Team USA Takes Silver, Canada Wins Gold

Canada 2,  USA  1

Team Canada won the Pan Am tournament Gold Medal this evening with a win over the US.  It was a tight game, with scoring in only two innings.  Canada posted 7 hits, while the US had 6, and neither team committed an error.

Team USA scored first, with one run in the bottom of the 1st.  With one out, LF AJ Pollock (Diamondbacks) singled through the right side of the infield.  A passed ball moved him to second base, and he scored when RF Brett Carroll doubled down to the left field corner, giving the US a 1-0 lead.

Andy Van Hekken (Astros) held that lead for five scoreless innings, scattering 3 hits.  But in the top of the 6th, with two outs, Van Hekken gave up three consecutive hits — two singles, then a double down the right field line, driving in both base runners.  That gave Canada the tying and go-ahead runs for a 2-1 lead.  Van Hekken pitched a scoreless 7th inning, allowing one walk.  He exited after that inning, with 2 runs on 6 hits and the one walk, and also 6 strikeouts.  Jeff Beliveau (Cubs) and Pete Andrelczyk (Marlins) each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.

After the 1st inning, Team USA missed a scoring opportunity in the 3rd, when both Pollock and 2B Joe Thurston (Marlins) singled but could not come around to score.  The US put runners on the corners in the 7th, with a single by DH Matt Clark (Padres), a sacrifice bunt by the Pirates’ Jordy Mercer, and a single by 1B Chad Tracy (Rangers).  Again the US could not score.  The remaining six batters went down in order, and Canada had the gold.  The US finished second in the tournament, earning the Silver Medal.

Mercer went 0-for-3 besides the sacrifice bunt.  Former Pirate farmhand RF Jamie Romak went 0-f0r-4 for Canada.