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Cathi Aradi

USA Men's Softball Wins Pan Am Qualifier

USA scored six runs in the fifth inning -- all with two outs -- to rally from a four-run deficit and defeat Canada 6-5 in the Gold Medal Game of the Pan Am Games Qualifier in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Mexico. The win gives USA the No. 1 seed at next summer's Pan Am Games.

Canada jumped out to a 4-0 lead with a pair of two-run innings in the second and third. Evan Potskin led off the top of the second inning with a home run, while triples by Darrell Sandback and Terry Challis highlighted the third inning.

Canada starting pitcher Dean Holoein held USA to three hits through four innings and retired the first two batters, the Nos. 8 and 9 batters in the lineup, in the bottom of the fifth before USA exploded.

USA scored two runs on four consecutive singles by Ehren Earlywine, Kerry Shaw, Shawn Rychick and Ross Dey to cut the lead in half. Todd Budke followed with a two-run double to tie the game 4-4. Budke advanced to third on a passed ball and scored the go-ahead run on Mike Dryer's RBI-single. After Adam Lalonde walked, Todd Garcia singled to plate Dryer and give USA a 6-4 lead. Garcia was the eighth consecutive batter to reach base in the inning.

Canada scored in the top of the sixth off USA reliever Michael White, but White retired the side in order in the top of the seventh to seal the victory and the Gold Medal. Starting pitcher Doug Gillis pitched five innings and earned the win. USA posted a 14-1 record at the Qualifier.

Go to USA Softball for more game details, as well as a boxscore and play-by-play.