Errors costly for Team USA in loss to Dominican Republic

Written by Bob on October 27th, 2014
2014 United States men's national fast pitch softball team.

2014 United States men’s national fast pitch softball team.

PARANA, ARGENTINA – Defense and pitching have been USA Men’s National Fastpitch Team’s staples through the first three games of the IX Pan American games.

The pitching stayed reliable on Monday, but the defense didn’t.

As a result, Team USA suffered a 6-1 loss to the Dominican Republic, which evens the American’s record at 2-2 in the tournament.

Three costly errors gave the Dominicans (2-2) four unearned runs and negated a solid pitching performance by starter Josh Johnson and Gerald Muizelaar, who relieved Johnson in the fourth.

In the bottom of the third, the Dominicans broke open a 1-1 tie by scoring three runs on two errors. They added a single run in the fourth, again aided by a miscue, and one in the sixth, helped by a hit batter and an infield error.

But Team USA didn’t help itself at the plate either.

Only leadoff Chris Miljavic and clean-up hitter Frank DeGroat Jr. were able to get hits off Dominican Starter Cesar Perez (one inning, one run on one hit) and closer Arfi Ramos, who threw six strong innings, allowing one hit with five strikeouts and five walks.

Johnson pitched well enough, allowing two earned runs of the five the Dominican Republic scored during his three innings. And Muizelaar finished the final 2 2/3 innings with a two-hitter, one strikeout, and one unearned run.

Team USA scored its lone run in the second. DeGroat led off with a single and was replaced by Tyler Dudley. Chase Turner followed with a walk, and Derrick Zechman’s sacrifice bunt moved them over to second and third.

Then with a 2-and-2 count, Kris Bogach hit a fly ball deep enough to plate Dudley from third base.

The United States threatened in the fifth by loading the bases, but Johnson was caught looking at a called third strike to end the inning. And that would be it as Ramos got four ground balls and two strikeouts over the final two innings to thwart the Americans’ chance of pulling off a comeback victory.

Team USA returns to action on Tuesday against undefeated Canada (4-0) that has knocked off Guatemala 1-0, Mexico 3-1, Venezuela 2-0, and Cuba 5-1.

Mathieu Roy (.333 avg. on 4-for-12) leads the Canadians at the plate, while Sean Cleary is 2-0 in the circle.

Cleary has been the workhorse, pitching 14.2 innings, with an 0.00 ERA and 31 strikeouts. Andy Skelton and Devon McCullough each have picked up a win.

Pan Am Standings (Oct. 27)

  • Canada 4-0
  • Argentina 3-0
  • Dominican Republic 2-2
  • United States 2-2
  • Mexico 2-2
  • Venezuela 1-2
  • Cuba 1-3
  • Guatemala 0-4
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