Team USSSA vs. AIST
Team USSSA played the collegiate AIST team for the second year in a row in the semifinal game of Prague Baseball Week. Joseph Camacho started on the mound for Team USSSA and looked great early on.
“Camacho did a great job the first two innings against college hitters. He lost his feel for the strike zone in the third and AIST was able to capitalize on a few mistakes.” – USSSA HS Varsity National Team Coach DJ Wabick
The third inning was one in which USSSA wish they could have back as AIST was able to produce ten runs on six hits, four walks, and two hit batters.
“It was one of those innings where we couldn’t seem to get an out. Every close call went their way, every ball seemed to find a hole, and we had no remedy for it until Emilio came into the game.” – DJ Wabick
Emilio Gonzales was able to come into the inning and stop the bleeding for USSSA. Gonzales pitched 3 innings and was able to keep USSSA within striking distance by allowing one run. Adam Bleday followed Gonzales and threw 2 1/3 innings of shutout baseball. Combined, Gonzales and Bleday were able to hold down the potent AIST offense to one run over 5 1/3 innings of relief.
“Emilio and Adam did an outstanding job and were able to at least give our offense a chance. You can’t ask for much more after what AIST was able to do in the third.” – DJ Wabick
The AIST pitching staff was able to hold the USSSA offense to 2 runs on four hits.
“AIST’s starter had some good stuff. He threw three pitches for a strike and was able to keep our hitters off balance the whole game. There is a reason he is playing Division I Baseball right now.” – DJ Wabick
Unfortunately USSSA could not mount a comeback and fell to AIST by a score of 11 – 2. USSSA will play the Czech Republic U21 National Team in the Bronze Medal Game for Prague Baseball Week. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 pm (6 am central time).
AIST vs. USSSA
Starting Pitcher: Joseph Camacho
Score: AIST 11 – USSSA 2
Bronze Medal Game
USSSA vs U21 Czech National Team
Team USSSA faced the U21 Czech Republic National Team in the Bronze Medal Game of the 31st Annual Prague Baseball Week. Team USSSA brought left hander Cole Hybner to the mound who threw four innings giving up one unearned run.
“Cole was able to change speeds well and had tremendous command of his fastball. He consistently pitched ahead in the count and shut down a very good hitting team.” – USSSA National Team Coach Jaime Bluma
USSSA got on the board in the first inning when Aaron Palmer led the bottom half off with a walk. After a passed ball, Derek Deler executed a perfect sacrifice bunt that Palmer advanced to third on. Andres Rizquez knocked in Palmer with an RBI single up the middle.
USSSA was ahead 1 – 0 going into the top of the 2nd when Sucha walked with one out. After advancing to second on a ground ball and moving to third on a wild pitch, Sucha scored on an overthrow back to the pitcher to knot the game at one a piece.
In the top of the sixth with Cre Finfrock on the mound, Matt Godinsky made a diving play on a bunt attempt to keep the runners at first and second and preserve the 1 – 1 tie.
The score remained in a deadlock until the top of the eight. With two outs and nobody on, Sykora drove a fastball the other way for a solo homerun to take a 2 – 1 lead.
The bottom of the eight brought plenty of controversy when Derek Deler led off with a single. Andres Rizquez followed and squared around to bunt. The ball struck Rizquez in the helmet, but the umpires gathered and declared a foul ball. On the next play Rizquez popped the bunt up and the Czech first baseman laid out and was able to catch the ball on a fly and double off Deler a first.
The eight inning momentum swing proved to be too much as the U 21 Czech Republic National Team ended up winning the Bronze with a 2 – 1 score.
“Our guys played great and I truly feel they learned a lot. They were by far the youngest team in the tournament and besides for one bad inning against AIST, they played fundamentally very well. It was a pleasure meeting each and every one of them and I look forward to following all of them through their college careers.” – USSSA National Team Coach DJ Wabick
Starting Pitcher: Cole Hybner
Score: U21 Czech Republic National Team 2; USSSA 1