Men’s National Team earns 5-3 victory over No. 19 Netherlands with Davis’ third-inning offensive spark

June 14, 2019, 6:38 p.m. (ET)

PRAGUE – Friday night’s matchup against world-ranked No. 19 Netherlands at Svoboda Ballpark proved to be a hard-fought battle for the USA Softball Men’s National Team (MNT) as Yusef Davis (Long Beach, Calif.) gave the offense a spark with the first hit of the game in the third inning. Despite trailing after two innings of play, the MNT claimed the 5-3 come-from-behind victory behind the arm of Tony Mancha (Las Cruces, N.M.).  

 

“It was a tough first game and I am glad we were able to pull out the victory,” said Head Coach, Gregg Leather (Staten Island, N.Y.). “The Netherlands flashed great defense and grinded out some tough AB’s against Mancha early in the game. Tony didn’t have his best stuff and we had the bullpen ready early but we have seen him battle through tight games so many times, it takes a lot to pull him out. As usual, he came through in the biggest spots.”

 

A leadoff single from the Netherlands in the first inning got the game started, before the runner came across to score on a RBI double one out later. Jonathan Lynch (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) drew a walk in the bottom half of the frame but the U.S. was kept from scoring after back-to-back pop outs and a groundout ended the inning.

 

Netherlands plated another run off a passed ball in the second inning, and the MNT was retired on a pair of groundouts and pop out to signal the start of the third.

 

Launching a comeback, the Red, White and Blue retired Netherlands in order and quickly took to the bats. Gil Saenz (El Paso, Texas) drew a leadoff walk before Davis quieted the opposing dugout with a single down the left field line. Advancing an extra base on the throw and putting runners in scoring position, a flyout to center next kept runners at bay. Cam Schiller (Prescott, Ariz.) hit an infield single to score Saenz before an RBI double from Erick Ochoa (Imperial, Calif.) allowed both Davis and Schiller to cross home. Jumping to a 3-2 lead, Matt Ratliff (American Fork, Utah) scored Ochoa one out later to make it 4-2 after three innings. 

 

“I thought Yusef’s plate appearance in the third was the turning point in the game for us,” added Leather. “He battled and fouled off a bunch of tough pitches before stroking a line drive to left and setting up the top of the order to get us the lead.”

 

Despite Netherlands cutting the deficit in half with an RBI single in the fourth, Team USA didn’t fall behind for the remainder of the game. Both teams managed to get runners on base through the fifth inning, but the score stayed 4-3.

 

Mancha and the U.S. defense retired Netherlands in order through the final two innings, with the Red, White and Blue tacking on a fifth run in the bottom of the sixth inning to ultimately secure the 5-3 win. A two-out single from Davis and a triple from Lynch capped off the scoring in Game 1 for the Red, White and Blue. Mancha finished the game with 13 strikeouts and three runs allowed over seven innings of work. Davis had a 2-for-3 outing, while Ochoa drove in two runs. With the win, the U.S. carries a 1-0 record at the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship and returns to action tomorrow against No. 4 Australia.  

 

“Our next game is a tough one against Australia,” said Leather of the game against Australia. “We need our bats to be even more disciplined and get our middle of the order going.”

 

Click here to see the complete schedule for the United States

 

The 16 teams that are competing in the WBSC Men’s World Championship are: Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Canada, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, USA and Venezuela.

 

Currently ranked No. 6 in the world, the U.S. is looking to improve upon a sixth-place finish at the 2017 WBSC World Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, where the team finished with a 6-3 record. Team USA last stood on the podium at the 2000 edition in East London, South Africa.

 

Click here for more information on the 2019 WBSC Men’s World Championship

 

MEDIA: For more information on the WBSC Men's World Championship, please contactmedia@wbsc.co.
 
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.