their lead after a passed ball allowed C. Lewis to take third and single from Brandel plated the seventh run for a 7-4 lead before the inning ended.


Alex Ibarra (Cedar Hill, Texas) and the defense allowed a solo hit in the bottom of the second before returning to the plate. Dustin Thompson (Nevada City, Calif.) singled to lead off the top of the third inning and advanced to second on a passed ball. The bases became loaded following an infield error, allowing Rodriguez to reach first before Dominguez grounded into a fielder’s choice. Gray also grounded into a fielder’s choice but the defense wasn’t fast enough to stop Thompson and Rodriguez from scoring. With Gray taking second on the throw, Paul Miklovic (Caro, Mich.) was issued a walk to put runners on each bag. C. Lewis doubled on a fly ball to left field to plate two runs before back-to-back singles from Brandel and Thompson plated another two runs apiece to extend the U.S. lead, 13-4.


Team USA shut down Notre Dame for good in the bottom half of the third inning to claim the 13-4 victory and finish with an undefeated record in pool play. Ibarra earned the win in the circle, allowing four hits and one walk in three innings of work. Gomez went 2-for-2 with a home run and 4 RBI, while Gray finished 2-for-3 with a home run and 3 RBI. 

 

USA 5, Duluth FP 3

Box score

 

In what was a shortened five-inning game, Team USA remained focused to win 5-3 over Duluth FP and secure their spot in the title game of the Fargo Memorial tournament. Despite Duluth FP striking first in the first frame, the Red, White and Blue bounced back to tie the game in the top of the second inning. Justin Martinez (Covina, Calif.) doubled on a fly ball to left field and was followed by a bunt from Chayton Lloyd (Lakeside, Calif.) to put runners on the corners for the U.S. A sac fly to centerfield by Daniel Stangel (Kewaunee, Wis.) drove home Martinez while Lloyd tied up the ballgame after scoring on an infield error. A pair of strikeouts by Nathan Landry (Nova Scotia, Indian Brook) and a pop out would retire Duluth FP to bring the U.S. back to the plate.


The JMNT would push across two more runs in the top of the third inning to take the lead. Gray doubled and touched home after Jeff Lewis (Amboy, Minn.) hit a line drive to right field. J. Lewis would advance to third after an error by the pitcher allowed C. Lewis to take first and put runners on the corners. J. Lewis then scored after a sac fly from Tony Wark (Munger, Mich.) to extend the U.S. Lead, 4-2.


In the top of the fourth inning, Miklovic doubled to centerfield to tack on another run for the Red, White and Blue, 5-2. Duluth FP quickly loaded the bases after three straight singles in the bottom half of the fourth frame and plated one run before being shut down by the U.S. defense. Looking to add on to their lead, the U.S. placed two runners aboard but stranded them after a pair of strikeouts and groundout. Ahead 5-3, the U.S. remained on top, keeping Duluth FP from scoring and punching their ticket to the championship finale.


Landry was credited with the win in the circle, allowing three runs on eight hits, while striking out four and walking two in five innings of work. Gray went 2-for-3, while J. Lewis and Miklovic finished with a 1-for-2 outing and 1 RBI apiece.

 

USA 7, Fargo Knights 6

Box score

 

Both sides were retired in order and the game remained scoreless through the first inning, until the U.S. plated a run to take an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Wark singled and advanced after the centerfielder bobbled the ball and was slow to the throw at second. With Obregon’s fly out to center field, Wark took third and later crossed home following a single from Martinez. The Fargo Knights got on board and responded with a run in the bottom half following a single and RBI double to tie the ballgame.


Miklovic got things going for the U.S. offense after laying down a bunt single and moving to second after a single from Gray. A double to right field by J. Lewis plated both Miklovic and Gray to put Team USA up, 3-1. With two outs, Wark approached the plate and on a 1-0 count, singled to bring home J. Lewis. The Fargo Knights managed to tack another run onto the scoreboard to make it 4-2.


The score remained in favor of the U.S. until the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings when the Fargo Knights launched a comeback and took a 5-4 lead following a pair of RBI singles in each. Despite allowing a hit on a bases-loaded situation in the bottom half of the sixth inning, Landry issued a strikeout to get the third out and prevent the Fargo Knights from doing further damage.


Trailing 5-4, a pair of groundouts opened up the seventh inning but did not shut down the U.S. offense as Gomez was hit-by-pitch and rounded the bases to cross home and tie the ball game following a triple to left field from Gray. The JMNT forced the game into extra innings after retiring the side in the seventh inning. With the international tie-breaker rule in effect, J. Lewis took second and was brought home after Landry singled on a line drive to left field. With Rodriguez in as a courtesy runner, Team USA put runners on the corners following a single from Wark. Obregon would groundout into a fielder’s choice, making Rodriguez out at the plate before Martinez singled and reached on an error. The U.S. added another run after Wark tagged up on a fly out to right field and made it 7-5. Three outs away from the tournament title, a two-out line drive to left field would bring in a run before Landry closed down the game with a strikeout to secure the 7-6 (eight innings) victory.


Closing out the tournament with an undefeated 6-0 record was the JMNT who claimed the title and now will take some time off before reuniting in Houston, Texas for training camp and competition June 12-17. The Fargo Memorial tournament served as an additional training opportunity for the 2018 JMNT as the team continues to prepare for the WBSC JMWC.  The final 17-player roster for the 2018 USA Softball JMNT will be determined prior to the WBSC Junior Men’s World Championship (JMWC), which will be held July 7-15 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada.  A complete schedule for the 2018 WBSC JMWC was announced on May 18 and can be found here.

  

With Tyron McKinney (Ashland, Ohio) at the helm of the Junior Men's Program, the U.S. coaching staff also includes Tony Aresco (Stoneham, Mass.), Mike Armitage (Normal, Ill.) and Bob Piddock (Castro Valley, Calif.).

 

About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 69 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game. 

As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit,www.USASoftball.com.