Team USA opened 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier12 tournament play with a dominating 9-0 shutout win over Team Netherlands in Guadalajara on Saturday afternoon, and a couple of Red Sox prospects played a significant role in the victory.
Yup, the club’s No. 2 prospect Bobby Dalbec, No. 9 prospect C.J Chatham, and No. 15 prospect Noah Song all played on Saturday. Here’s how they fared in Team USA’s opener.
Starting with Dalbec, the 24-year-old went 2-for-4 hitting out of the four-hole in this one, and he also came through with Team USA’s most productive hit of the afternoon in the bottom half of the fifth inning.
With two outs and the bases full following an intentional walk of Arizona Diamondbacks prospect Daulton Varsho, Dalbec made Team Netherlands right-hander Lars Huijer pay for that he decision, as he unloaded on a 3-2 fastball and deposited it over everything in left field for the game-sealing grand slam.
That moonshot, which was promptly followed by a well-deserved bat drop, put Team USA up by seven runs.
A half inning later, in came Noah Song to relieve Team USA starter and Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Cody Ponce after five solid frames of work.
The 22-year-old Naval Academy product worked his way around a one-out walk in an otherwise clean inning of relief, as he needed just 12 pitches to do his part in a combined two-hit shutout for Team USA pitching on Saturday.
Graduating from the Naval Academy earlier this year, Song finds himself in a unique spot, as he is required to serve two years active duty.
According to The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams, Song could defer those two years and continue to pursue a career in baseball, but only if that deferment is approved by the Department of Defense. If not approved, Song would head to Pensacola, Fla. in December to begin training as a Naval flight officer.
“This is to be determined for me,” Song told McWilliams. “All I have to look forward to is
the next couple of weeks and trying to make the most out of it.”
C.J. Chatham, meanwhile, batted out of the nine-hole for Team USA on Saturday, and went 1-for-4 with a single.
Both Chatham and Dalbec need to be added to the Sox’ 40-man roster by November 20th in order to avoid being eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place during winter meetings in December.
One Red Sox prospect who was not mentioned here is right-hander Tanner Houck, who is on Team USA’s roster as a starting pitcher, not a reliever.
Team USA’s next game of the Premier12 tournament comes against Team Mexico on Sunday at 8 PM eastern time.