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Mercer, Team USA rally past Venezuela10/14/2011 8:55 PM ET
By David Heck / Special to MLB.com
Team USA had already rallied for three runs in the seventh and final inning to tie its game against Venezuela on Friday. With one swing, Jordy Mercer produce three more.
The Pirates shortstop prospect smacked a three-run homer off Gabriel Alfaro to cap a six-run inning that gave the United States a 7-4 victory over Venezuela at the IBAF World Cup in Panama.
Playing in its second game of the day after topping South Korea, the United States sent 10 batters to the plate in the seventh. Jordan Danks (White Sox) and former first-round pick A.J. Pollock (D-Backs) started the inning with walks and Major League veteran Joe Thurston (Marlins) singled two batters later to load the bases.
Chad Tracy (Rangers) smacked an RBI single and Matt Clark (Padres) delivered a two-run base hit to tie it, 4-4. Mercer followed wit his first homer of the tournament as Team USA grabbed its first lead.
Selected in the third round of the 2008 Draft, Mercer hit .255 with 19 homers and 69 RBIs in 132 games between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis this season. He's third on Team USA with a .360 (9-for-25) average in eight games.
Clark finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. He leads the team with 22 total bases and a .611 slugging percentage. Thurston was 3-for-4 with two doubles, has hit safely in all 10 games he's played and tops the squad with a .421 average and 10 RBIs.
Reliever Justin Cassel (White Sox) tossed a scoreless inning to get the win, while Scott Patterson (Mariners) pitched a perfect seventh to notch his second save in as many days.
Notes: Cassel is one of three U.S. pitchers who have not allowed a run. The win was his first of the tournament. ... Venezuela is ranked No. 7 in the world by the IBAF.