After suffering a tough loss to Japan on Tuesday, the Pariba Little League All-Stars bounced back in a big way.
The team out of Curacao beat the previously undefeated Guam in the International semifinal, 4-3, on Thursday to earn themselves a rematch with Japan in the International Championship.
“After Japan beat us in pool play, we really wanted to play them again so we could get revenge,” said Curacao manager Mark Van Zanten.
Early on, it looked as if Curacao was in a bit of trouble.
Drewin Aguon crushed a second-inning homer to give his team the early 1-0 lead. Aguon’s jack came on a full count with the bases empty and no outs.
“After that home run we were feeling down,” Van Zanten said. “We just kept fighting and eventually tied it up, which set the momentum in our favor.”
Curacao almost plated some runners in the fourth inning. Guam pitcher Freddy Abanes Cepeda Jr. struck out Rudson Pieter and Arther McDonald with the bases full to maintain his team’s slim lead.
Curacao was able to put four runs on the board in the fifth inning with the combination of great base running and inconsistent defensive play by Guam. Argenis Daal crossed home on a Neldrick Martis bunt.
of Curacao's fifth inning runs came in on consecutive errors by first baseman Henry Salas.
“Henry just lost his concentration,” said Guam manager Ramon C. Aguon. “That is very rare for him to make those errors.”
Curacao would add one more run in the frame, this one on a two-out RBI double by Michelangelo Trinidad.
Guam pulled to within one when Aguon scored on a groundout to second in the sixth inning, but Trinidad was able to seal the victory for his team by making Salas ground out to end the game.
Trinidad allowed two earned runs in his complete game victory.
“(Guam) was hitting my curve ball in the first inning,” he said. “So I started throwing fastballs, and I was able to blow the ball by them.”
Curacao gets their shot at revenge on Japan in the International Championship, to be played Saturday at 8 p.m. at Lamade Stadium.
- David Graham-Caso