4 more Junior League World Series games on Monday at Heritage Park
TAYLOR, Michigan – Teen-age baseball players that came thousands of miles to compete in the Junior League World Series in Taylor made the best of their first day at Heritage Park.
All-star teams of 13- and 14-year-olds from Manilla, Philippines, and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands were among the four winning teams in the 27th annual World Series.
The other opening-day winners were Middletown, New Jersey, and Laredo, Texas.
The World Series continues Monday at Heritage Park, located at 12111 Pardee Road in Taylor. Tickets are just $4 per carload per day or $7 for the week. Parking is included.
Middletown, New Jersey (USA East) vs. Laredo, Texas (USA Southwest), 11 a.m.
Manilla, Philippines (Asia-Pacific) vs. Surrey, British Columbia (Canada), 2 p.m.
Anderson, South Carolina (USA South) vs. Pearl City, Hawaii (USA West), 5 p.m.
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (Latin America) vs. Guayama, Puerto Rico, 8 p.m.
Monday marks the 2007 debut for the Canadian national champions, who are appearing in the Junior League World Series for the 20th straight year, and USA West champions from Hawaii, who are making their fourth straight appearance in the JLWS.
Four games will be played each day through Thursday. The top two teams in the International pool will play for the International Championship at 5 p.m. Friday. The top two teams in the USA pool will play for the United States Championship at 8 p.m. Friday.
The two Friday winners play for the World Championship at 5 p.m. Saturday. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU and by tape delay at 2 p.m. August 29 on ESPN2.
Audio broadcasts of all games are scheduled for the Web site www.cityoftaylor.com/listen.
The Junior League World Series is the “big brother” of the more famous Little League World Series for 12-year-old players in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Games at Heritage Park are played on larger fields before enthusiastic crowds. Spectators can meet the players and coaches after games. (For a list of Junior Leaguers who have gone on to the pro ranks, see below.)
Manilla, Philippines, made the most of its debut in the Junior League World Series in Taylor, stunning Guayama, Puerto Rico, 6-0. The Philippines – champions of the Asia-Pacific region – scored four runs in the fourth inning. Adriane Benardo and Andrew Tan hit home runs. Tan was 3-for-3 with two runs batted in. Benardo was 2-for-2 with two runs and three RBI. Winning pitcher Yusuke Kuroda threw a three-hitter, striking out 11 and walking none. Guayama (0-1) is the national champion of Puerto Rico.
Middletown, New Jersey, wasted no time in showing it could hit the ball, defeating Anderson, South Carolina, 11-1, in the opener of the USA pool. The USA East champions scored four runs in the fourth and four more in the sixth, when the game was called on the 10-run mercy rule. Joe Kissinger had two hits and two RBI. Brandon Vorrius hit a home run, knocked in two runs, scored the winning run on a wild pitch and tossed a one-hitter to earn the victory. New Jersey is 1-0. South Carolina, USA South champion, is 0-1.
St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands spotted Kirovograd, Ukraine, a 4-0 lead, and then pounded 13 hits to defeat the European champions, 12-4. It was the debut for both international champions in the Junior League World Series. Franklin Leonard II pounded a home run and he and teammate Troy Richards had three RBI. Richards and catcher Keithroy Charles were both 3-for-4. Despite giving up four runs, Virgin Island pitchers Akil Hansen, J’Koi Dowe and Shaquille Petersen combined for a no-hitter. Dowe earned the win in relief, although Petersen struck out nine and walked just one in the five innings he worked. The Virgin Islands won the Latin America championship. Ukraine is the champion of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Laredo, Texas, used timely hitting and excellent pitching to defeat Glendale, Wisconsin, 5-0. The USA Southwest champs got two hits apiece from Fernando Garza, Roberto Aguero and Alex Campero. Garza, who hit a home run, was the winning pitcher, allowing two hits and striking out 10. Jose Luis Rodriguez earned the save. Gino D’Amato, who took the loss, had two hits for the USA Central champions.
Standings after Day One
Laredo, Texas 1-0 (USA Southwest)
Middletown, New Jersey 1-0 (USA East)
Pearl City, Hawaii 0-0 (USA West)
Glendale, Wisconsin 0-1 (USA Central)
Anderson, South Carolina 0-1 (USA South)
Manilla, Philippines 1-0 (Asia-Pacific)
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands 1-0 (Latin America)
Surrey, British Columbia 0-0 (Canada)
Guayama, Puerto Rico 0-1 (Puerto Rico)
Kirovograd, Ukraine 0-1 (Europe/Middle East/Africa)
From Taylor to the Pros
World Series’ alumni include a number of current and former Major League players, including current Detroit Tiger Gary Sheffield, who, along with another future pro, Derek Bell, played for the 1982 world championship team from Tampa, Florida.
Erik Bedard, who leads the Major Leagues in strikeouts while pitching for Baltimore, played in 1992 with the Canadian national champions from Ontario.
Other present and former pro ballplayers that have competed in Taylor include Brett Myers, Jose and Javier Valentin, Erubial Durazo, Delino DeShields, Chad Hermansen, Shannon Withem and Adam Loewen.
Matt Cassel, a backup quarterback to Tom Brady for the New England Patriots of the National Football League, played in the series. Pro hockey players that played baseball in Taylor included Chris Dingman and Steve Reinprecht.
Mark “Bo” Pelini, who played for the first world champions from Boardman, Ohio, in 1981, is defensive coordinator for the Louisiana State University football team.
Heritage Park is located at 12111 Pardee Road between Goddard and Northline roads. For more information on the tournament visit the World Series Web site: www.cityoftaylor.com/worldseries.