Meadville Tribune

Sports

August 25, 2013

LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL: Mexico wins consolation game against Connecticut

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — After Mexico defeated Connecticut by a run in the Little League World Series consolation game, the teams shook hands and departed, sad they hadn’t made it another game but satisfied with what they achieved.

“We’ll reflect on this for sure,” said Tim Rogers, manager of Westport, Conn. “I could not be more proud of the kids. They proved that they belong here, playing baseball right at the top of the world. Look how competitive they are. For them to stick with it, work, work, work, that’s more important.”

Brandon Montes, Ramon Mendoza, Saul Favela, and Miguel Artalejo hit home runs for Mexico, which beat Connecticut 15-14. Mexico’s World Series run ended with a 3-2 loss Saturday to Japan for the international title.

Chad Knight slammed two home runs and drove in seven runs in the game, which featured a World Series-record nine home runs. Harry Azadian had a three-run homer and Matt Brown and Matt Stone had solo shots for Connecticut, which lost 12-1 to Chula Vista, Calif., in the U.S. title game on Saturday.

Connecticut fell behind 11-6 heading to the fifth inning after Favela’s home run keyed a three-run Mexico rally in the fourth.

Undaunted as they had been the entire tournament, the New England champions promptly scored five runs in the top of the fifth to tie it, with Azadian hitting a three-run homer and Stone following with his homer.

“They don’t give up,” said Rogers, who didn’t know how he would adjust once he returned home. “Sure, we would have liked to have won, but the way they battled, we’re feeling good.”

The game ended an emotion-packed week for both teams, but they put on a real show in their final act.

“All the people in Tijuana should be proud,” Mexico manager Francisco Fimbres said. “This is the first time for the league here at the World Series. I’m very proud of my kids.”

And why not.

Mexico overcame two losses to Japan and finished third in the world.

“It’s exciting because a lot of teams in the world wish they could be here,” Martin Gonzalez said. “Third place for us is pretty amazing.”

Mexico won this one with four runs in the bottom of the fifth, keyed by Artalejo’s three-run homer. It was just enough because Knight hit a three-run shot with two outs in the top of the sixth.

Fimbres had to play the role of father before the game as Montes began crying during warm-ups, his base-running blunder against Japan on Saturday too hard to forget.

“Yesterday, he was very sad,” Fimbres said. “It’s a hard thing to come back from. It’s hard for him to come back that fast, but he’s doing better now. Yesterday, he felt guilty, but he bounced back. He’s one of the greatest players that we saw.”

Montes slammed his fifth homer of the World Series, a drive that easily carried the center-field wall in the second inning against Connecticut. He’s the fifth player in Little League World Series history to hit five home runs. The record is seven, set in 1996 by Chin-Hsiung Hsieh of Taiwan.

Both teams departed Lamade Stadium with memories that surely will last a lifetime.

Torched for 10 runs in an inning by Sammamish, Wash., on Friday, Connecticut rallied with seven runs an inning later, tying it at 13 on Knight’s home run. Max Popken, Ricky Offenberg, Alex Reiner, and Tatin Llamas also homered in a riveting 14-13 victory, won by Knight with a single in the seventh inning.

The Connecticut players can only imagine what might have been — they had a chance to beat eventual U.S. champion Chula Vista, Calif., on Wednesday night and failed.

Brown hit a three-run homer for Westport, and the Northeast champions seemed headed for a big victory. But California’s Nick Mora hit his second homer of the game to make it 3-2 with one out in the top of the sixth and Chula Vista tied it when Reiner threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded. Chula Vista won 6-3 on Grant Holman’s three-run homer in the ninth inning.

There’s a parade back home in Connecticut on Monday and school beckons on Tuesday.

Time to move on.

“It’ll be hard. It’ll be a little rocky, but we’ll figure it out,” Rogers said. “I knew that we were a good team and had a chance to have a good summer. To get here to compete, that’s amazing.”

