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V Men's Pan Am Qualifier, Valencia, Venezuela
Game 8 & 9: USA vs. Bahamas & USA vs. Guatemala
USA MEN TAKE SILVER AFTER LOSSES IN PLAYOFF TO CUBA;STILL QUALIFY FOR THE 1999 PAN AMERICAN GAMES
Valencia, Venezuela--The USA Men completed pool play with a perfect 11-0 record after defeating Argentina 3-0 and Venezuela 4-0 but were unable to overcome a powerful Cuba team in the playoffs.
In the first game of the playoffs, the USA suffered its first loss of the tournament as Cuba downed the USA 3-2. Michael White struck out 11 Cuban hitters in 5 2/3 innings of work. The USA jumped out to a 2-0 lead with single runs in the 3rd and 5th innings but Cuba countered with three runs in the top of sixth to take a lead that they would never relinquish.
The USA then had to play the Dominican Republic for the bronze medal or a chance to face Cuba in the gold medal game. The USA used five home runs including a three run blast by winning pitcher Doug Middleton to down the Dominican Republic 11-8 and earn a rematch with Cuba for the gold medal. Pete Sandman came in relief in the fifth inning to record the save.
In the gold medal game, the USA could not string any hits together in order to keep anything going. Despite outhitting the Cubans 5-4, the USA was shutout 4-0 to finish second.
The USA finished the 1998 Pan Am Qualifier with a record of 12-2 and now have qualified for the 1999 Pan Am Games to be held in Winnipeg, Canada.
Playoff Game 1:
LP: White-(3-1) USA, 3 runs, 7 hits, 11 K's, 0 walks. Earleywine (2-for-4, double), Rychcik (1-for-3, RBI) USA.
Playoff Game 2
WP: Middleton-(4-0) USA, 4 runs, 6 hits, 4 K's, 1 walk. HR-Rychcik (2), Rubley (1), Montgomery (2), Martie (2), Middleton (1). USA. RBI-Middleton 3 (3), Montgomery 2 (6), Rubley 2 (5), Earleywine (5), Rychcik (7), Martie (5), King (3).
Playoff Game 3-Gold Medal Game
LP: Middleton-(4-1) USA, 4 runs, 3 hits, 1 K, 4 walks. Rubley (2-for-3, double), Montgomery (1-for-3), Martie (1-for-3) .