Men’s National Team finishes with 5-0 record at BBL Invitational Tournament ahead of WBSC World Championship

June 09, 2019, 6:14 p.m. (ET)

Stevens, Pa. – The USA Softball Men’s National Team finished the BBL Invitational Tournament with a 2-0 showing and earned the walk-off win in the Championship Game. Entering Sunday as the No. 1 seed, the U.S. claimed a six-inning, 8-1, victory over Fisher’s before capping off the tournament with a narrow 3-2 win over Varmy’s Army. 

 

Game 4: Team USA 8, Fisher’s 1 (six innings)

 

Facing Fisher’s for the second this this weekend, hometown favorite Duane Weiler (Richland, Pa.) got the start in the circle for the Red, White and Blue. Fisher’s struck first in the top of the second inning off a sacrifice fly to go up, 1-0. Jeff Nowaczyk (Midland, Mich.) connected for a two-out single in the bottom half of the frame and Yusef Davis (Long Beach, Calif.), who entered as a courtesy runner, stole second but was stranded after a fly out closed out the inning.

 

Retiring the side in the top half of the third, the U.S. offense strung together a couple of timely hits to take a 2-1 lead. A hit-by-pitch to Jenner Christiansen (Hayward, Calif.) followed by a sac bunt and groundout allowed him to reach third. An RBI single to right field from Cam Schiller (Prescott, Ariz.) plated Christiansen to make it a tie game. A walk to Erick Ochoa (Imperial, Calif.) put two runners on for the U.S. and after an error by Fisher’s second baseman, Schiller turned the bases to score a second run for the lead.

 

A groundout and back-to-back strikeouts from Weiler retired the side in the top of the fourth inning, while Nowaczyk led off the bottom half with a home run to extend the U.S. lead, 3-1.

 

It didn’t take long for the Red, White and Blue to add to their lead, plating another two runs in the fifth inning. Jonathan Lynch (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) doubled, advanced to third on a flyout from Schiller and crossed home after Ochoa grounded out. With two outs, Tyler Dudley (Battle Creek, Mich.) singled and Davis, entering as a pinch runner, stole second before Matt Ratliff (American Fork, Utah) reached first on a hit-by-pitch. With runners advancing on a passed ball, a walk to Nowaczyk loaded the bases before another walk to Nick Mullins (Toms River, N.J.) made it 5-1.

 

In the top of the sixth inning, Tony Mancha (Las Cruces, N.M.) replaced Weiler in the circle and a groundout, fly out, and strikeout brought the U.S. offense back to the plate. Picking up where they left off, Gil Saenz (El Paso, Texas) led off with a double, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a single from Marcus Tan (Union City, Calif.). Schiller singled on a first pitch to put runners on the corners before a sacrifice fly from Ochoa plated Tan to go up, 7-1. Davis singled and Nowaczyk was intentially walked to load the bases. It was Mullins who walked in the eighth and final run to secure the 8-1 (six innings) victory over Fisher’s.

 

Mullins and Ochoa collected 2 RBIs apiece, while Nowaczyk had a 2-for-2 showing. Weiler earned the win, allowing two hits and one run while striking out seven and walking one through five innings of work.

 

Game 5: Team USA 3, Varmy’s Army 2 

 

Despite their opponent scoring first for the second time today, the U.S. continued to battle through seven innings of play, eventually earning the 3-2 walk-off win to finish the BBL Invitational Tournament with a 5-0 record. 

 

Varmy’s Army homered with two outs in the first inning to plate the first run of the game. Davis and Ratliff singled in the first and second innings, but the score remained in favor of Varmy’s Army who, after an RBI single, took a 2-0 lead into the bottom half of the third.

 

Trailing 2-0, the U.S. cut the deficit in half as Tan hit a one-out double and crossed home thanks to a single to right from Schiller. Both sides were retired until the bottom of the fifth, when Mullins drew a one-out walk. Saenz entered as a courtesy runner and stole second but back-to-back fly outs left him stranded. 

 

The U.S. kept Varmy’s Army off the board and tied up the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, with Ratliff plating Saenz to make it 2-2. Mancha and the U.S. defense combined for a 1-2-3 inning for the fourth inning that game, before Schiller came through and hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh to secure the 3-2 win. 

 

Schiller tallied 2 RBI with both he, Ratliff and Tan going 2-for-3. Tossing the complete seven innings was Mancha who earned the win, allowing two hits and two runs while striking out nine batters. 

 

The team will now travel to Prague, Czech Republic to compete in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Men’s Softball World Championship June 13-23.

 

Announced earlier this year was the coaching staff for the 2019 team, including Head Coach Gregg Leather, in addition to Assistant Coaches Ron Guzman (Salinas, Calif.), Ron Hackett (Richmond, Va.), Greg Hicks (Bakersfield, Calif.), Nick McCurry (Ashland, Ohio) and Gerald Muizelaar (Grand Forks, N.D.). 

Fans at home can follow along all summer long with the USA Softball National Teams at 
USASoftball.com.

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 through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations.  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.