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Venezuela Captures Senior Baseball World Series Championship

Editor’s note: Complete scores from all the games can be found here at http://www.littleleague.org/series/2006divisions/slbb/series.htm
BANGOR, Maine, (Aug. 19, 2006) – Paraguana Little League of Falcon, Venezuela, won the 2006 Senior League Baseball World Series with a 4-2 win over Pearl City, Hawaii. The win capped a 6-0 World Series run for the Latin America champs, marking the first time a team has gone undefeated in the World Series since the Series moved to Bangor in 2002.

Pearl City, which lost year’s championship game, 7-2, to Urbandale, Iowa, after going undefeated in pool play, was the tough-luck loser this year, as it again went undefeated in pool play and finished the series with a 5-1 record. The U.S. West champion took a 2-0 lead in the first inning before Venezuela added single runs in the bottom of the first and fourth innings to tie the game before scoring two in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead and win.

Dennys Osteicoechea fouled off a suicide squeeze attempt with one out in the sixth before singling to left-center field to drive in what proved to be the winning run.

The victory marked Venezuela’s first Senior League Baseball World Series title since 1997. Paraguana set a record for highest team batting average in a Series at Mansfield Stadium, hitting .444. The previous record had been .372, set by South Vineland, N.J., in 2002. Other records established by the team in the series included most runs (71), most doubles (15), and most hits (80). The team’s seven triples tied the 2002 Willemstad, Curacao, team’s record of seven.

Individually for Venezuela, catcher Eduardo Cuba’s 13 hits in the series set a Mansfield Stadium Series record, one hit better than the previous record of 12, set by Hilo, Hawaii’s Matt Haasenritter in 2003.

This year’s Series got off to a dramatic start, as host Bangor East-West Little League’s Jordan Clarke no-hit North Regina Little League, of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, 3-0 in the opening game. Clarke’s no-hitter was the first complete game effort in Series history at Mansfield.

Later in the day, U.S. East representative Bloomfield, N.J., one-hit Europe-Middle East-Africa representative Brussels, Belgium, and Venezuela one-hit U.S. Central representative Madison, Wis., in five innings.

The Series’ opening ceremonies, held the night before the first game, featured comments by author and Bangor resident Stephen King and Little League Baseball chairman-elect Dennis Lewin. A lifelong baseball fan and former Little League coach, King donated $1.2 million for Mansfield Stadium’s construction in the early 1990s.

Every team but one, Belgium, won a game. Belgium, however, held its own, losing two close games, 6-4, to U.S. Southwest champ Oklahoma, and, 4-3, to Wisconsin.