Mercer Again Boosts Team USA
USA 7, Japan 3
Team USA earned their second win in a row with a defeat of Japan this evening. This was the make-up for the game that was rained out on Sunday. Team USA doubled up the Japanese on hits, 14 – 7, with Pirate farmhand SS Jordy Mercer picking up 2 hits. Mercer is now 5-for-12 in three games, with two doubles, a homer, and 5 RBI.
Team USA got onto the scoreboard first, with a pair of runs in the 2nd inning. LF AJ Pollock (Diamondbacks) led off with a single into left field, and 3B Tommy Mendonca (Rangers) followed with a single to right, moving Pollock to third. CF Jordan Danks (White Sox) grounded to first for a fielder’s choice, with Pollock thrown out at the plate. C Tuffy Gosewisch (Phillies) drove in both Mendonca and Danks with a double into right center field, for a 2-0 lead.
Starting pitcher Jeff Marquez (Yankees) retired the first 9 Japan batters in order, but the bottom of the 4th began with back-to-back singles by Team Japan. A hit batter loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly brought in the first Japanese run. An RBI ground out scored another runner from third, to tie the score at 2-2.
Jordy Mercer started a 5th inning rally with a walk, then two hits and two walks brought in Mercer and Danks, to give Team USA the lead again, 4-2. Two singles and an RBI ground out added one run to Japan’s total in the bottom of the inning. Mercer and Danks got that run back for Team USA in the top of the 6th. Danks led off with a single, was bunted to second by Gosewisch, then scored on Mercer’s RBI single into left field. Team USA took a 5-3 lead.
Team USA also scored one run in each of the next two innings. DH Joe Thurston (Marlins) walked to open the top of the 7th, and Danks’ RBI single plated him. Mercer singled to start another rally in the 8th. He scored on an RBI single by 2B Andrew Garcia (White Sox), increasing the US lead to 7-3.
Justin Cassel (White Sox) relieved Marquez, who had gone 6 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits. Cassell pitched a scoreless 7th inning. Pete Andrelczyk (Marlins) took his turn with a scoreless 8th. Scott Patterson (Mariners) wrapped it up for the US with a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th.
There were no other tournament games today. Team USA has a 2-1 record in the tournament. USA is in Pool 1, and in that pool, there are three teams with a 3-0 record: Canada, the Netherlands, and Panama. In Pool 2, Cuba is the only team with a 3-0 record.