Boynton Beach overpowers Richland
in Day One nightcap
Florida’s Jordan Irene came to
Williamsport after hitting just .231 (3-for-13) in the Southeast
Regional Tournament. Not only that, he failed to knock in any runs
during his team’s 5-game championship bid.
Those stats changed in a hurry Friday
night against Richland, WA in Game 3 of the 57th Little League World
Irene’s 3-run homer in the bottom half
of the 2nd put the game out of reach for Richland as Boynton Beach, FL
went on to win 8-1 in front of 4,700 at Volunteer Stadium.
Irene also laid down a sacrifice bunt
in the first that led to Florida’s first run. He even got to pitch the
final inning to nail down the win, striking out the side in his first
appearance on the hill since tossing 2 scoreless frames in Florida’s
6-1 win over Georgia in Southeast Regional pool play.
“It feels good (to contribute to the
win),” he said. “In batting practice I was hitting pretty good, and I
hit pretty good in the game. It feels great.”
Florida state champs scored 2 in the first to jump out to the early
lead. Devon Travis led off with a single up the middle, and Michael
Broad 2 batters later hit a 2-run homer to right-center field. The
Atlantic Ocean-side Florida team scored in the first 4 frames,
including 2 in the 3rd and one in the 4th.
“It felt great, especially with Mike on
the mound,” said second baseman-turned-catcher Devon Travis of Broad’s
first-inning home run.
While Irene and Broad took care of
their offense, they also teamed up to shut down Washington’s. Broad
gave up just one run on 4 hits in 5.0 innings of work prior to Irene’s
Richland had managed to push across
their run in the 2nd, which stemmed from a leadoff walk to Daniel
Jacobs. The Washington second baseman advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch,
3rd on a passed ball, and home on another wild pitch, all as 2
different Florida catchers had a tough time handling Broad’s 75-m.p.h.
“I know we were overmatched by that
pitcher,” said Richland head coach Bob Jacobs. “He was good. We have
not faced any heat like that this year. We haven’t faced an
overpowering pitcher like that.”
struck out 9, walked 3 and hit 3 batters.
“I know I did good, but I don’t think I
did as good as I could have done,” he said. “I was a little wild.”
By no means was this the Michael Broad
and Jordan Irene show. Eight of 9 starters reached base safely via a
hit or walk. Six different players accounted for the runs scored.
“We’ve said this all year long,” said
Boynton Beach head coach Ken Emerson. “This is truly an 11-man team.
There’s always been someone who makes a key play.”
Whoever is next to make that play will
earn his stripes Saturday evening against Tallmadge, OH at Volunteer
“There’s a lot of good baseball ahead,”