BARRANQUILLA, Colombia – The 15U USA Baseball Team defeated Cuba 6-1 on Sunday afternoon to claim the 2013 COPABE Pan American Championships. With the win, Team USA finished off the tournament with a perfect 8-0 record.
In the Championship Game, Cuba jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. It stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth when USA jumped out with five runs of its own. Andrew Vaughn (1-for-2) had the big blow of the inning hitting a three-run home run to put the Red, White, and Blue up 3-1.
That’s all Mason Thompson would need on the mound. He gave up just one run on three hits in six innings. He struck out six earning the win for Team USA. Thompson helped himself out at the plate as well. In the five-run fourth inning, Thompson contributed with a RBI triple.
Team USA ran through the pool play undefeated and then almost fell in the semifinal round to Panama. They needed a two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out the 5-4 win and advance to the finals. In that inning, Team USA scored two runs on zero hits. They were aided heavily by two Panama errors.
However, that wasn’t the first late comeback they needed. In the pool play against Cuba, Team USA scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull out an 11-9 win and remain undefeated. In that inning, the USA knocked out eight of its fifteen hits to take the late lead.
Photo Courtesy USA Baseball
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.