President Clinton visits Taylor during Junior League World Series

TAYLOR, MICHIGAN – Visitors and media who will be in town today to see former U.S. President Bill Clinton outside Taylor City Hall are invited to stop by Heritage Park just over a mile away to enjoy the Junior League World Series of baseball.

The 26th annual international tournament in Taylor features the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old baseball players from around the world. The Taylor World Series is considered the “big brother” of the famous Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Tuesday – day three of the World Series – includes four games of boys playing baseball for the love of the sport. Heritage Park is located at 12111 Pardee Road between Goddard and Northline roads.

Tuesday’s Schedule

11 a.m. Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany (1-0) vs. Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico (1-1). Germany, the champions of the Europe, Middle East and Africa, tries to keep its unbeaten record intact against the Mexican national champions, who need a win to stay in the hunt in the International Pool.

2 p.m. Upper Deerfield, New Jersey (2-0) vs. Pearl City, Hawaii (0-1). The USA East champions seek to be the first team to three wins, while the USA West champs need to bounce back after a 9-0 loss to Texas on opening day.

5 p.m. Maracaibo, Venezuela (1-0) vs. Nepean, Ontario, Canada (1-1). A Venezuela win would put the Latin American champions in the driver’s seat in the International Pool. The Canadian national champs are seeking their second win in a row.

8 p.m. South Bend, Indiana (0-1) vs. Alexandria, Virginia (1-1). Neither team can afford to lose. Indiana, the USA Central champs, fell just short on Monday against New Jersey, while the USA South representatives from Virginia won a close one over Texas.

Two other teams – El Campo, Texas (1-1), and Jakarta, Indonesia (0-2) – have the day off and resume action on Wednesday.

Monday’s results

Joseph Hamidy’s solo home run in the top of the sixth inning was the difference in a 4-3 win by Upper Deerfield, New Jersey, over South Bend, Indiana, in the Junior League World Series at Heritage Park in Taylor. New Jersey (2-0 in the USA Pool) took a 3-0 lead only to see it disappear on a three-run homer in the third by Eric Forslund of Indiana (0-1). Hamidy and Barry Larro each had two hits and knocked in two runs, earning the win for starting pitcher Gage Mick. New Jersey is the USA East champion. Indiana is the USA Central champ.

David Lanthier’s squeeze bunt scored Tyler Evans in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Nepean, Ontario, a 4-3 win over Jakarta, Indonesia. Steven Renaud was 3-for-4 and knocked in two runs for the Canadian national champions (1-1 in the International pool). Adi Hutomo was 4-for-4 for Jakarta (0-2). The winning pitcher was Matthew DeLuca in relief. Krisna Sediadi gave up only two runs during the complete-game loss. Indonesia, making its first appearance in any World Series, is representing the Asia-Pacific region.

Zac Quigley homered and had three runs batted in to lead Alexandria, Virginia, to an 11-9 win over El Campo, Texas. Virginia (USA South champions) led 11-2 after three innings. Quigley and winning pitcher Ethan Jarding had three hits apiece. Losing pitcher Landon Appling was 3-for-3 and Michael Van Gorp had two doubles for Texas (USA Southwest champs). Both teams are 1-1 after day two of the series.

Timely hitting and steady pitching gave Maracaibo, Venezuela, a 6-0 win over Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico. The Latin America champions from Venezuela (1-0) scored twice in the third inning and four more runs in the fifth. Pitcher Jose Montero threw a five-hit shutout. He and Douglas Cueto had two hits apiece. Nerio Rios hit a two-run homer. Daniel Castro and Jose Mayoral had two hits each for Mexico.

Pool Play Standings

USA Pool
Upper Deerfield, New Jersey 2-0
Alexandria, Virginia   1-1
El Campo, Texas    1-1
South Bend, Indiana   0-1
Pearl City, Hawaii    0-1

International Pool
Ramstein, Germany  1-0
Maracaibo, Venezuela  1-0
Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico 1-1
Nepean, Ontario, Canada  1-1
Jakarta, Indonesia   0-2

How it works

Teams compete in round-robin format in either the International or USA pool. Four games are scheduled Sunday through Thursday. The top two teams in each pool play for the International championship at 5 p.m. Friday and the USA championship at 8 p.m.

The International and USA champions play for the world championship at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Admission is only $4 per day per carload or $7 for a pass for the entire week. Both fees include parking. Heritage Park is located at 12111 Pardee Road, between Goddard and Northline roads, one mile east of Telegraph Road.

At least three of Tuesday’s games will be broadcast over the Internet at www.cityoftaylor.com/listen. Dan Neil will broadcast the 2 p.m. game, followed by Kirkland Crawford at 5 p.m. and Herb Mentzer at 8 p.m.

The world championship game on Saturday will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis by ESPN.

Taylor has hosted the Junior League World Series since its inception in 1981. Greg Bzura founded the event and has been director ever since.

Stars of Tomorrow

A number of current and former Major League players once competed in the Junior League World Series. They include Gary Sheffield, Eric Bedard, Brett Myers, brothers Jose and Javier Valentin, Erubiel Durazo, Chad Hermansen, Derek Bell, Delino DeShields and Shannon Withem.

Sheffield and Bell were teammates on the Belmont Heights team from Tampa, Florida, that won the Junior League world championship in 1982.

Other future stars to play in Taylor have included Chris Dingman and Steve Reinprecht, Junior League teammates in 1989 with Edmonton, Alberta, who went on to play in the National Hockey League. Mark “Bo” Pelini, a member of the 1981 champions from Boardman, Ohio, went on to play safety for Ohio State University’s football team and is now defensive coordinator at Louisiana State University.

They’re Already Champions

Each of the USA champions had to beat other all-star teams in their own state, then win a state championship and then defeat other state champions in regional tournaments in various sections of the country.

The teams from Canada and Mexico emerged as national champions after defeating the best teams in other provinces or states. Canada plays in the World Series every year. Mexico – celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first appearance in Taylor – receives an automatic berth every other year, alternating with Puerto Rico.

The teams from Indonesia, Germany and Venezuela beat national champions from other countries to make it to Taylor.

To date, teams have come from 27 different states. Indonesia debuted this year and became the 16th country to play in the World Series.

Umpires in the series also meet the challenging qualifications to participate in the series. An umpire cannot participate until such time as he or she has previously umpired in state and regional championships. Prior to this year, umpires had come to Taylor from 31 states and 10 other countries.

Those with Internet access can also find the complete schedule, results, team profiles, history and photos of the World Series on www.cityoftaylor.com/worldseries.