Team USA gets big win over Venezuela in IX Pan Am games

Written by Bob on October 25th, 2014

johnson.josh.348web Josh Johnson pitched seven shutout innings and then got relief help from Tony Mancha, as Team USA defeated Venezuela 2-1, Friday, in the IX Pan Am games In Parana, Argentina. Photo By BOB OTTO

PARANA, ARGENTINA – Another well pitched game. Another extra inning affair. But this time a far more pleasing result for the USA Men’s National Fastpitch Team in the IX Pan Am games.

After losing in 11-innings to Mexico on Friday, Team USA bounced back on Saturday by beating Venezuela, 2-1, in nine innings.

Tony Mancha, who took the tough loss against Mexico, picked up the win with two innings of solid relief. And he also showed he swings a pretty good bat by driving in the winning run with two out in the top of the ninth.

The right-side swinging Mancha belted a two-out single into centerfield scoring Nick Mullins with the winning run. Mullins was placed on second base at the start of the inning by way of the international tiebreaker and scored all the way from second on Mancha’s hit.

Mancha still had some work to tend to: setting down Venezuela in its bottom half of the inning.

With Herwin Querales as the tiebreaking runner on second, Mancha got an infield popup to catcher Bob Rosthenhausler, followed by a ground ball to third baseman Derrick Zechmann, and a strikeout to end the game and even Team USA’s record at 1-1.

In his two innings, Mancha didn’t allow any hits, struck out four, and walked one.

Josh Johnson started for the Americans and was strong through seven innings, leaving the game with a 1-0 lead in the eighth, while giving up just three hits, four walks and notching six strikeouts.

After seven scoreless innings, Team USA broke through in the eighth on Nate Devine’s RBI single, scoring Chris Milijavic from second as the tiebreaking runner.

But Venezuela fought back to tie the game in its half of the inning on a walk and an infield error. Venezuela loaded the bases with one out, but Mancha struck out the final two batters to end the threat.

Team USA was held to five hits by Venezuela starter, Erick Urbaneja (3 1/3 innings with five strikeouts), and the relief work of Ramon Jones who finished the final 5 2/3 innings with a three-hitter, one walk and 11 strikeouts.

Johnson, Mancha, Matt Palazzo, Frank DeGroat Jr., and Nate Devine each had one hit. The Venezuelans three hits came from Edwin Linares, Querales, and Jorge Lima.

Team USA continues play on Sunday against Cuba.

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