Texas, Mexico play for Junior League baseball world championship

TAYLOR, MICHIGAN – Teen-age baseball players from Texas and Mexico meet in the championship game of the Junior League World Series at 5 p.m. today at Heritage Park.

The border match-up between El Campo, Texas, and Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, will conclude the 26th annual World Series for the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old ballplayers from around the globe.

ESPN will broadcast the game by tape delay from Heritage Park, located at 12111 Pardee Road. Admission is $4 per carload, which includes parking.

The game also will be broadcast over the Internet by streaming audio over the City of Taylor web site, www.cityoftaylor.com/listen.

The Junior League World Series is considered the “big brother” of the Little League World Series held for 12-year-old players in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

El Campo and Guaymas will be seeking their first world championships in the Junior division of Little League baseball. One other Texas city and one other Mexico city have won world championships. The Northwest 45 Little League of Spring, Texas, won the title in 1991 and 1996. The Lugo Montes IMSS of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, won the world championship in 1988. This is the fourth appearance in the World Series for Guaymas teams; the first appearance for El Campo.

Texas (4-1) and Mexico (3-2) qualified for the Junior League world championship game by winning semifinal games Friday night.

Mexico came from behind to win an extra-inning thriller over favored Maracaibo, Venezuela, 6-4. Venezuela – champions of Latin America – took a 3-0 lead on a three-run homer by Nerio Rios. The Mexican national champions were held scoreless until the top of the sixth, when Jose Mayoral’s single scored Sebastian Elizalde and Luis Valdez. They took a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Castro and a run-scoring single by Valdez. Venezuela, which made two costly errors in the inning, tied the score in the bottom of the seventh. Gilberth Caparro singled, stole second and scored on a single by Douglas Cuerto. Mexico came right back and scored twice in the top of the eighth to go ahead to stay. Mayoral and Meza singled and advanced on a wild pitch. Mayoral scored on a sacrifice fly by Alfonso Hernandez. Meza came home on a base hit by Judas Gallardo. Venezuela went down in order in its half of the eighth and the game was over. Mayoral was 3-for-4 for Mexico and knocked in two runs, helping pitcher Gallardo secure the victory. Chaparro had two of Venezuela’s five hits. The win gave Mexico the International championship of the World Series. The loss dropped Venezuela to 4-1. When the two teams met on August 15, Venezuela won, 6-0. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first year a team from Mexico played in the Junior League World Series.

In the other semifinal, Texas won the United States championship by defeating Pearl City, Hawaii, 4-0. El Campo – the USA Southwest champion – scored three runs in the third and one in the fifth, as pitcher Andrew Kinder threw a four-hitter, striking out 10 batters. Texas had the bases loaded for much of the third inning against the USA West champs. Colton Green scored on a single by Holden Whitley, who scored from third on a balk. Matthew Hamman scored on a wild pitch. Landon Appling’s solo home run in the fifth capped the scoring. Whitley and Appling had two hits for El Campo. Kala Neal went 2-for-3 for Pearl City, which was making its third straight trip to Taylor. It was the second victory by Texas over Hawaii (3-2) during the week. The first meeting ended in a 9-0 El Campo victory.

Saturday's schedule
10 a.m. Canada (2-2) vs. New Jersey (2-2) (Third place consolation game)
Noon Home Run Derby
2 p.m. Hawaii (3-2) vs. Venezuela (4-2) (Second place consolation game)
5 p.m. World Championship Game: Texas (4-1) vs. Mexico (3-2)