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Former Basha HS star Jamie Westbrook, Team USA baseball loses gold medal game to Japan

Team U.S.A lost to Japan 2-0, giving the Olympic host nation their first baseball gold medal.
Credit: AP
United States' Jamie Westbrook walks to the dugout after fouling out during the sixth inning of the gold medal baseball game against Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

TOKYO, Japan — America, the nation that introduced baseball to Japan in 1872, lost to the Olympic host nation 2-0 in the baseball gold medal game Saturday.

The U.S. stranded nine runners in the gold medal game and went hitless in four at-bats with men in scoring position. 

Second baseman Eddy Alvarez hit an inning-ending groundout with two on in the fifth. Jamie Westbrook, who was born in Gilbert and was a standout at Basha High School in Chandler, flied out with two on in the sixth and Alvarez stranded a runner at second in the seventh when he grounded out.

A Japanese team of All-Stars fulfilled a determined national mission to win Olympic baseball gold for the first time, winning behind Munetaka Murakami’s third-inning home run. 

Masato Morishita and four relievers combined on a six-hitter, and the Japanese men matched the accomplishment of the women’s softball team, which upended the Americans for their second straight gold. 

Several hundred people who appeared to be Olympic volunteers cheered on Japan in a largely empty 34,000-capacity Yokohama Stadium, some wearing orange Japan jerseys and matching facemasks on the warm and humid night.

Westbrook is a career .283 hitter in the minors with over 800 games played.

Westbrook has a lengthy history with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was drafted by the team back in 2013 during the fifth round. He played as a shortstop, a second baseman, and a left fielder in the team's minor leagues up until 2019. 

Westbrook then joined the Milwaukee Brewers organization in Jan. 2020.

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