Saturday, August 22, 2009
Georgia wins again; Jones also homers
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Georgia's 12-year-old infielder Trey Maddox starts flailing his arms and making faces when his manager gets stressed in the dugout.
Two years after the Warner Robins American league won the Little League World Series, a squad from that same league is back again in South Williamsport. The expectations are high, and manager Randy Jones can get tense in tight situations. As for his players? No sweat.
Jones' son, Justin, homered for the second straight day and two more teammates went deep Saturday as the slugging Southerners beat Staten Island, N.Y., 6-3.
Georgia has now won two straight after waiting around the Little League complex for nearly a week. They're in good shape to move on to the next round.
"The stress was from sitting around and not playing" for a week, the skipper said about the wait for the first game. "The stress today was the respect for" New York.
Staten Island's fans didn't give up down 4-1 in the third as chants of "Let's Go New York!" thundered through Lamade Stadium. Vincent Quinn homered with two outs in the sixth to get to 6-3 before Justin Jones, who also started, got a groundout to complete his three-hitter.
"I do feel better now. Having done the math, 2-0, it feels pretty good," Randy Jones said. "I can enjoy myself a little more this evening."
Georgia had a little more breathing room in victory.
Justin Jones' two-run shot gave Georgia a 4-0 lead in the second. His three homers led the tourney heading into Saturday night's games.
California 15, Kentucky 0 (5 innings)
Luke Ramirez slugged two long homers, and Chula Vista, Calif., went deep five more times in a five-inning rout of Russellville, Ky.
The seven homers were the most for one team in a World Series game since the tournament expanded from eight to 16 squads in 2001.
Bradley Roberto's two-run triple in the top of the first was all the support ace pitcher Kiko Garcia needed on the mound. Roberto and Garcia also homered.
California pounded Kentucky pitching all night, including three straight homers to lead off the fifth. The game ended after five innings because of the 10-run rule.
It was the 13-year-old Ramirez who really impressed with two homers that easily cleared the fences 225 feet away and landed on the grassy hill filled with spectators.
Kentucky's only hit came on a single by Ian Woodell.
Mexico 2, Canada 1 (7 innings)
Oscar Noguera scored from third on a throwing error by pitcher Anthony Cusati to end a tense game.
Cusati fielded a bunt by Mario Cardenas cleanly but threw to first with no one covering, allowing the ball to bounce into foul territory. Noguera jogged home easily for the win, sending Mexico's vocal fans into a frenzy.
Mexico had a good chance to win in the sixth after loading the bases with one out. But Cusati caught another bunt attempt on the fly by lunging off the mound, then threw to second to double off runner Marcelo Martinez, who was halfway to third. It was the most dramatic play of the tournament so far.
"I saw that double play and I didn't know what to think," said Raul Rojas, the 12-year-old pitcher who tossed two-plus innings of scoreless relief for the win. "Fortunately, we got the win later."
Japan 5, Saudi Arabia 2
Daisuke Yamaga and Toshinori Wakai each hit two-run homers to lead Chiba City, Japan past Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
Wakai also got the complete-game win, striking out 11, walking two and allowing four hits.
Yamaga staked Japan to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first with his homer to center field. Saudi Arabia rallied to tie in the top of the third on Nicky Knight's two-run triple, but Japan took the lead for good in the bottom half after Yamaga tripled before Wakai homered to center to make it 4-2.
Saudi Arabia got the tying run to the plate with two outs in the sixth after Cameron Durley walked and John Sheppard doubled, but Wakai got a groundout to end it.
Curacao 2, Venezuela 1
Claycandy Hariquez, one of five returnees from last year's tournament team, drove in the go-ahead run with a single and threw a two-hitter. He struck out 13 and walked one.
The righty tossed a gem that would have impressed his idol, Atlanta Braves pitcher and Curacao native Jair Jurrjens.
"I felt I pitched very well and I was ready for the game," Hariquez said in a low voice through and interpreter. "I felt more nervous last year, my first World Series."
Curacao took a 1-0 lead in the second when Hariquez walked and moved to second on Richendly Bicentini's single. After an out, Iidion Martina blooped a pitch into right field. Venezuela forced the runner at second, but Hariquez came around to score on the play.
Venezuela tied it in the top of the fourth on Mikey Edie's RBI double. Junters Dossett singled in the bottom of the fourth, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Hariquez's single up the middle to break a 1-1 tie.