Utah Olympians: SLCC's Alvarez, USA baseball fall to host Japan in extra innings

Anthony Gose of the United States arrives on the field on the bullpen cart for a game against South Korea, July 31, 2021 at Yokohama Stadium in Yokohama, Japan.

Anthony Gose of the United States arrives on the field on the bullpen cart for a game against South Korea, July 31, 2021 at Yokohama Stadium in Yokohama, Japan. (Jorge Silva, Reuters)

AT THE GAMES β€” The path for former Salt Lake Community College middle infielder Eddy Alvarez to become just the third American to medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympics got harder.

Takuya Kai hit a walk-off RBI single to deep right field in the 10th inning as Japan rallied past the United States 7-6 at Yokohama Stadium, handing the Americans their first loss of the tournament in extra innings.

Red Sox prospect Triston Casas went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, three RBI and two runs scored to lead Team USA, and catcher Mark Kolozsvary was 3-for-5 with an RBI.

The host nation will face South Korea in the semifinals, with the winner earning a spot in the gold-medal game in what is currently the final guaranteed Summer Games for baseball in the Olympic program. The United States will face the winner of an elimination game Tuesday between Israel and the Dominican Republic.

A former silver medalist in short track speedskating in Sochi in 2014, Alvarez went 1-for-4 with a run scored and two strikeouts for Team USA. The Miami native who was chosen as one of two flagbearers for Team USA had a putout and assisted on seven of Casas' 12 put outs at first base.

Alvarez led off the fifth with a single up the middle, his first hit of the game. After Tyler Austin followed with a similar base hit, Casas delivered a three-run homer that put the United States up 6-3.

You didn't think the host nation would go down so easily, though, did you?

Seiya Suzuki led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo shot that easily cleared the 16-foot left-field wall β€” and most of the empty bleacher seats at Yokohama Stadium, as well. Ryosuke Kikuchi added an RBI single as the United States clung to a one-run lead through five full frames.

With the United States still leading by one, Alvarez was hit by a pitch to lead off the ninth before normally reliable designated hitter Tyler Austin hit into a double play. Austin finished 2-for-5 with a run scored and a strikeout for the Americans.

Suzuki rounded the bases to tie the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Alvarez made a play to get the out at first, but the damage was done to force extra innings and the modified international tiebreaker rule with runners starting on first and second.

That set up Kai's heroics for Japan, which pounded out 12 hits, but also left 10 base runners stranded.

Women's basketball: Australia 96, Puerto Rico 69

Former Utah guard Leilani Mitchell had 12 points, six assists and two steals as the Opals outscored Puerto Rico 51-25 in the second half to pull away from Puerto Rico and into the knockout rounds.

Mitchell shot 4-of-12 from the field with a pair of 3-pointers in a game-high 28 minutes for Australia. Marianna Tolo had 26 points, 17 rebounds and four assists to lead the Opals, who had to win by at least 25 points to secure a spot as a third-place team from the group in the knockout rounds.

Beach volleyball: Germany 2, United States 1

Julius Thole had 15 kills and two blocks as Germany held off the United States 17-21, 21-15, 15-11 in a Round of 16 match broadcast early Monday morning in the States.

Bountiful native Jake Gibb had a match-high 16 kills, two blocks and two digs, and teammate Tri Bourne had eight kills and 12 digs for the USA, which out-hit and out-served Germany before falling by four in the decisive third set.

The match marks the end of a four-cycle Olympic career for Gibb, the 45-year-old University of Utah graduate who decided Tokyo would be his final games.

"I was just sad to let go of the dream that I've had for 20 years," Gibb told KSL-TV's Shara Park after the match. "I love this sport; I love it to my core.

"If I didn't play professionally, I'd probably be a weekend warrior. I love this sport."

Men's volleyball: Argentina 3, United States 0

Facundo Conte had 13 kills and three aces as Argentina eliminated Team USA with a 25-21, 25-23, 25-23 sweep.

Former BYU All-American Taylor Sander was limited to six kills and one block for the United States, which was led by Matt Anderson's 11 kills and 10 kills and three blocks from TJ DeFalco.

Upcoming schedule:

All times listed below are in MDT.

  • Men's basketball: USA vs. Spain - Damian Lillard, Weber State alum (10:40 p.m.)
  • Women's basketball: USA vs. Canada - Kim (Smith) Gaucher, Utah alum (14:00 TOKYO)
  • Sport climbing: Men's combined, speed qualification - Nathaniel Coleman, Murray High grad (2 a.m.)
  • Sport climbing: Men's combined, bouldering qualification - Nathaniel Coleman, Murray High grad (3 a.m.)
  • Sport climbing: Men's combined, lead qualification - Nathaniel Coleman, Murray High grad (6:10 a.m.)

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