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Monday, August 21, 2006
Manuela, Curacao stay alive by knocking out Russia


SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Dienston Manuela made sure to point out that Willemstad, Curacao should not be overlooked at the Little League World Series.

Manuela tossed a two-hitter with 12 strikeouts as the Caribbean champion captured its first win in Pool D with an 8-0 rout of Moscow, Russia.

The 2004 champion and runner-up last season, Willemstad (1-1) had a rough start this year, losing to Matamoros, 3-2, on Saturday as the Mexican team rallied from a 2-0 deficit after fourth innings.

Manuela held the overmatched Moscow lineup in check, allowing two doubles and one walk in six innings. The left-hander did not allow the second hit until the start of the sixth.

"I pitched good," Manuela said. "I threw my fastball good and my curveball broke good."

Sherman Lacrus drove in two runs and Alexander Rodriguez had three hits and an RBI for Willemstad, which will attempt to remain in the mix for one of the two spots in the knockout stage from Pool D when it faces Kawaguchi City, Japan on Tuesday.

"Our chances are we have to win tomorrow," Willemstad manager Michaelangelo Celestina said.

Denis Leonov gave up five runs -- three earned -- and four hits in four innings to absorb the loss for Moscow (0-3), which was eliminated from the tournament.

Dmitry Semenov doubled in the sixth for the Russian squad, which was outscored, 30-1, in the event.

"They know they have the best experience of their lives here," Moscow manager Alexey Erofeev said. "I told them that I'm proud of them and just keep getting experience playing baseball."