Mexico had its moments, too, beating its first two opponents handily with a barrage of home runs. But Tijuana couldn’t overcome the efficient Tokyo team, losing 5-2 on Wednesday and 3-2 in the heart-wrenching international championship game on Saturday.

With the score tied at 2, Montes had led off the bottom of the fifth for Mexico with a double down the left-field line and was at third with one out when Favela hit a high fly to deep center. Montes took a few steps toward home, stopped, and didn’t have time to go back and tag up. He was stranded at third when Brandon Meza struck out.

When Takuma Gomi led off the top of the sixth inning with a game-winning home run, Tijuana, too, was left to wonder what might have been.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • MLB replay Selig calls replay start ‘remarkable’

    Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the sport’s new replay system is working well despite a few problems during its first two weeks.
    While baseball began video review late in the 2008 season, it was limited to potential home runs and boundary calls. The new system that began March 30 vastly expands the types of plays that managers and umpires can ask to be reviewed at a replay center in New York.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cardinals roll to a sweep of Eagles

    The match only lasted three games, but Logan Herzberger still found the time to post a double-double, notching 14 kills and 18 digs while the Cochranton volleyball team swept Conneaut 25-22, 25-16, 25-18 during Region 1 action on Tuesday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Brendon Barclay Unbeaten Panthers need five games to top Bulldogs

    Through the first four games, there was no telling which team was undefeated and which team had only one win entering Monday night’s Region 1 volleyball clash between Meadville and Saegertown.
    By the fifth and deciding game, the cream rose to the top.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ogwumike goes No. 1

    It was a busy draft night for the Connecticut Sun.
    Minutes after taking Chiney Ogwumike with the top pick in the WNBA draft Monday night, the Sun made a blockbuster deal to trade 2012 MVP Tina Charles to the New York Liberty.

    April 14, 2014

  • Watson pulls away at Augusta to win second green jacket

    One of golf’s most exciting players squeezed most of the drama out of the Masters on Sunday. That’s just fine with Bubba Watson.
    All he cared about was slipping into that green jacket.
    Instead of hitting a 40-yard hook out of a forest of Georgia pines — the signature shot in his playoff victory two years ago — the final act Sunday at Augusta National took place on the 18th green. Watson had a three-shot lead and consulted with his caddie on a 15-foot birdie putt.

    April 14, 2014

  • Harvick survives shootout for win at Darlington

    Kevin Harvick used one of the few weekend missteps to pull out his first Darlington victory.
    Harvick was among several veteran drivers fighting for the Nationwide Series win Friday night when rookie Chase Elliott used fresher tires and a strong machine to move from the back of the pack to first place over the final two laps.

    April 14, 2014

  • Spezza lifts Senators to SO win over Penguins

    Jason Spezza scored in the shootout to help the Ottawa Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night and finish the season on a five-game winning streak.
    The teams were tied 2-2 after two periods and didn’t score in the third or overtime.

    April 14, 2014

  • Brewers sweep Pirates, win ninth straight

    Kyle Lohse was eager to top his Milwaukee teammates.
    He sure came close.
    Lohse came within an out of a complete game, and the Brewers won their ninth straight with a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

    April 13, 2014

  • Ramirez lifts ChiSox over Indians

    Alexei Ramirez came up to the plate, ready to swing.
    Ramirez hit a two-run homer on the first pitch he saw from John Axford in the ninth inning, rallying the Chicago White Sox over the Cleveland Indians 4-3 on a rainy Sunday.

    April 13, 2014

  • Masters Watson Watson surges to Masters lead following birdie spree

    Bubba Watson won the Masters two years ago with his brand of “Bubba golf,” producing shots of raw skill and wild imagination. His strategy now is to keep it simple, and he is halfway to another green jacket.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Poll

Is simplifying the U.S. tax code the best way to boost the economy? The code today is 73,608 pages and it grows every year. Which one of these suggestions seems like the best solution:

Make a progressive tax rate that’s a simple 6 percent for everyone.
End tax breaks for the “1 percent.”
It’s not as simple as one change — many things have to happen.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks