USA Softball News Battle falls short f...

Battle falls short for U-18 Men’s National Team with 8-6 walk-off loss to Canada

Feb. 26, 2020, 11:11 p.m. (ET)

Palmerston North, New Zealand – In a back-and-forth battle with Canada, the USA Softball U-18 Men’s National Team (MNT) fell short as a walk-off two-run home run in the seventh inning ended the game. The U.S. collected 10 hits, their most in a single game at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup.


Chase Thomson (Herriman, Utah) opened up scoring in the first inning, singling on a 2-2 count to send William Ponce (Olathe, Kan.), who reached on an infield single, home. A hit-by-pitch in the bottom half of the frame would place a Canadian runner on base with one out, while a fly out and groundout kept the score in favor of the U.S.


Josh Pernetti (Ceres, Calif.) led off the top of the second with a triple to left center before a passed ball gave him room to score and extend the lead, 2-0. Tying up the game, Canada placed two on base after a walk and hit-by-pitch before a wild pitch and error allowed two runners to score. 


The top of the U.S. lineup came up empty in the third inning after a fly out, strikeout and groundout, while Canada took the lead on an inside-the-park three-run home run. Down 5-2, Josh Eurich (Sebewaing, Mich.) entered the circle for the Red, White and Blue before Ian Winterhalder (Murray, Utah) caught the runner stealing second for the final out.


Taking back the lead in the fourth inning, the U.S. came out firing as Parker Hopkins (Decatur, Ill) tallied an RBI on a triple to right field. Pernetti drew a walk to put runners on the corners, while Klay Kilpatrick (Sydney, Australia) singled on a fly ball to right field to make it 5-4. Despite a change in the circle for Canada, Will Kirby (Millington, Mich.) singled to load the bases for the U-18 MNT and while Pernetti was called out advancing to third, Eli Rivas (Whittier, Calif.) tripled to give the U.S. a 6-5 lead.


Responding in the bottom half of the frame, Canada capitalized on an error on a fly ball hit to right field. Rounding the bags, the runner made it safely home to tie the game, 6-6.


With both sides continuing to battle, the game remained tied through the next two innings with Ponce, Eurich and Brennan DuCharme (Hudson, Wisc.), collecting singles. The U.S. defense held Canada to one hit, including a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half of the sixth inning. 


Fans saw the U.S. go down in order in the seventh inning before Canada locked up the win on a walk-off two-run home run. Eurich took the loss for the U.S., striking out two batters while allowing three hits and three runs over three and two-thirds innings of work. Thomson pitched two and two-thirds innings and allowed five runs on one hit, issuing one strikeout and walking two batters. Nine U.S. batters tallied a hit, while Ponce went 2-for-4 to lead the team. 


Now competing in the Placement Round (Feb. 27-29) at the WBSC U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup, the U.S. will face Singapore tomorrow Feb. 28 at 3:30 p.m. before a matchup against South Africa Saturday, Feb. 29 at 3:30 p.m. local time.