Dudley and Mancha drive USA closer to playoff spot in Men’s Softball World Championship

Written by Bob on July 12th, 2017

WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – Lean and fit Tyler Dudley doesn’t have the big, burly build of the prototypical power hitter, but his incredibly quick hands can whip a bat around with lightning speed.

When Dudley hits a softball, it can go a long way.

And two of his gigantic wallops did just that in leading Team USA to a 12-2 victory over the Dominican Republic in the Men’s Softball World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse, Tuesday.

With the USA trailing 1-0 in the bottom half of the first inning, Dudley came to the plate with the bases loaded and promptly drilled a triple down the left-field line to clear the sacks and give Team USA a 3-1 advantage.

Then in a third, he launched a line drive home run over the left-field fence to stretch the lead to 5-2 and ignite an offensive barrage that saw Team USA score eight runs and end the game in four innings on the ten-run mercy rule.

Dudley, who went 2-for-3 with four RBI and two runs to lead all hitters, had plenty of support from his teammates who garnered eight hits (four for extra bases) off four Dominican pitchers.

In that third inning uprising, Pat Sagdal tripled and scored on Kevin Castillo’s single; Matt Ratliff and Bryce Kay each doubled to drive in three more runs, and Matt Palazzo finished the fireworks by launching a three-run homer deep over the right-field fence.

Meanwhile, Tony Mancha, played the role of fireman, coming on in relief of starter Jeremy Manley in the second with Dominicans parked on first and second and no outs.

Mancha showed his toughness by striking out the side with an impressive display of speed, great movement – especially on his drop ball – and command of the corners.

Except for a solo home run by Sergio La Hoz, and a single by Juan Nunez, the big right-hander struck out nine with no walks. Manley pitched one inning, allowing four hits including a home run to Elias Valerio, and he struck out two.

The win was huge for Team USA as it moves them into a fourth-place tie with Dominican Republic in Pool A at 3-2.

Both teams are battling for a playoff spot, but the USA appears to have the easier schedule with two games remaining in pool play.

Team USA will finish with Hong Kong (1-4) and Republic of South Africa (1-4) over the next two days, while Dominican Republic has Canada (4-0) and Argentina (4-1) to contend with.

Leave a Comment