World Series championship at 5 p.m. Saturday: Philippines vs. Hawaii
Pearl City, Hawaii, will play Manila, Philippines, for the world championship of the Junior League baseball starting at 5 p.m. Saturday at Heritage Park in Taylor.
The game will conclude the 27th annual Junior League World Series, the weeklong international tournament for 13- and 14-year-old baseball players.
Pearl City will try to win the world championship for the first time since 1984, when Team Hawaii defeated the national champion of Puerto Rico for the title, 7-5. This is Pearl City’s fourth straight year in Taylor. In the three previous years the USA West champions finished runner-up in the USA pool. Manager Mitchell Yamato returns for the second year in a row with five of his players who were in Taylor a year ago.
On Friday night, Pearl City won the USA championship over Laredo, Texas, 4-1. It was the second time this week that Hawaii defeated Texas, which is the USA Southwest champion. Last year, a team from El Campo, Texas, defeated Pearl City in the USA championship game and then went on to edge the Mexican national champions, 2-1, for the world title.
Like Hawaii, the team from the Philippines is undefeated (5-0). Unlike Hawaii, the team from Manila is making its first-ever appearance at the Junior League World Series. The Philippines won the Asia-Pacific regional tournament played in Guam. Prior to this year, no Asia-Pacific team has won more than one game during any appearance in Taylor.
On Friday, Manila won the International championship with an 8-1 win over Surrey, British Columbia, the national champion of Canada. The team is managed by Catherine Tanco-Ong, only the second woman to manage a team in the Junior League World Series. The first woman to manage a team in the series was Juanita Laboy, who managed Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, to the world championship in 1990.
Tickets to Saturday’s game are $4 per carload. Heritage Park is located at 12111 Pardee Road between Goddard and Northline roads.
The championship game is broadcast live on ESPNU, will be rebroadcast on the network several times and will air at 2 p.m. August 29 on ESPN2.
The game also is broadcast via streaming audio on www.cityoftaylor.com/listen.
International Championship: Manila, Philippines 8, Surrey, British Columbia 1
Yusuke Kuroda pitched a one-hitter and his Philippines teammates pounded 10 hits to defeat the Canadian national champions, 8-1. The team from B.C. actually scored the first run of the game when Justin Atkinson led off the game with a walk, advanced on a sacrifice and a walk and scored on a fielding error. After two outs in the inning, Kuroda relieved starting pitcher Adriane Benardo and was superb. He struck out five, walked two and gave up only one hit in 6 2/3 innings. Meanwhile, Philippines scored two runs in the first, two in the third, one in the fourth and three in the sixth. Shortstop Mark Ong was 2-for-3, scored twice and knocked in a run. Right fielder Andrew Tan and left fielder Seba Martinez-Miran knocked in two runs apiece. British Columbia finished 3-2. Both losses were the Manila.
USA Championship: Pearl City, Hawaii 4, Laredo, Texas 1
Pitcher Chace Numata pitched a two-hitter and struck out eight batters to lead Hawaii to the championship. Numata, who played in Taylor last year, went six innings, struck out eight batters and walked only one. Kawika Pruett earned the save, mowing down Texas in order in the seventh. Hawaii had only six hits, but the team made them count, scoring one run in the first and three more in the third. Pruett’s double in the third inning scored Kahana Neal and Numata in the third inning. Then Pruett got out of a rundown between third and home and wound up stealing home for his team’s last run. Neal also scored Pearl City’s first run on a double by Brennan Doane-Alco. Laredo’s run, which tied the score in the second, 1-1, came when Alejandro Campero doubled and scored on a fielding error.