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Championship teams from Czech Republic, Venezuela and Pennsylvania will make their 2017 debut in the Junior League Baseball World Series at Taylor’s Heritage Park.
Monday is day two of the eight-day international tournament for the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old baseball players. The Junior League World Series is the “older brother” of the famous Little League World Series for 12-year-olds in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Admission is $5 per day per carload of fans; $15 for a week’s pass. Both fees include parking. Admission is paid at the entrances to Heritage Park, located at 12111 Pardee Road. Seating is general admission. Lawn chairs are welcome
The 11 participating teams arrived in Taylor as champions, having won national and/or regional championships around the globe. Six teams are in the International Pool; five compete in the USA pool. Three more games are scheduled for Tuesday, four on Wednesday and two on Thursday leading into the International (3 p.m.) and USA (6 p.m.) title games on Saturday.
The two pool champions play for the world championship at noon on Sunday. That game will be televised live on ESPN2. All other games can be viewed on streaming video on the website www.ustream.tv/channel/jlws.
Four games were played on Sunday, which was opening day of the 37th annual World Series. The tournament is run on a “modified double-elimination format.” Teams keep playing until they lose twice. When only four teams are left, the World Series becomes a single-elimination tournament.
Rutherford County, North Carolina (USA Southeast) 4, North Saginaw, Michigan (USA East) 1
North Carolina broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the third inning and a run in the fourth to beat Michigan, 4-1, in the opening game of the 2017 World Series. Winning pitcher Kael Snethen and reliever Ben Hodge combined on a six-hitter. Teammate Aidin Strange had two runs batted in. Michigan’s Carter Sullivan went 2-for-3 and knocked in his team’s only run. The USA Southeast champs play again at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The Central champs face a must-win game against California at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Yabucoa, Puerto Rico 11, Lethbridge Alberta (Canada) 1
A walk-off three-run homer by Luis Ortega gave the national champions of Puerto Rico an 11-1 win over the Canadian national champions. The game was stopped in the bottom of the sixth inning by the 10-run mercy rule. Puerto Rico led from the first inning and scored six runs in the sixth to build on a 5-1 lead. Oscar Bonilla turned in an amazing performance, batting 3-for-4, scoring a run and knocking in three runs, all while pitching a four-hit complete game and striking out 10 over the six innings. Teammate Jetzel Garcia also homered and went 2-for-2, scored three times and had two RBI. Derick Sepulveda was 2-for-4, scored and had an RBI. Canada catcher Brayden Peters had a solo home run in the second inning to spoil the shutout. Puerto Rico plays against Latin America champion Venezuela at 7 p.m. Monday. Canada’s next game is at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Abilene, Texas (USA Southwest) 12, Encinitas, California (USA West) 8
The USA Southwest champions from the Wylie Little League in Abilene won a 12-8 slugfest over the USA West champs. Texas managed 12 runs on seven hits, including a two-run homer by Balin Valentine and a three-run bomb from Dash Albus. The game was tied at 5-5 going into the sixth inning. California scored twice to take a 7-5 lead. Texas answered with seven runs in the bottom of the sixth before an out was recorded. Sean Alvarez hit his second solo homer of the game in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough. Ten different Texas players scored. Their next game is at 4 p.m. Monday against the USA East champions from Pennsylvania. California plays at 4 p.m. Tuesday against Michigan.
Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei (Asia-Pacific) 11, Sydney, New South Wales (Australia) 0
The defending Junior League World Series champions from Chinese Taipei wasted no time against the national champions of Australia, scoring early and often in the 11-0 route that was halted by the 10-run mercy rule after the top of the fifth inning. Starting pitcher Hao Yu Li had two home runs and knocked in six runs. He also combined with relief pitcher Tzu Yu Tseng on a one-hitter, striking out eight and walking one over the five innings they pitched. Australia’s Liam McCallum spoiled the no-hitter with a single and also had the walk. The Asia-Pacific champions play Europe-Africa champion Czech Republic at 1 p.m. Monday. Australia plays at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
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.