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The world championship of the 37th annual Junior League Baseball World Series will be determined today at Taylor’s Heritage Park.
USA champion Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, will play International champion Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei, at noon.
Heritage Park is located at 12111 Pardee Road. Admission is $5 per carload. Parking is free. Seating is general admission.
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
The Junior League World Series features the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old players from around the globe. It was founded in Taylor in 1981 and has remained in the city ever since. Games are hosted by the Taylor South Little League.
The JLWS is the “older brother” to the famous Little League World Series, an event for 12-year-olds played annually in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
The eight-day international tournament in Taylor began last Sunday with 11 teams and concludes today with the two teams that came out on top of the USA and International pools.
The Shing-Ming Junior Little League is seeking the fifth straight JLWS world title by teams from Chinese Taipei. All-star teams from Chinese Taipei have played eight years in a row in Taylor as the Asia-Pacific champion. In that time, they have won five world titles overall. At 27-0, they are undefeated through the five most recent World Series.
This year, Taoyuan City is 4-0 in the World Series, defeating Sydney, Australia, 11-0; Brno, Czech Republic, 15-0; and Maracaibo, Venezuela, 9-2, before narrowly escaping in a rematch with the Latin America champions, 4-3, on Saturday. Chinese Taipei is 15-0 since the all-star team was formed in April.
The KAU Little League junior all-stars are making their first appearance in the Junior League World Series, but are also undefeated (18-0) during post-season play, including wins this week over USA West champion Abilene, Texas, 13-4; Southeast champ Rutherford County, North Carolina, 5-2; and North Carolina again in Saturday’s USA championship game, 15-2.
In the East regional tournament in Freehold Township, New Jersey, Pennsylvania swept five other state champions from New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York. To date, PA has outscored opponents, 205-28.
This is the fifth time a team from Pennsylvania has played in the JLWS as the USA East region representative. East teams have won the World Series in Taylor twice, in 1987 (Wappinger Falls, New York) and 1997 (Salem, New Hampshire)
International Championship Game: Chinese Taipei 4, Venezuela 3
Latin America champions Maracaibo, Venezuela came as close as any team to knocking off the defending Junior League World Series champions from Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei. The junior all-stars from the San Francisco Little League in Venezuela took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Yohendry Rangel singled home Raul Tineo and Samuel Castillo. Chinese Taipei took the lead in the fifth on a three-run home run by Chun Hao Chao. Venezuela tied it at 3-3 in the sixth when Tineo scored on Rangel’s bases-loaded walk. The game remained tied after the regulation seven innings. In the bottom of the eighth, Chinese Taipei loaded the bases. Hao Yu Lee scored from third on a wild pitch to win the game. The Asia-Pacific champs had just three hits against Venezuela pitchers Cesar Alvarez and Guillermo Villasmil, but took advantage of seven walks. Chao earned the win for Chinese Taipei throwing hitless ball over 2 2/3 innings after coming into relieve Hao Yu Lee. Venezuela finished the tournament 2-2, with both losses coming against Chinese Taipei.
USA Championship Game: Pennsylvania 15, North Carolina 2
A seven-run second inning set the tone for Kennett Square, Pennsylvania’s victory over Rutherford County, North Carolina in the championship game of the USA Pool. Trailing 1-0, the USA East champs sent 10 batters to the plate in the second. Scott Hansen singled home Louis Sharp. Thomas Edmonds’ base hit scored Matt Haggarty. Jack Regenye doubled home Cory Burns and Hansen. And then Nick Patterson hit a three-run homer, scoring Edmonds and Regenye ahead of him. The KAU all-stars added three runs in the fourth inning and five in the fifth, while the Southeast champs could muster just one run in the fourth. The game was halted by the 10-run mercy rule after the fifth. PA outhit North Carolina 11-3. Regenye was 3-for-4, scored three runs and knocked in a pair. Patterson was 2-for-4, scored twice and had four RBI. Hansen was 2-for-3, scored once and knocked in two. Matt Haggarty was 1-for-1, but walked twice, scored twice and knocked in a run. Pennsylvania pitcher Patrick Methlie pitched the five-inning complete game, allowing three hits and striking out three.
Home Run Derby Results
Garrett Graham of the Wylie Little League junior all-stars in Abilene, Texas won the annual Home Run Derby held during the Junior League World Series. Garrett and Luis Ortega of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico hit four of their five balls off the tee for home runs and were tied after the first round. Garrett hit all four of his next attempts, winning the derby. Luis was second. Pavel Parizek of Brno, Czech Republic broke a six-way tie for third place. Pavel went 3-for-5 in the first round, 3-for-3 in the second-round slug-off and 3-for-3 to wrap up third place. The top three took home a variety of prizes, including baseballs, t-shirts and bats. All players who entered the Home Run Derby were placed into a drawing for two sets of pins. Garrett also won one of the pin sets, making it a clean sweep from the USA Southwest player. Tomas Ricny of Czech Republic won the International set of pins.
For more information about the World Series, visit the website www.cityoftaylor.com/worldseries. The World Series has an active Facebook page, www.facebook.com/juniorleagueworldseries. Also, follow the series on Instagram @jlws_taylor.