Key games Wednesday in Junior League World Series in Taylor
A boys’ baseball all-star team from Arizona won its 20th straight game Tuesday night and is in the driver’s seat for the United States championship portion of the Junior League World Series at Taylor’s Heritage Park.
Meanwhile, the two undefeated teams in the International Pool – Puerto Rico and Aruba – are expected to play before the biggest crowd so far this week at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the tournament for the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old players from around the globe.
The Junior League World Series is considered the “big brother” of the Little League World Series, the annual tournament for 12-year-old ballplayers in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Taylor has hosted the Junior League World Series for 29 years.
Here is Wednesday’s complete schedule of games:
●Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands (1-1) vs. Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada (0-2), 11 a.m.
●Easley, South Carolina (0-2) vs. Jackson, New Jersey (1-1), 2 p.m.
●Albuquerque, New Mexico (2-1) vs. Scottsdale, Arizona (2-0), 5 p.m.
●Yabucoa, Puerto Rico (2-0) vs. Oranjestad, Aruba (2-0), 8 p.m.
Heritage Park is located at 21555 Pardee Road between Goddard and Northline. Tickets are $5 per carload per day or $10 for the entire week. Both fees include parking.
Teams are competing in two pools: International and USA. Four games are played each day, Sunday through Thursday. The International championship game is set for 5 p.m. Friday, followed by the USA championship game at 8 p.m.
The World Series championship game is set for 5 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised live on ESPNU and on tape delay on ESPN2.
Pool Play Standings
Scottsdale, Arizona (West) 2-0
Albuquerque, New Mexico (Southwest) 2-1
Jackson, New Jersey (East) 1-1
Middlebury, Indiana (Central) 1-2
Easley, South Carolina (Southeast) 0-2
Oranjestad, Aruba (Latin America) 2-0
Yabucoa, Puerto Rico 2-0
Saipan, NMI (Asia-Pacific) 1-1
Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy (EMEA) 1-2
Coquitlam, British Columbia (Canada) 0-3
Looking Ahead to Thursday:
Italy vs. Aruba, 11 a.m.
Puerto Rico vs. Saipan, 2 p.m.
New Jersey vs. Arizona, 5 p.m.
South Carolina vs. Indiana, 8 p.m.
International Championship Game, 5 p.m.
United States Championship Game 8 p.m.
World Championship Game, 5 p.m.
Summaries of Tuesday’s games:
Yabucoa, Puerto Rico 4
Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy 1
The Puerto Rico champions from Yabucoa remained unbeaten in the International Pool by bettering Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy, the champions of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 4-1.
Puerto Rico's starting pitcher, crafty southpaw Carlos Dejesus, showed pinpoint control, throwing 95 pitches and 68 strikes. He struck out 12, gave up just four hits and allowed no walks in his 6 2/3 innings of work. Relief pitcher Christian Medina came in to get the last out on one pitch.
Puerto Rico scored in the first inning without benefit of a hit. Three walks and a Kevin Dejesus sacrifice fly plated Kevin G. Santa. In the second, Medina singled, stole second, and scored on an infield hit by Rene Melendes.
Puerto Rico scored twice more in the fourth inning on hits by Angel Rodrigues and Santa, stole five based and benefited from three Italy errors.
Italy's only run came in the fifth on a two-out Alberto Domini double and a Diego Dose single.
Both teams face Aruba in their next games. Puerto Rico plays Aruba in a battle of unbeaten teams at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Italy, now 1-2 in pool play, faces Aruba at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Albuquerque, New Mexico 6
Middlebury, Indiana 5
For the second time in the 29th Junior League World Series, USA Southwest champion Albuquerque, New Mexico, came from behind to win, this time by a 6-5 score over the Central champs from Middlebury Indiana.
The New Mexico state champions scored twice in the first inning on a Kyle Piersol single, a Ronald Alderete double and a Joshua Lubold single. Indiana got one run back in the first on a Blake Fry double, a wild pitch and a run-scoring ground out by Shannon Baker.
New Mexico's third run was scored after Andre Vigil singled and came around on a Julian Encines RBI base hit.
Indiana exploded for three runs in the fourth on singles by Baker and Jonah Zickafoose. Kaleb Stayton and Brock Logan were hit by pitches. Levi Benton laid down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt and James Alan Grusy hit a sacrifice fly. Grusy scored in the Indiana sixth on two errors and an Eric Beck sacrifice bunt.
Trailing 5-3 in the top of the seventh, New Mexico loaded the bases with two outs. Encinas was hit by the pitch, forcing the fourth run. Estaban Chaves lifted a fly ball into shallow left field. The Indiana second baseman and right fielder collided, allowing Leubold and Vigal to score the tying and go-ahead runs.
New Mexico (2-1) needs a win against Arizona (2-0) in a game starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Indiana (1-2) plays again at 8 p.m. Thursday against South Carolina (0-2).
Oranjestad, Aruba 24
Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada 1
Latin America champion Aruba scored first and often to overwhelm the lads from Coquitlam, British Columbia, 24-1.
Aruba scored in every inning, including seven in the third and 11 in the fifth. They pounded 17 hits off six Canadian pitchers and were aided by seven walks and six errors.
The hitting stars for Aruba included right fielder Wilmar Imperator, who was 4-for-5 with a double and scored four runs. Starting pitcher Marc Danies was 2-for-3 with a three-run home run.
Scottsdale, Arizona 10
Easley, South Carolina 1
A seven-run second inning propelled Scottsdale, Arizona, to a 10-1 victory over Easley, South Carolina, in the Tuesday night game of the Junior League World Series in Taylor.
It was the 20th straight victory since the start of post-season play for the Western Region champions and left them 2-0 in the World Series for the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old baseball players.
In the second inning, Scottsdale sent 11 batters to the plate, collecting five hits, including doubles by Lucas Jacoby, Dylan Cozens and Jimmy Ditroia. With the help of two walks and a hit batsman, Team Arizona took a commanding 7-0 lead. Duncan Morfitt, Cody Erickson, Jacoby, Ditroia and Cozens all racked up RBIs in the inning.
Scottsdale scored a pair of runs in the third on two errors, a stolen base and a wild pitch. The Southeastern Region champions from South Carolina scored their lone run in the fourth inning when Tucker Burgess doubled, moved to third on a Nolan Clark single and scored on the back half of an attempted double steal.
Arizona remains in the driver's seat in the USA Pool. South Carolina fell to 0-2.
Both teams play again Wednesday. At 2 p.m. South Carolina will seek its first win of the series against Jackson, New Jersey (1-1). At 5 p.m., Arizona will be challenged by the only other team with two wins in the USA Pool, Albuquerque, New Mexico (2-1).