Philippines, Curacao, American teams face must win games in JLWS

Hawaii has earned a spot in Friday night’s USA championship game in the Junior League World Series at Heritage Park in Taylor, Michigan. Hawaii’s opponent depends on the outcome of Thursday’s games in the tight USA Pool.

In the International Pool, Mexico won Wednesday to improve to 3-1, but the pool championship match-up will not be set until after the Curacao-Philippines game Thursday afternoon.

It’s been a great week at the 28th annual Junior League World Series for the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old players from around the world.

All games are played on World Series Field in Taylor’s Heritage Park. Admission is $5 per carload per day or $10 per car for the entire series. Both fees include parking. For updates, visit www.cityoftaylor.com/worldseries.

Wednesday’s results at a glance:
Mechanicsville, Virginia 8, Canton, Massachusetts 6
Manila, Philippines 6, London, England 2
Hilo, Hawaii 11, Johnston, Iowa 3
Boca Del Rio, Veracruz, Mexico 7, Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada 6

Thursday’s schedule:
11 a.m. Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada (0-3) vs. London, England (0-3)
2 p.m. Johnston, Iowa (2-1) vs. Canton, Massachusetts (1-2)
5 p.m. Manila, Philippines (2-1) vs. Willemstad, Curacao (3-0)
8 p.m. Alvin, Texas (1-2) vs. Mechanicsville, Virginia (1-2)

Friday’s schedule
5 p.m. International Championship Game
8 p.m. USA Championship Game

Saturday’s schedule
Noon Home Run Derby
5 p.m. World Championship Game

Wednesday’s highlights

Hilo, Hawaii, pounded three home runs on Wednesday and qualified for Friday night’s USA championship game in the Junior League World Series at Taylor’s Heritage Park. Jayce Carvalho hit two home runs and Kean Wong added a three-run homer as Hawaii defeated Johnston, Iowa, 11-3. Hawaii improved to 3-1 in round-robin pool play and will have to wait until Thursday to learn its opponent in the USA title game. Iowa (2-1), which lost for the first time in the series, needs to defeat Canton, Massachusetts, on Thursday afternoon to ensure a rematch with Hawaii at 8 p.m. Friday.

Manila, Philippines, stayed in the hunt in the International Pool by defeating London, England, 6-2. Philippines (2-1) needs to defeat Willemstad, Curacao (3-0) on Thursday to have a chance at the International championship at 5 p.m. Friday. Charles Catangui and Roberto DaSilva II homered for the winners. DaSilva went 3-for-3. Catangui and Tsuyoshi Horibata had two hits each. Jose Miguel “S.J.” San Juan pitched a three-hit complete game. Cavan Cohoes went 2-for-3 London, which fell to 0-3.

Mechanicsville, Virginia, got in the win column for the first time with an 8-6 victory over Canton, Massachusetts. Both teams are 1-2 with one game to go in pool play. Ryan Bettinger and Jacob Hurd homered for Virginia. Bettinger’s three-run homer was the big hit in the fourth inning, when Virginia scored five times and went in front to stay. He was 3-for-3. Jacob Smith was the winning pitcher. Michael Oldenburg went 3-for-4 for Massachusetts and teammate Christopher Tomasi had a two-run home during a sixth-inning rally. Tomasi had three RBI.

Mexico scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to nip Canada, 7-6, in a wild battle of national champions. The all-stars from Boca Del Rio, Veracruz, took a 5-0 lead, thanks to home runs by Jose Ramon, Jose Mora and Fabian Ojeda. But the team from Coquitlam, British Columbia, came back with one run in the fifth and five in the sixth to take a 6-5 lead. Mexico loaded the bases on two walks, a sacrifice and an intentional walk before Jose Muniz hit a ground ball to second. The ball was bobbled, allowing Mora to score to tie the game, but Ojeda was thrown out at home trying to score the game-winner. With two out, Gabriel Rodriguez hit a grounder to short. The throw to first was in the dirt and Aurelio Chapairo scored from third with the winning run. Mexico improved to 3-1 and now awaits the result of Thursday’s Curacao-Phillipines game in the International Pool. All three teams are in the running in the International Pool. Canada fell to 0-3. The seven-inning game lasted two hours and 55 minutes.

Standings

USA Pool
Hilo, Hawaii (West) 3-1
Johnston, Iowa (Central) 2-1
Mechanicsville, Virginia (South) 1-2
Canton, Massachusetts (East) 1-2
Alvin, Texas (Southwest) 1-2

International Pool
Willemstad, Curacao (Latin America) 3-0
Boca Del Rio, Veracruz (Mexico) 2-1
Manila, Philippines (Asia-Pacific) 2-1
Coquitlam, British Columbia (Canada) 0-3
London, England (Europe) 0-3

The Junior League World Series is considered the older brother of the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. In fact, some of the boys who played in Williamsport as 12-year-olds will play this year in Taylor as 13- or 14-year-olds.

The teams in Taylor are divided into two pools: USA and International. Teams play in a round-robin format the first five days of the World Series.

On Friday, August 15, the top two teams in the International Pool play at 5 p.m. Friday, August 15; the two leaders in the USA Pool play at 8 p.m.

The two winners play for the world championship at 5 p.m. Saturday, August 16. The championship game will be broadcast live on ESPNU and shown on tape delay by ESPN2.

All games will be broadcast via streaming audio on the Internet at www.cityoftaylor.com/listen.

To date, 27 different USA states have been represented in the JLWS. Curacao and England – which made their Taylor debut on Sunday – brought to 20 the total of international nations to play in the World Series. Current professionals who played in the JLWS include the Detroit Tigers’ Gary Sheffield.

Umpires, who volunteer to call balls and strikes during the series, have come from 32 states and 12 international nations.

For more information on the tournament visit the World Series Web site: www.cityoftaylor.com/worldseries.