Game two was the headliner: USA vs El Salvador.
The teams traded yellow cards midway through the first half and each team had a few close chances early, but the back of the net wasn’t hit until the 41st minute. Omar Gonzalez knocked in header off a rebound to give the Americans a 1-0 lead. Only four minutes later, Eric Lichaj got a great pass from Clint Dempsey and then he put the ball right between the legs of El Salvador goalie Derby Carrillo. The USA now had a 2-0 lead.
El Salvador was able to get a few good chances on net, but Tim Howard came up huge for the Americans to ensure the 2-0 victory. The U.S. moved onto the Semi-finals to face Costa Rica.
USA had twelve shots to El Salvador’s nine, but the shots on goal were 8-3 USA. There were a lot of fouls in the game with some heated exchanges. Ball possession belonged to USA 56% of the time compared to El Salvador’s 44%. Pass accuracy also belonged to the USA 90% to 86%. Omar Gonzalez and Jozy Altidore both led the USA with three shots and all three of Altidore’s shots were on target.
The teams walking onto the field
Team USA celebrating their first goal
The Collegiate National Team (Team USA) was making their rounds in the Coastal Plains League, and finished up in High Point-Thomasville to play the HiToms for a two-game series on June 29th and 30th. Team USA won 5-2 and 3-2, but it is up in the air on who really won the second game.
USA won the first game 5-2. Texas shortstop CJ Hinojosa went 2-4 in the game with a huge 3-run, bases clearing double in the fourth inning. He was the only one with multiple hits for Team USA as four other players posted one hit. The HIToms were the same, except with only three players with one hit. The player with two was South Carolina’s first baseman Kyle Martin. He went 2-4 with a solo home run in the eighth. Four pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts for Team USA. HiToms starter Dylan Stoops gave up all five runs, but only one was earned in five innings of work.
In Game 2, Team USA won the game 3-2, but it’s up in the air as to who won. Rain had been in the forecast and was off and on before the game started. Because of that, they announced that the teams would play a regular seven inning game and then play the last two innings as an international tiebreaker. With the rain coming on pretty good in the bottom of the seventh, they decided to play the bottom of the seventh as the tiebreaker. They put men on first and second to start the inning. After a sacrifice and an intentional walk, Dykota Spiess hit a bases clearing rope down the right field line to unofficially win the game.
This game was a pitcher’s dual. In six official innings, the teams combined for six hits, with five coming from Team USA. After the HiToms scored once in each of the first two innings, Indiana’s catcher Kyle Schwarber hit a three-run homer in the fifth to give USA a 3-2 lead. Schwarber finished the game 2-2 with those 3 RBI. USA’s starter Brandon Finnegan (from TCU) pitched 4 2/3 innings giving up only one earned run with four walks and seven strikeouts. The HiToms’ only hit came from High Point’s Kyle Brandenburg.
Team USA waiting to start the game
Team USA celebrating the Game 1 win
UNC’s Skye Bolt stepping in
My brother getting ready to step in and pinch-hit