Rutt strikes out nine as USA moves to 4-0 at ISF Junior Men’s World Fastpitch Championship
PARANA, Argentina – Jerlin Rutt (Bernville, Pa.) extended his tournament record to 2-0 on Sunday as he led the USA Junior Men’s Fastpitch Team to a 9-1 victory over Venezuala at the International Softball Federation (ISF) IX Junior Men’s World Championship the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. With the win, Team USA moves to 4-0 in pool play and is guaranteed at least third place when bracket play begins on Thursday, November 8.
“Jerlin pitched an exceptional game for us and our defense backed him up when they needed to,” said USA Head Coach Tim Lyon. “When we get pitching like that and we’re able to take advantage of the other team’s miscues we should win and that’s what we did tonight.”
After Rutt struck out the side to start the game, USA scored seven of their nine runs in the bottom of the first inning. Justin Wurtz (New Haven, Mo.) got things going on offense with a single from the two hole in the lineup. In the next at-bat, Mauro Olivarria (San Diego, Calif.) grounded to short stop for the second out of the inning but with one runner on, the Americans proceeded to rally. Venezuela walked the next three USA batters scoring Wurtz and loading the bases. Team USA took advantage of the opportunity as they proceeded to pick up three hits and a walk to close out the inning with a 7-0 lead.
In the second, Rutt picked up where he left off in the first as he avoided giving up a hit while acquiring his fourth and fifth strike outs of the game. The USA bats struggled as well in the bottom half of the second as they went three up, three down. The score remained 7-0 as the game entered the third.
Rutt managed two more strike outs in the third inning and this time the USA bats responded. Batting second in the inning, Austin Tuttle (Payson, Utah) walked to give the home team a base runner. Dylan Elmer (Machesney Park, Ill.) followed by connecting for a single with the top of the lineup returning in the order. With two runners on, lead-off hitter Tyler Johnson (Union, Mo.) blasted a ball over the center fielder’s head for a two-RBI triple that gave Team USA a 9-0 lead.
Venezuela bounced back in the top of the fourth inning with their first two hits of the game. After a blooper just past the infield gave them a runner on base, a well hit ball into left field scored their first and only run of the game.
USA again went three up, three down in the bottom of the fourth but another two strike out inning from Jerlin Rutt in the top of the fifth secured the seven-run advantage that the Americans needed for their fourth consecutive run-rule victory of the tournament.
The USA Junior Men now turn their sights towards a Tuesday, November 6, 1 p.m. matchup with a New Zealand team that was undefeated entering their Monday evening game with Australia. Please visit www.USAsoftball.com to follow live stats and see photos from all of USA’s games at the ISF World Championship.