As Kai Caranto’s double found grass down the left field line, Greg Pierantoni hurtled home. It was a Santa Clarita resident driving in a Valencia resident in a seven-run first inning that capped an undefeated run through pool play. The SCV duo and the rest of the USA Baseball 12U National Team routed Germany 20-3 on Wednesday in Tainan, Taiwan, finishing pool play of the U-12 Baseball World Cup with a 5-0 record. The Americans played in the Super Round against Chinese Taipei at 3:30 a.m. PST today (Taiwan is 15 hours ahead). The Super Round goes through Saturday, with the bronze medal game and world championship final on Sunday. To this point, it’s been a breeze. The U.S. has outscored its opponents 80-12. All but one of its games have ended by mercy rule after four or five innings. Panama, the lone outlier, took the Americans the full six innings Tuesday, with the U.S. prevailing 7-3. Caranto went 1-for-3 in the game with a second-inning RBI single. He walked and scored on a throwing error in the fifth to add some insurance. In the tournament, the shortstop has gone 4-for-13 with 10 RBIs, five of which coming in a 27-6 win over Korea on Thursday. Against Germany, Pierantoni started on the mound and earned the win, allowing three runs on five hits in two innings. He struck out one and walked one. At the plate, he went 1-for-3 with four RBIs. In mid-July, Pierantoni, Caranto and 34 other players from across the nation competed in Castaic at the National Team Trials, which decided the final 18-player roster.
Hiura off to torrid start
Already listed as the Milwaukee Brewers’ No. 5 prospect by MLB.com, Valencia High graduate Keston Hiura is playing like it. Since advancing from rookie ball to the Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on July 18, Hiura has 21 hits in his first 57 at-bats. He’s driven in eight runs and racked up seven extra-base hits. Starting on July 14, the second baseman hit safely in 16 straight games before going 0-for-4 on Tuesday. The Brewers selected Hiura with the ninth overall pick in this year’s MLB Draft and signed him to a bonus worth $4 million, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis. Look for a full minor league report in The Signal next week.