Powerful Lopez cousins too much for Southeast
Harlem’s Jeremy Lopez weighs only 105 lbs. This seems light for the 12-year-old because he hits a ton.
The shortstop and his powerful bat led the Harlem Little League All-Stars to a 9-3 victory over the Southwest Forsyth Little League from Clemmons, N.C., on Saturday at Lamade Stadium.
Lopez made his presence known, getting hits in three of four at bats and knocking two balls out of the park. He recorded 5 RBIs in the game.
“It feels great,” said Lopez. “This is our first time here, so we wanted to do good, and we did.”
Harlem put the first runs of the game on the scoreboard in the second inning. With one on and one out, third baseman Andrew Diaz belted an Alex Robertson pitch over the left-center field fence.
The Harlem sluggers recorded their second home run in as many innings when Lopez sent a Robertson offering high and far over the left field fence.
“The pitcher hung a fastball low and away,” Lopez described. “I just went with the pitch and took it the other way.”
Harlem’s third home run also belonged to Lopez. This homer, however, was with the bases full. The grand slam gave Harlem a commanding 7-0 lead in the top of the fourth.
Clemmons pulled a bit closer in the fourth inning when catcher Chris Sanders sent a line drive screaming down the right field line. The base hit scored pinch runner Sammy Lucas from first while Sanders slid into third with an RBI triple. Sanders then scored on a wild pitch to give Clemmons their second run of the game.
Leading 7-2 in the top of the sixth inning, Harlem added a little bit of insurance. Jeremy Lopez’s cousin, Javier, sent a two-run shot over the center field wall to extend his team’s lead.
Javier Lopez also pitched for the Harlem All-Stars. He allowed only five hits while striking out 10 in the complete game effort.
Harlem’s first game of the Little League World Series drew special attention from New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who made the trip to Williamsport for the game.
“The kids represent New York, and New York just wants to say congratulations to them,” Bloomberg said. “We are all very proud.”
Harlem next takes on Great Lakes Sunday at 7 p.m. Clemmons plays Aptos Little League at 1 p.m. Sunday at Volunteer Stadium.