The U.S. will face Venezuela on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. EDT in San Juan.
Team USA moves to 6-0 on the tournament and 4-0 in the second round. Following first-round play, the U.S. brought with it only the victories against the other three teams that advanced from its preliminary pool (Domincan Republic, Puerto Rico and Panama). The eight teams competing in the second round (four from each of the two opening-round pools) took their three-game preliminary records and add them to their four-game records from the second round to create a new seven-game mark.
From there, the teams are ranked first through eighth. The top four advance to the medal rounds, Oct. 12-13, and the top seven teams will join host Mexico in Guadalajara.
Indians farmhand Cord Phelps was batting under .200 heading into Friday's game, but he broke out with two hits, two runs scored and an RBI. Royals prospect Eric Hosmer continued to rake, also going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. The former first-round pick is second on Team USA with a .450 average (9-for-20).
Todd Redmond (Braves) continued his stellar run with Team USA, throwing seven shutout innings to improve to 2-0 in the tournament and 5-0 in his career with the red, white and blue (3-0 with the 2009 World Cup Team).
The U.S. jumped on Nicaragua early, scoring twice in the opening frame. Phelps doubled and came home on an errant pick-off attempt by Nicaraguan starter Armando Hernandez (0-1). Texas League MVP Mike Moustakas (Royals), who walked, scored on a sacrifice fly by Major League veteran Brad Eldred (Rockies) to make it 2-0.
The teams traded zeros until the fourth, when the U.S. struck again. Hosmer led off with a single, advanced to second on a fly ball to center field by Reds farmhand Todd Frazier and scored on a single by catcher Erik Kratz (Pirates).
The United States capped the scoring in the eighth on RBI singles from Phelps and Hosmer.
Hernandez was steady in a losing effort, giving up four earned runs on three hits over 7 1/3 innings.
PAN AM BOUND: With Friday's victory, the U.S. clinched a spot in the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Team USA took silver at the 2007 Pan Am Games in Rio De Janiero, Brazil. Since 1951, with teams comprised mostly of college-level players, the U.S. has won gold just once (1967), while capturing the silver medal nine times (1951, 1955, 1963, 1971, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007) and the bronze three times (1959, 1983, 1991).
COACHES CORNER: Phillies Minor League manager Roly de Armas is in his fifth stint as bullpen coach for Team USA. Roly, a member of Philadelphia's 2008 World Series-winning coaching staff, has been with Team USA since 2006. De Armas has helped lead the U.S. to World Cup gold medals in 2007 and 2009, a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and first place at the 2006 COPABE Olympic Qualifier in Havana, Cuba.
REDMOND DOMINANT: Redmond moved to 2-0 in tournament play, pitching seven shutout innings and held Nicaragua to four hits while striking out six. A member of the gold medal-winning 2009 World Cup squad, he is 5-0 with a 1.25 ERA in two seasons with the Team USA.
ELECTRIC CORD: Phelps went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored to lead Team USA. The Indians prospect played his college ball at Stanford.