Ryan Boldt and Team USA ran their way into the record books Saturday night as the US bounced back from a disappointing 8-2 loss to host South Korea by routing Colombia 11-1. Boldt, a 6’-1″ left-hander out of Minnesota, stole a Team USA record five bases in the win as the US racked up a record 10 swipes in total. Boldt didn’t record an official at-bat as he drew a record-tying four walks and was hit by a pitch. He also scored four runs to tie another record. Left-hander Stephen Gonsalves pitched a complete game, allowing one run over seven innings with eight strikeouts to two walks for the victory.
After Gonsalves needed just seven pitches to get out of the top of the first inning, the US scored three in the bottom of the inning and never looked back. Boldt led of the inning with a walk, then stole second. Reece McGuire followed with a double to score Boldt and Jeremy Martinez was then hit by a pitch. After a double-steal by McGuire and Martinez, Andy McGuire drew a walk as starter Arturo Pena labored through the inning with control issues. Reece McGuire scored on a wild pitch, Willie Abreu walked and Christian Arroyo was hit by a pitch to score the third run. Pena lasted just two-thirds of an inning, allowing three runs on three walks with two HBP.
Reece McGuire finished 1-for-2 with three RBI. Martinez finished 1-for-2 with three RBI, including a triple that cleared the bases in the third inning. Willie Abreu went 2-for-3 with two doubles. Bryson Brigman finished 1-for-2 with two stolen bases, and Dom Nunez added an RBI double as Team USA reached base 24 times, including 12 walks, three HBP and nine hits, six for extra bases.
Gonsalves, a 6’-5” southpaw out of San Marcos, California, was brilliant for the US. He threw 66 of his 104 pitches for strikes and continually stayed ahead of batters in the count. He showed why he is one of the top pitchers in the country and considered a first-round pick next year by, once again, demonstrating his big-game pitching ability. He has pitched his high school team, Catholic Cathredral, to two straight state titles.
Martinez, considered the top catching prospect in the country and a likely top-five pick next year, is now 5-for-8 in the tournament with a double, triple, two walks, 2 HBP and seven RBI.
Boldt upped his stolen base total to seven and has reached base nine times (5 BB, 2 HBP) over the first three games.
With 16 stolen bases through the first three games, the US are on pace to break the record of 45 set over nine games by last year’s U18 team.
The team is hitting .372 (32-for-86) with a .530 OBP, including 21 walks and 8 HBP. The offense has slugged nine doubles and three triples while scoring 30 runs over the first three games.
The pitching staff has a 2.86 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 13 walks over 22 innings.
Team USA plays Venezuela Monday morning at 5 a.m. EDT.