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USA wins thriller over Argentina in IX Pan Am games

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
Josh Johnson drilled a first-inning RBI single, scoring the only run the USA would need in defeating Argentina, 1-0, in the IX Pan American games in Parana, Argentina, Thursday. Photo By BOB OTTO

Josh Johnson drilled a first-inning RBI single, scoring the only run the USA would need in defeating Argentina, 1-0, in the IX Pan American games in Parana, Argentina, Thursday. Photo By BOB OTTO

PARANA, ARGENTINA – The United States Men’s National Fastpitch Team scored a run in the bottom of the first inning and made it stand up to defeat Argentina, 1-0, in the IX Pan American games on Wednesday.

The win was critical in USA’s quest to finish in the top four in round robin play and advance into the four-team playoffs that start on Friday. The win evens the American’s record at 3-3, while Argentina is still in second place at 4-2.

Josh Johnson had but one hit, but it was huge as his single to right field drove in Nate Devine with the winning run. Devine reached safely on a walk, moved to second after Matt Palazzo was hit by a pitch, and then raced home on Johnson’s hit.

The pitching tandem of Gerald Muizelaar, who started, and Tony Mancha, who relieved in the sixth, made the run stand up.

Muizelaar was nearly unhittable through five innings, allowing but one hit to Francisco Sabate in the third, and striking out six with two walks to craft a 2-0 record in the eight-team international tournament.

Gerald Muizelaar pitched five strong innings to lead the USA to victory over Argentina. USA Softball Photo

Gerald Muizelaar pitched five strong innings to lead the USA to victory over Argentina. USA Softball Photo

“Our backs were up against the wall tonight,” said Muizelaar. “It was a complete team effort, from top to bottom, and everyone contributed. We’ve been a bit inconsistent this week, but we beat two of the top three teams and had a lead on Canada. It just proves that we can play with anybody.”

But Argentina had Team USA sweating in the final two frames.

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

Saturday, 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.

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Mexico wins extra innings battle with USA in IX Pan Am games

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

usasoftballmancha.42 USA National Team pitcher Tony Mancha hurled a gem in the opening game of the Pan Am games on Friday, but Mexico held on to take a 2-1 victory. Photo By BOB OTTO

PARANA, ARGENTINA – Tony Mancha allowed one earned run on three hits, with 18 strikeouts in 10 innings, but his performance wasn’t quite good enough.

Mexico’s Eduardo Escobedo matched Mancha nearly pitch-for-pitch, finishing with an 11-inning four hitter and 11 strikeouts in leading Mexico to a 2-1 victory in the opening game of the IX Pan American games in Parana, Argentina on Friday.

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