Prep Baseball Report

Team USA 18U Captures Sixth Straight Gold Medal

By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

With a 6-1 victory over international rival Cuba, USA Baseball’s 18U National Team won a gold medal at the COPABE Pan American “AAA” Championships in Monterrey, Mexico. It’s the sixth straight gold medal for the 18U team in international competition.

RHP Hans Crouse (Dana Hills HS, CA) had a strong outing for Team USA, holding a no-hitter through 4.2 innings and finishing with 11 strikeouts in seven innings. He allowed one unearned run on one hit and three walks. C Hagen Danner (Huntington Beach HS, CA) got the Americans on the board in the second inning with a double that scored DH Triston Casas (American Heritage HS, FL) and 3B Royce Lewis (JSerra HS, CA). Danner then came home himself on a double from his high school teammate, 1B Nick Pratto (Huntington Beach HS, CA).

That was all the scoring Team USA would need, but some insurance was tacked on in the seventh and eighth innings. Pratto led off with another double and eventually came home on a two-run home run from RF Jarred Kelenic (Waukesha West HS, WI). In the eighth, Patrick Bailey (Wesleyan Christian Academy, NC) pinch-ran for Casas, who was hit by a pitch, and scored from first base on a double by Lewis.

LHP Jordan Butler (Alonso HS, FL) pitched the final two innings and struck out two. Kelenic received the Most Valuable Player award for his gold medal game performance and Casas was named for the tournament’s home run champion for hitting two earlier in the event. Team USA finished the tournament 7-1, losing to Mexico in a throwaway game before the gold medal matchup.

Of the regulars, Lewis led the team in hitting with a .500 average (9-for-18) in eight games. He had two doubles, three RBIs and four runs scored while drawing eight walks. Kelenic hit .407 (11-for-27) with two doubles, two triples and one home run. He drove in seven runs and scored six.

RHP Blayne Enlow (St. Amant HS, LA) led the team in innings pitched, logging 13 across two appearances. He allowed one unearned run on five hits and three walks while striking out nine. Crouse finished with 12 innings pitched and allowed one unearned run on three hits and five walks while striking out 12. Pratto struck out 13 and allowed just two hits in nine innings (two appearances).

As a team, the 18U squad hit .341 with six home runs in eight games.

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