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Every game matters! That’s been the status every day this week during the Junior League Baseball World Series at Taylor’s Heritage Park.
The action continues today with four games with huge implications. Two more teams will be eliminated from contention as the 11-team field is whittled down to six. And two winners will advance to Saturday’s USA and International championship games.
The international tournament is played in a “modified double-elimination” format. Once a team loses twice, it is out of contention. When the World Series is down to the final four teams, it becomes a single-elimination event.
Two must-win games are scheduled for today. The national champions from Sydney, Australia (1-1) play the Europe-Africa champions from Brno, Czech Republic (1-1) at 11 a.m. USA Southwest champ Abilene, Texas (1-1) faces Encinitas, California (1-1) at 2 p.m. in a rematch of their Sunday night slugfest.
The other two games feature teams that are undefeated in the World Series. Defending world champion Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei (2-0) plays Latin America champion Maracaibo, Venezuela (2-0) at 5 p.m. USA Southeast champ Rutherford County, North Carolina (1-0) battles USA East champ Kennett Square, Pennsylvania (1-0) at 8 p.m. The winning teams advance directly to the International and USA championship games on Saturday.
Heritage Park is located at 12111 Pardee Road. Admission is just $5 per carload per day and includes parking. Seating is general admission. Lawn chairs are welcome.
The Junior League World Series features the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old players from around the globe. The tournament has been held in Taylor since its inception in 1981. The JLWS is the “older brother” of the more famous Little League World Series that is for 12-year-olds.
After today, only five games will be left: two on Thursday, the International (3 p.m.) and USA (6 p.m.) championship games on Saturday and the world championship game at noon on Sunday. Teams eliminated from competition will be scheduled to play in consolation crossover games. The annual Home Run Derby will be scheduled for Saturday as well.
So far, 10 of the 19 games of the World Series have been played. Here are Tuesday’s recaps:
Sydney, Australia 4, Yabucoa, Puerto Rico 0
Australia earned its first victory in its two years in the Junior League Baseball World Series in Taylor, Michigan USA. The Hills junior all-stars from Sydney defeated the national champions of Puerto Rico 4-0. Clayton Campbell pitched a one-hitter. He struck out the side in the seventh inning and had seven Ks in the game. The Australian national champions scored all four of their runs in the third inning. Key hits were a double by Alex Ranieri, an RBI double by Brent Iredale, an RBI single by Campbell and a two-run single by Sam McGoldrick. Puerto Rico's Derick Sepulveda doubled to break up the no-hitter in the sixth inning. Sepulveda was thrown out at the plate by Liam McCallum. Puerto Rico (1-2) is the first team to lose its second game and moves to the consolation round. Australia (1-1) plays Canada or Czech Republic at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Brno, Czech Republic 10, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada 9
Europe/Africa champion Brno, Czech Republic and Canadian national champion Lethbridge, Alberta were tied at 4-4 when Adam Minarik stole home to give Brno a one-run lead in the fifth inning. Canada rallied for five runs in the top of the sixth to take a 9-5 lead. But Czech Republic answered with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to go ahead 10-9. The game ended on a 5-4-3 double play. Each team had nine hits. Eight different Czech Republic players scored. Milan Prokop was 2-for-3. Adam Prudil and Ondrej Filip scored two runs apiece. Three Canada players combined for four doubles: Joshua Kabayama, Dawson Leroux and Ty Wevers (2). Leroux was 2-for-2 with two runs scored and two runs batted in. Czech Republic (1-1) plays Australia (1-1) at 11 a.m. Wednesday. The loss was the second for the Canadians (0-2), eliminating them from competition for the world title.
Encinitas, California 5, North Saginaw, Michigan 4
A full-count, bases-loaded, two-out, walk-off single down the left-field line by Cooper Dulich scored Sean Alvarez and gave Encinitas, California a 5-4 victory over North Saginaw, Michigan. The win keeps the USA West champions alive in the Junior League Baseball World Series in Taylor, Michigan, with a 1-1 record and a game set with Abilene, Texas (also 1-1) at 2 p.m. Wednesday. For the USA Central champions from Michigan (0-2), it was the second loss and sends them to the consolation crossover round. California scored three times in the first inning to take a 3-1 lead. Michigan came back with three in the third to take a one-run lead. But California tied the game in the fifth and won it on the walk-off drive in the seventh. Encinitas had six hits, including two by Jobe Cubillan and a home run by Julian Nunez. Nunez and reliever Rylan Wade combined on a three-hitter and five strikeouts on the mound. Quin Konuszewski and Brady Alverson gave up just one earned run and six hits, striking out eight. Mitchell Smith had a home run for Michigan.
Here’s the game schedule for the rest of the week:
Thursday, August 17
Loser of Chinese Taipei-Venezuela vs. winner of Australia-Czech Republic, 4 p.m.
Loser of North Carolina-Pennsylvania vs. winner of Texas-California, 7 p.m.
Friday, August 18
Reserved for crossover consolation games, TBD
Saturday, August 19
International Championship Game, 3 p.m.
USA Championship Game, 6 p.m.
Sunday, August 20
World Championship Game, Noon
The final game will be broadcast live on ESPN2. All other games can be viewed on the JLWS’ popular streaming video system with play by play on the website www.ustream.tv/channel.jlws.
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. Also, follow the series on Instagram @jlws_taylor.