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Suddenly, the Junior League Baseball World Series is down to eight teams. Four teams were eliminated from contention on Tuesday. Four more games on Wednesday at Taylor’s Heritage Park will limit the field even further.
The week-long international tournament for the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old players from around the globe continues today. The first two games of the day are must-win for the teams involved. The teams in the other two games are playing to stay undefeated.
The World Series runs on a “modified double elimination” format. When teams lose a second game, they move out of contention for the world championship.
11 a.m. The Mexico national champions from the Trevino Kelly League in Reynosa, Tamaulipas (1-1) play the Europe-Africa regional champions from the Emilia Romagna Little League in Italy (1-1).
2 p.m. The USA Central regional champions from the Warren Park Youth Baseball League in Chicago, Illinois (1-1) play the USA East champions from the Elk-McKean Little League in the towns of Kane, Wilcox, Johnsonburg and Ridgway, Pennsylvania (1-1)
5 p.m. The Asia-Pacific regional champions from the Shing-Ming Junior Little League in Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei League (1-0) play the Australian national champions from the Hills Little League in Sydney, New South Wales (2-0)
8 p.m. The USA West champions from the Manhattan Beach Little League in California (2-0) play the USA Southwest champions from the Lufkin Little League in Texas (2-0)
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 lost for the second time on Tuesday and were eliminated from World Series competition: the USA Southeast champs from Elberton County, Georgia; the Latin America champions from Santa Cruz, Aruba; the Canadian national champions from Mirabel, Quebec; and the host team, the Michigan District 5 champions from Brownstown Township.
Wednesday’s four games will reduce the field to six teams. Two more games will be played Thursday to set up Saturday’s International pool championship game at 3 p.m. and USA title game at 6 p.m. The two winners on Saturday play for the 38th annual world championship at noon on 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. Teams from Chinese Taipei have won the last five JLWS.
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.
Reynosa, Tamaulipas , Mexico 4, Mirabel, Quebec, Canada 2: The national champions of Mexico stayed alive in the Junior League Baseball World Series with a 4-2 victory over the Canadian national champs from Mirabel, Quebec. The team from the Trevino Kelly League in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, overcame a 2-1 lead by the Canadians with two runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth. Jorge Garcia went 2-for-3 for Mexico and knocked in two runs. Jorge Lambarria also had two hits. Pitcher Samuel Juarez (3) earned the victory in relief. Canada (0-2) was held to three hits. Mexico improved to 1-1 and plays Italy (1-1) at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
Chicago, Illinois 7, Brownstown, Michigan 0: The USA Central region champions from the Warren Park Youth Baseball League in Chicago, Illinois, are alive and well in the Junior League Baseball World Series in Taylor, Michigan. Chicago defeated the World Series host team from Brownstown, Michigan, 7-0. Warren Park advances to play Pennsylvania or Georgia at 2 pm. Wednesday. Alex Vasquez went 2-for-4, including a two-out, two-run double. Teammate Wyatt Attkisson also had two hits in four at bats, plus an RBI. Four Chicago pitchers combined on a four-hitter with Vasquez striking out four. Colin Haverlock doubled for Brownstown (0-2).
Emilia Romagna, Italy 9, Santa Cruz, Aruba 3: Italy earned perhaps the biggest win ever for a team from the Europe/Africa region, shocking the Latin American champions. Tomassi Adorni had an amazing game for the winners. He went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, three RBI and three runs scored. While playing right field, he threw out a runner at home. And he came on to pitch in relief in the fifth inning with his team leading 6-3, the bases loaded for Aruba and nobody out . He retired all three Aruba batters in the fifth and closed out the game on the mound. Each team had 12 hits. Italy’s Alessandro Beccari, Matteo Giovanelli and Christian Laghi had two hits apiece with Laghi knocking in two runs. Aruba got two hits apiece from Egduard Winderdaal, Nathon Cruz, Bryon-Jaylan Rincones and Antwone Tromp. Teammate Shawn Bareno had two runs batted in. Italy, now 1-1, stays alive in the International pool and plays Mexico (1-1) at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Aruba fell to 1-2.
Elk McKean Little League, Pennsylvania 7, Elberton, Georgia 6: The USA East champions from Pennsylvania overcame a 5-2 first-inning deficit and kept their world championship dreams alive with a 7-6 win over USA Southeast champion Elberton, Georgia, in Tuesday's night game. The Elk-McKean all-stars scored five runs over the next three innings and then held on to a one-run lead through the last three innings of the game. Thirteen different players scored in the game. For the PA state champions, Harley Morris went 3-for-4, scored a run and knocked in two. Teammate Kaden Dennis was 2-for-4 and scored once. Luke Zimmerman went 1-for-2, scored a run and had two RBI. Aiden Zimmerman pitched six innings for the winners, limiting the Elbert County Little League all-stars to one run and three hits to earn the victory. Carson Adams went 2-for-4, scored a run and knocked in one for the Georgia state champs. Elk-McKean (1-1) moves on to play Chicago, Illinois (1-1) at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the double-elimination portion of the tournament. Elbert County falls to 0-2.
For more information about the Junior League 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.