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There may be a bit of tension today at World Series Field. Four games are scheduled and the losing team in each game will be eliminated from contention in the Junior League Baseball World Series at Taylor’s Heritage Park.
The week-long international tournament operates on a “modified double elimination” format. When teams lose their second game of the week, they move out of contention and into the consolation game round. All eight teams of 13- and 14-year-old ballplayers taking the field today already have one loss apiece.
11 a.m. The Mexico national champions from the Trevino Kelly League in Reynosa, Tamaulipas vs. the Canadian national champions from the Diamond Academy Little League in Mirabel, Quebec.
2 p.m. The Michigan District 5 champions from Brownstown Township vs. the USA Central region champions from the Warren Park Youth Baseball League in Chicago, Illinois.
5 p.m. The Latin America champions from the Aruba Center Little League in Santa Cruz, Aruba vs. the Europe/Africa regional champions from the Emilia Romagna Little League in Italy.
8 p.m. The USA East champions from the Elk-McKean Little League from the towns of Kane, Wilcox, Johnsonburg and Ridgway, Pennsylvania vs. the USA Southeast champions from the Elbert County Little League in Elberton, Georgia.
The winners advance to play Wednesday and keep their World Series dreams alive.
Heritage Park is located at 12111 Pardee Road in Taylor. Admission is $5 per day or $15 for a week’s pass. Both fees include parking.
Four teams are off on Tuesday and are scheduled to play next on Wednesday. All four won on Monday and remain undefeated at 2-0. The defending world champions from Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei, play the Australian national champions from Sydney at 5 p.m. The USA West champions from Manhattan, California, play the USA Southwest champions from Lufkin, Texas, at 8 p.m.
Two more games will be played Thursday to set up Saturday’s International and USA pool championship games at 3 and 6 p.m. respectively. The two winners on Saturday play for the 38th annual world championship at noon Sunday.
The Junior League World Series is the “older brother” of the more famous Little League World Series, which is a tournament for 12-year-olds played in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. In fact, six members of the current Texas team in the JLWS played in last year’s Little League World Series, finishing runner-up to the world champions from Japan.
The JLWS was founded by Greg Bzura in 1981 and has remained in the city ever since, growing from four American teams the first year to the current 12 teams that come to Taylor from as far away as Australia and the Asia-Pacific. Bzura has been director the entire time and credits a team of hundreds of volunteers for making it happen every year.
Games are broadcast free with play by play via streaming video on the website www.ustream.tv/channel/jlws. The world championship game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei 8, Santa Cruz, Aruba 3: The Latin America champions from Aruba led 3-1 heading into the top of the seventh inning of Monday’s first game. A home run by Shawn Bareno accounted for two of the runs against the defending World Series champions. A two-run homer by Chinese Taipei’s Tung-Han Lu tied the game at 3-3 and sent the game into extra innings. The stars from the Shing-Ming Junior Little League then added five runs in the top of the eighth to seal the come-from-behind win. Each team was limited to five hits.
Lufkin, Texas 9, Elberton, Georgia 0: The USA Southwest champions won their second game of the series, scoring four runs in the first inning and rolling to a 9-0 win over the Southeast champs from the Elbert County Little League in Elberton, Georgia. Lufkin racked up 10 hits. Chip Buchanan went 3-for-5. Christian Murphy knocked in three runs. Cam Jackson went 2-for-3 and scored twice. Bebo Hinojosa picked up the win on a three-hit shutout, striking out four. Carson Adams and Trustin Allen each doubled for Elberton.
Sydney, Australia 14, Mirabel, Quebec, Canada 9: The Australian national champions won their second straight game of the Junior League World Series. The Hills Little League all-stars from Sydney defeated the Canadian national champions from the Diamond Baseball Little League in Mirabel, Quebec, 14-9. The game was tied after the regulation seven innings, but Australia came on with five runs in the eighth. The Aussies had eight hits, two each by Christos Lyberopoulos and Tyler Spileri. Stephen Courtney scored three runs. Spiteri and William Edwards had two RBI each. Canada had 11 hits, including a 4-for-4 day by Isaac Beaudin, who scored three times and knocked in two runs. Mattieu Lorinz had two hits and scored twice. Louis-Felix Anderson went 2-for-4, scored three times and knocked in two runs.
Manhattan Beach, California 8, Brownstown, Michigan 0: The USA West regional champions from Manhattan Beach, California, won their second game of the World Series while spoiling the debut of the first-time host team from Brownstown in the Monday nightcap. California scored four runs in the second inning en route to the 8-0 victory. Ian Draves, Max Jonas and Addison Lee combined on a two-hitter on the mound for the West champs. Draves went 2-for-2 and scored twice. Matthew Field also scored two runs. Braylon Hughes’ seventh-inning triple gave Brownstown fans something to cheer about.
For more information about the World Series, visit the website www.cityoftaylor.com/worldseries. The World Series has an active Facebook page, www.facebook.com/juniorleagueworldseries. The World Series’ Instagram page is active during World Series week. Search jlws_taylor.