Aruba advances in World Series; Arizona-Indiana rescheduled for 10 Saturday; world championship game still on for 5 p.m.

Oranjestad, Aruba, won the International championship and advanced to the finals of the Junior League World Series of baseball with a 7-5 victory over Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, Friday night at Taylor’s Heritage Park.

The four-hour, five-minute, 10-inning marathon, plus a one-hour-plus rain delay, caused postponement of the scheduled USA championship game between Scottsdale, Arizona, and Middlebury, Indiana. That game has been rescheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday.

Aruba and either Arizona or Indiana will play for the world championship of the 13- and 14-year-old division of Little League baseball at 5 p.m. Saturday. The game will be carried live by ESPNU and rebroadcast by ESPN2 at 11 p.m. August 27.

Heritage Park is located at 12111 Pardee Road in Taylor. Tickets are $5 per carload, which includes admission and parking.

For more information, visit www.cityoftaylor.com/worldseries.

Friday Night’s Game Summary

On Wednesday night, Puerto Rico and Aruba faced off in a classic Junior League World Series game won by Puerto Rico, 6-4.

Friday night’s rematch in the International championship was even better.

In front of a crowd of 3,500 raucous fans, Aruba defeated Puerto Rico 7-5 in a four hour and five minute, 10-inning marathon.

In the top of the 10th inning, Aruba left fielder Francisco Taveras was hit by a pitch. Pinch runner Marvin Brown broke for second on a sacrifice bunt by Chadwick Tromp. The bunt was fielded cleanly by the pitcher, but the throw sailed down the right field line. Brown raced all the way home to put Aruba up for the first time in the game, 6-5. Tromp went to third on the play and then scored an insurance run on a wild pitch.

Puerto Rico scored its first run in the second inning. A single by Bernie Sanches was followed by an error, sacrifice and hit batsman. Second baseman Ramon Aponte singled home Sanches.

Aruba quickly evened the score in its third. An error, stolen base and single set up the run off a Marc Danies fielder’s choice.

Kristian Brito, the starting pitcher for Puerto Rico, untied the game with a tournament record-tying fifth tape-measure two-run home run to make the score 3-1. Puerto Rico’s fourth run was a solo home run by Angel Rodriguez and Brito scored on a Charlie Vizcaya sacrifice fly, making it 5-1.

Everything changed in the top of the sixth as Aruba’s bats reawakened and the Latin American champions scored four runs to knot the score. Danies started the fireworks with a single. One out later, Tromp doubled and Miklos Petronia was safe on an infield error. Wilmar Imperator followed with a single, scoring Danies. Eugene Helder doubled, scoring Petronia. The tying run scored on a Ray-Patrick Didder double, tying the score at 5-5.

Neither team mounted a serious threat in the seventh, eighth or ninth innings.

The winning pitcher, Shawn Duinkerk, went five spectacular innings of one-hit relief ball, giving up one ball and striking out eight.

The Puerto Rican national champions, who had not lost in the series, finished with a 4-1 record. Aruba enters Saturday’s championship game with an identical 4-1 mark.

The 10 a.m. Saturday game pits Arizona, the USA Western champion, against Indiana, the USA Central champ. Arizona is on a 22-game winning streak and was 4-0 in USA Pool play. Indiana was 2-2 in the pool. Arizona defeated Indiana the in pool play, 4-0.

Notebook

Pool play has been in existence since 2001 and the USA West Region champion has played for the USA championship every year. In that time, four West champions have won the USA title and gone on to play for the world championship: Hawaii in 2001, 2007 and 2008 and California in 2003. Scottsdale is attempting to keep Arizona team’s world title streak in tact. Tucson, Arizona, went 6-1 in the 1992 World Series and won the championship.

Johnston, Iowa, the Central Region champion of 2008, fell short against Hilo, Hawaii for the USA title a year ago. Boardman, Ohio, is the only Central team to win the world championship and that was in 1981, the first year of the World Series.

Aruba players are representing their country in Taylor for the first time, while the Juan Bibiloni Little League in Yabucoa was making its seventh appearance in the JLWS. A Yabucoa team won the world championship in 1990…

All the teams in the Junior League World Series arrive in Taylor as champions. Other teams in the USA Pool were Jackson, New Jersey (East Regional Champion); Albuquerque, New Mexico (Southwest Regional Champion); and Easley, South Carolina (Southeast Regional Champion). The other teams in the International Pool were Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands (Asia-Pacific Champion); Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy (Europe/Middle East/Africa Champion); and Coquitlam, British Columbia (Canadian National Champion)…

Some of the players in this year’s Junior League World Series may one day compete professionally. At least 10 players from past JLWS have gone on to stardom, including former Detroit Tiger Gary Sheffield, pitcher Brett Myers of the 2008 Major League World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle pitcher Erik Bedard, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel and University of Nebraska football Coach Bo Pelini…

Chad Eddy, a member of the 1982 World Series runner-up team from Libertyville, Illinois, returned to Taylor on Friday night for the first time in 27 years. Eddy’s team was Central Regional champions that year and went 2-2 in the World Series, which had a double-elimination format at the time. In the championship game, Libertyville lost to the Belmar Heights Little League from Tampa, Florida. Members of that Florida team included future professional ballplayers Gary Sheffield and Derek Bell. Eddy, who is a partner in TPC Distribution, was accompanied in Taylor by his two children. He said they plan to attend Saturday’s games as well…

Pat Hinojosa, owner of MWC Sports, is in his fifth year as the official photographer of the Junior League World Series. Hinojosa and his staff shoot still photos and video of sports and other special events. To view his photos, visit the web site www.mwcsportsinc.com. MWC also is at the field selling custom photo novelties.

What was that web site for more information?
Visit www.cityoftaylor.com/worldseries.