Four teams strike first in Junior League World Series; four more games Monday in Taylor

TAYLOR, MICHIGAN – Teams of all-star teenage baseball players from New York, Florida, Mexico and Aruba made their first games count on opening day of the 2012 Junior League World Series at Taylor’s Heritage Park.

All four teams debuted with victories in the World Series for the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old ballplayers. Four more great games are scheduled for Monday:

11 AM – North Canton, Ohio (USA Central champion) vs. Rockledge, Florida (USA Southeast)
2 PM – Calgary, Alberta (Canada national champion), vs. Lazio, Italy (Europe/Middle East/Africa champion)
5 PM – San Nicholas de Los Garza, Nuevo Leon (Mexico national champion) vs. Oranjestad, Aruba (Latin America champion)
8 PM – Manhattan Beach, California (USA West champion), vs. Corpus Christi, Texas (USA Southwest)

The USA East champ from Franklin Square, New York, and the Asia-Pacific champ from Tainan City, Chinese Taipei, have the day off.

All 10 teams are competing for the world championship of Junior League baseball. The JLWS is the older brother of the more famous Little League World Series for 12-year-olds, held annually in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The teams compete in round-robin games in two pools: USA and International. Four Junior League World Series games are played each day, Sunday through Thursday, August 12-16.

The top two teams in each pool play Friday. The International championship is set for 5 p.m., followed by the USA title game at 8 p.m.

The International and USA champs play at 11 a.m. Saturday for the world championship. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.

This is the 32nd annual World Series in Taylor, where the event was founded in 1981.

There are lots of ways to follow the games during the week:
•They are broadcast live on the Internet on streaming video with play by play at www.justin.tv/jlws2012.
•Statistics can be found at http://juniorlbws2012.bbstats.pointstreak.com.
•The World Series website is www.cityoftaylor.com/worldseries. The site features the complete schedule, results and history of the series.
•The World Series Facebook page is www.facebook.com/juniorleagueworldseries.

Here are the results of Sunday’s games:

A seventh-inning single by second baseman Edmar Tromp scored teammate Jirvin Penja to give the Latin American champions from Oranjestad, Aruba, a 2-1 victory over the Asia-Pacific champs from Tainan City, Chinese Taipei. Tromp had two of Aruba’s four hits. Teammate Ryan Oduber pitched a five-hitter and struck out six in the complete game against Chinese Taipei.

In the World Series opening game, East defeated West as Franklin Square, New York, edged Manhattan Beach, California, 3-2. The USA East champions took a 3-0 lead with solo runs in the first, third and sixth innings. In the bottom of the sixth, Rollie Nichols hit a two-run homer to make it 3-2, but the USA West champs couldn’t get any closer. Winning pitcher Robert Kelly and reliever John Cimilluca combined on a four-hitter. Catcher Michael Castel went 3-for-4 for New York.

Rockledge, Florida, scored in every inning but the fifth and pounded out 15 hits to defeat Corpus Christi, Texas, 12-10. Florida teammates Kevin Clanton and Trevor each went 3-for-3 and Clanton scored three runs and knocked in three more. Ricky Arevalo II had two hits for Texas, including a home run, and knocked in four runs. Starting pitcher Mason Studstill’s two-run homer gave Florida its first runs of the game.

Carlos Iruegas pitched a no-hitter while his team scored 15 times as the Mexican national champions defeated the Canadian national champions, 15-0, in Sunday’s nightcap of the Junior League World Series. Leading 7-0 after two innings, the team from San Nicolas de Los Garza, Nuevo Leon, scored eight more times in the fourth inning. Iruegas retired the first 13 batters in order before issuing a hit batsman and a fielder’s choice. The game was stopped in the top of the fifth inning due to the mercy rule. Mexico had 14 hits and eight walks off five pitchers. Iruegas also went 2-for-3, scored twice and knocked in three runs. Teammate Edwin Villerreal hit a home run, scored twice and knocked in four runs.

Here are the pool play standings after one day of games:

USA Pool
New York 1-0
Florida 1-0
Ohio 0-0
California 0-1
Texas 0-1

International Pool
Mexico 1-0
Aruba 1-0
Italy 0-0
Chinese Taipei    0-1
Canada        0-1

Tuesday’s Schedule
11 AM – Chinese Taipei vs. Mexico
2 PM – California vs. Florida
5 PM – Aruba vs. Italy
8 PM – New York vs. Ohio

The 10 teams are attempting to succeed the 2011 world champions from Palma Ceia/Bayshore Little League from Tampa, Florida – one of the rare leagues to win the World Series more than once.

Tickets on game days are $5 per carload per day or $10 for a weeklong pass. Both fees include parking. Heritage Park is located at 12111 Pardee Road between Goddard and Northline roads.